McKechnie Plastic Compo-nents has forged an alliance with Tokyo-based Yamashita Electric to injection mold plastic parts for the business machine, telecommunications and consumer electronics markets in Asia. Under the agreement, the companies will share technology and jointly develop marketing strategies, serving existing customers and opening up new product areas for the Asian marketplace, said Mark Schaefer, McKechnie's vice president of sales and marketing. The alliance is strictly a business deal, not a joint venture, he said.
Yamashita is McKechnie's second injection molding alliance in Asia. In March the Minneapolis-based contract molder announc-ed an alliance with TAFE Ltd., a custom injection molder in Bangalore, India.
TAFE, a subsidiary of the Amalgamations Group, an Indian light-engineering firm, is building a $15 million state-of-the-art molding and toolmaking plant in Bangalore, with an undisclosed number of presses ranging from 40-1,600 tons. The plant has capacity to process 12 million pounds of resin per year.
McKechnie hopes to build its injection molding business in Asia and the Far East, tapping the needs of its core customers, which include Hewlett-Packard Co., Sony Corp., Compaq Com-puter Corp., Black & Decker Corp. and IBM.
Because IBM wanted McKech-nie to undertake some new projects in Asia, it introduced the molder to Yamashita, which has four injection molding plants in Japan, as well as facilities in Malaysia, Singapore and the Philippines, he said. Yamashita, which also produces parts for IBM products, mainly serves the Asian market. Schaefer said he could not disclose the Tokyo firm's sales.
Though IBM initiated the introduction, McKechnie, which manufactures computer housings for IBM's European operations, is not restricted to serving that company through the Yamashita alliance, he said.
``We explored several different possibilities and we chose this [alliance] as the most beneficial to our customer base, ourselves and Yamashita,'' Schaefer said June 12. ``It's a true strategic alliance in that McKechnie will utilize Yamashita's facilities to ensure that our core customers are taken care of worldwide.''
McKechnie and TAFE, with several customers in common, also will serve the Asian business machine, telecommunications and consumer electronics markets, as well as multinational carmakers, Schaefer said. McKechnie will send people to both Asian operations only on an as-needed, project basis. McKechnie Plastic Components' global injection molding operations comprise plants in Minneapolis and Staples, Minn.; Nicholasville, Ky.; Easley, S.C.; six plants in the United Kingdom and three in Europe. It also has European extrusion facilities, and a blow molding outfit in Philmont, N.Y.
Parent McKechnie plc of Wal-sall, England, had total sales of $851 million for its plastic and metal parts businesses for fiscal 1995, ended July 31. Its Minne-apolis-based plastics arm had U.S. injection sales of roughly $82 million for the same year.