MEXICO CITY - Procesos Pl sticos SA de CV, the plastics arm of Pepsi-Cola Co.'s top Mexican franchise bottler, Grupo Embotellador de Mexico SA de CV(Gemex), is investing $10 million to make plastic twist-off caps for Gemex's glass and PET bottles. The project is part of Gemex's $70 million investment in plastics packaging in 1994-95, which also includes machines to make PET preforms and bottles.
Proplasa, as the Gemex unit is known, is paying US$3.4 million for 11 Cincinnati Milacron injection presses to make the poly-propylene/high density polyethylene caps. It purchased the machines from Milacron's Latin America agent, Miami-based Plastec USA Inc.
Proplasa also is buying closure molds for $3.4 million from Crown Cork & Seal Co. Inc. of Philadelphia, $3 million for a Scami cap line and cutting equipment, and $800,000 for cap printing machinery.
The purchases are part ofGemex's plan to integrate PET bottle production with its bottling operations.
As previously reported, Proplasa has spent US$22 million on 11 Husky preform injection lines, eight of which have been installed at its Tultitl n, Mexico plant. The rest will be in place this year.
It also is buying 19 blow molding machines from Sidel, MAG and Aoki, 16 of which already are integrated in Gemex bottling plants. Most were installed and operating in 1994 at plants in places including Mexico City, Acapulco and Cuernavaca.Gemex expects the rest to be delivered this year.
Gemex is spearheading amove in the massive Mexican soft drinks market toward replacing returnable glass and plastic bottles with one-way PET bottles.
``We are driving the market into nonreturnables with major success,'' said a Gemex spokesman who asked not to be identified. ``At the end of 1993 we were selling 5 percent [of drinks] in nonreturnables. At the end of 1994, we sold 28 percent of our volume mix in that presentation. As of March, we grew that to 40 percent of our volume,'' the spokesman said.
Proplasa also is buying six Sidel 10 and five Sidel 16 machines; one MAG 20, three MAG 40 and two MAG 60 machines and one Aoki 250 and an Aoki 500, according to Gemex. The total cost is about $38 million. It has not closed the deal yet on a 20th machine.
Of the total $70 million investment in plastics packaging budgeted for 1994-95, Gemex spent the bulk, $50 million, last year.