CORONADO, CALIF. - Aggressive international expansion continues to be the order of the day for SPM Inc., which is building a custom injection molding plant in Wales, and refitting a leased facility to do molding in Montreal. Anaheim, Calif.-based SPM, a Dynacast company, revealed its plans at the recent annual meeting in Coronado of the Society of the Plastics Industry Inc.'s Western Section.
SPM Vice President Larry Noggle said in an interview at the conference that the plant destined for Cwmcarn, Wales, will be the third SPM has built to support Northern Telecom's worldwide operations. Northern Telecom has an assembly plant in Wales, near the SPM site.
SPM also built plants in Monterrey, Mexico, and Calgary, Alberta, to support the telecommunications equipment maker.
The Welsh plant will be a greenfield operation and modeled after the Monterrey facility, with 60,000 square feet initially, expandable as business dictates, Noggle said. Northern Telecom builds products for the European market from its Wales facility.
Initially, SPM will install 10 injection molding presses with clamping forces to 300 tons. The Wales facility also will have mold maintenance and repair and secondary operations. Noggle said tooling for Northern Telecom's
projects will be built in Portugal.
Mike Flynn of the Calgary plant will relocate to Wales to be plant manager there.
Noggle said SPM received a grant from the Welsh Develop-ment Agency to assist with cost of locating a plant there.
Plans call for the plant to be operational by January. It will employ 60-70 initially.
Noggle said that though the facility primarily will support Northern Telecom, there are opportunities to expand business with original equipment manufacturers in the area.
In addition, SPM recently leased a 30,000-square-foot facility in Montreal, next to the die casting operations of Dynacast Canada Inc. The firm initially is investing about C$1 million (US$730,000) to upgrade the building, which will house SPM/Montreal's custom molding operations, according to Andre LeBlanc, regional general manager for SPM's Canadian operations.
Following Dynacast Inc.'s $102.9 million purchase of SPM parent Bace Manufacturing Inc. 14 months ago, Dynacast decided to separate its thermoplastics micro-molding operations from its more dominant metal molding business. LeBlanc said Dynacast will transfer the equivalent of $C1.9 million (US$1.39 million) worth of plastics molding business to SPM/Montreal as a result.
He said the leased facility initially will house 17 of the custom-made, table-top micro-molding machines manufactured by Dyna-cast, and four conventional molding presses.SPM/Montreal, which plans to begin operating in the new plant May 27, will mold small parts for the electronics and computer industries, and will overmold plastic on metal stripping for the semiconductor industry. SPM/Montreal initially will employ 12, some of those transferring from Dynacast, but the company plans to install additional presses next year and to boost the staff to 50 employees.