Mexican natural-water bottler Bonafont SA de CV has sold its three cap-molding Nissei injection presses to a local custom molder, which now will produce all the firm's bottle caps under contract. Last year, Bonafont of San Pedro Totoltepec, Mexico, a subsidiary of the French foods company Danone, revealed that it wanted to outsource its closures and labels.
The move was designed to save money and increase packaging efficiency.
Bonafont has concluded a deal with French-owned molder Ceica Plasticos de Mxico SA de CV of nearby Toluca, Mexico.
CPM, part of Annecy, France-based Groupe PSB Industries SA, recently has set up a US$3 million custom injection molding plant in Mexico. It concentrates on molding caps and jars for the cosmetic industry.
Under the agreement, CPM bought the three 180-ton Nissei injection machines from Bonafont for about US$250,000, according to CPM sales manager Jean-Yves Lafourcade. The equipment was installed in late June.
In turn, CPM has won a US$350,000 contract to mold all Bonafont's polypropylene closures on the machines using three separate molds from the water bottler. The firm will mold 28-millimeter, 38mm and 53mm caps.
``We will not use all the new machine capacity for Bonafont work. We only need 1.3 machines for Bonafont and the rest of the capacity is for other clients,'' Lafourcade said. CPM could sell some cap mold overcapacity to other customers, he added.
Apart from the three used Bonafont presses, CPM has installed three new Nissei and two new Sandretto injection machines. It plans to add a new Nissei machine later in the year. The Nisseis range from 135-260 tons and the Sandrettos are 135- and 180-ton models.
The molder plans to install a second similar nine-press line at its new plant sometime next year.
The deal pleased Bonafont's industrial director, Michel Alesi, although he said he had hoped to sell the molds with the machines.
He said outsourcing closures should lead to improvements in design of two of the caps to prevent leakage and increase tamper proofing.
Bonafont also has disposed of another part of the major packaging operation at the plant inherited by Danone when it acquired the water bottler last year. An idle PET sheet extrusion and cup thermoforming line was sold for US$800,000 last month.
Alesi explained that the Welex PET sheet extrusion equipment was sold separately to a Mexican molder Plasticos del Futuro SA. The 480 cup-per-minute Irwin thermoforming line was sold to a firm in Santo Domingo, Domin-ican Republic.
A 700-ton Negri Bossi injection press at Bonafont remains unsold and mothballed, said Alesi.
Bonafont, which holds a 25 percent share of the nonreturnable section of Mexico's growing bottled water market, has seen sales increase 10 percent this year compared with the first half of 1995. Bonafont has three Nissei one-step, four-station, injection stretch blow molding machines, a Uniloy extrusion blow molding machine and an Italian-made Techne extrusion blow molding machine.