MEXICO CITY - A Mexican rotomolder that is rapidly increasing its exports of industrial-sized containers, expects to invest about US$200,000 in expansion in the next year. Miraplastek SA de CV, which operates two rotomolders at its plant in the central Mexican city of Aguascalientes, is still studying several options for increasing production, according to import/export manager Mark Docter.
The plans include the possible purchase of a third machine, installation of new resin-grinding machinery, and improving productivity of the existing equipment by adding new cooling equipment to speed up cycle times, said Docter.
Growing sales in the United States and a slow but gradual recovery of the battered Mexican domestic market are demanding further growth in capacity at the plant, Docter said.
The firm appointed a new U.S. distributor based in Pennsylvania last year, and sales have been increasing as the quality of the products becomes recognized, said Docter. The firm benefits from its level of technology and U.S. roots, he added.
Miraplastek is the result of the buy-out of a former U.S.-Mexican joint venture by a Mexican partner about 15 years ago. The acquired business, with its U.S. equipment and technology, was relocated in Aguascalientes, Docter said.
``Potential customers realize when they purchase a few samples that our designs are modern, and we're a member of the Association of Rotational Molders, acquiring the latest technology available in the business,'' he said.
Two years ago the firm acquired a second factory that it uses only for the mold shop and warehousing. The extra space would be sufficient for two other rotomolders, Docter said.
In its original building, Miraplastek operates its existing machines, including a McNeil 1500-88 three-station, independent-arm carousel and an FSP Rotoflow M120 TC single-station clamshell.
U.S. exports have risen from around 5 percent of output a year ago to 15 percent today. In Mexico, improved sales are coming particularly from the pharmaceutical and food-processing sectors. The firm also makes containers for the refuse and auto industries.
The company has annual throughput of 590,000 pounds of polyethylene. Today, it is working between 60-70 percent of plant capacity. The firm employs 60.
Work is underway on expanding office space at Miraplastek. Owner and general manager Jose Miranda is considering other expansion options.
In the coming 12 months, depending on capital available, the firm may introduce a new shift involving an extra 30 people and perhaps buy one more, smaller rotomolding machine, said Docter.
Miraplastek imports all its resin.
The firm reported 1995 sales of US$1.37 million vs. US$2.09 million for the previous year.