CHULA VISTA, CALIF. - In an unusual arrangement that delights both companies, thermoplastic-material distributor General Polymers and custom injection molder Nypro San Diego Inc. now share the same industrial building in Chula Vista. General Polymers on July 1 sublet 10,000 square feet of warehouse space from Nypro San Diego, the occupant of the leased building's other 70,000 square feet since 1989. Recently, Nypro San Diego committed earnest money for a new 7-acre site nearby.
``This is a first for Nypro and General Polymers and a type of partnership that helps assure success in the business world today,'' Thomas Opielowski, general manager of Nypro San Diego, said in an interview. ``We're one of their biggest customers in the area, and they needed a distribution point.''
John Kaiser, district manager for General Polymers, said the arrangement could facilitate strong growth and increase will-call orders from maquiladoras in Tijuana, Tecate and Mexicali along the Baja California border.
Until now, General Polymers supplied molders in San Diego and along the border from a warehouse in La Mirada, Calif., 130 miles to the north. A separate Tijuana operation distributes material to Mexican national companies.
Nypro San Diego has ``been putting together the arrangement for the last six to eight months,'' Opielowski said. ``It made sense for both companies.''
The sublease extends through January 1998.
Nypro San Diego has a highly automated, close-tolerance, continuous molding operation. Equipment includes 14 Netstal presses with clamping forces of 90-300 tons in a Class 100,000 clean room and five Toshibas with forces of 60-500 tons. A new, 250-ton Engel custom bicomponent machine serves the two-shot molding market.
The company established a tool room capability in January and is completing its eighth tool for in-house production, Opie-lowski said.
``We have hired seven toolmakers, and we seek more,'' he said.
By early August, Opielowski expects delivery of an all-electric injection molding machine with magnetic platens and clamping force of 30 tons for quick-cycling prototype or production work. Cincinnati Milacron Inc.'s Ferromatik Milacron subsidiary in Malterdingen, Germany, builds the machine for Nypro Inc. units and does not sell this configuration to other customers.
Medical devices absorb one-half of Nypro San Diego's output with the remainder split between electronics and consumer industrial applications.
Sister company Nypro Preci-sion Assemblies Inc. employs more than 300 in a medical-device assembly maquiladora known as Ensambles Nypro SA de CV.
Operations began in early 1994 and are located in a Tijuana facility, 15 miles from Nypro San Diego's current location.
Nypro San Diego employs 85 and recorded $8.5 million in sales for the fiscal year ending June 30.
Opielowski said Nypro San Diego will decide in August whether to construct a modern facility in Chula Vista's EastLake industrial park. If land core samples prove satisfactory and the project proceeds, Nypro San Diego would build a two-story, 90,000-square-foot facility initially using 30 injection molding machines and having space for a total of 50. All would operate in a Class 100,000 clean room.
Nypro San Diego is a subsidiary of employee-owned Nypro Inc. of Clinton, Mass. Nypro's 18 molding and assembly operations and joint ventures worldwide reported sales of $197.6 million for the year ending June 30, 1994. The company will announce fiscal 1995 results in September.
General Polymers' plastics distribution business grew 20 percent in 1994. The company distributes commodity and engineering thermoplastics from 22 suppliers to plastics processors through 20 locations in the United States, Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico.
Kaiser said the La Mirada facility employs eight sellers, seven in the office and three in the warehouse. Initially, the Chula Vista operation has a warehouse manager and two sellers.
General Polymers Division's parent, Ashland Inc. of Russell, Ky., reported 1994 sales of $10.3 billion and net income of $197 million.