U.S. automotive injection molder Bryan Custom Plastics has clinched a deal with Argentine molder Lodigiani y Leali SAIC to manufacture parts for a local Ford plant. Under the agreement, the Argentine firm, which already injection molds items for the automotive, marine, computer and beverage packaging sectors, will make molds and interior vehicle parts for Bryan and supply Ford's Pacheco plant, said Daryl Ditmer, Bryan's strategic planning director in the company's Bryan, Ohio, headquarters.
Lodigiani y Leali of Villa Madero already molds interior and exterior plastic parts for Ford, Volkswagen, Renault and Mercedes-Benz.
As part of the Bryan agreement, the company will make parts for Ford's 19981/2 model-year Ranger truck.
Depending on market demands in South America, Bryan could seek a similar deal to supply one of the big auto groups in Brazil, Ditmer said.
Bryan Custom Plastics has sought business partners in Brazil and Argentina for more than a year to help it to serve some of its major automotive clients in South America.
The U.S. molder, a division of Rocky River, Ohio-based United Screw and Bolt Corp., visited four firms in Brazil and Argentina before Ford decided that its vehicle would be assembled in Pacheco, Ditmer said.
Then Bryan initiated serious discussions with two Argentine molders, Lodigiani y Leali and Albano Cozzuol SA, a La Plata-based mold manufacturer and molder of automotive and packaging parts.
Bryan concluded the deal with Lodigiani y Leali in June. The contract does not require the Argentine molder to buy new injection molding machines, according to Ditmer.
``I think that they are breaking some new ground [with the work], but they appear to have the basic capabilities,'' he said.
The Argentine firm already is equipped with versatile mold-making facilities and injection presses with clamping forces of 15-2,300 tons.
Ditmer said Bryan generally was impressed with the quality and capacity of custom molders in Brazil and Argentina.
``We hope to develop more business down there,'' he said.
Ditmer said his firm already has ``a pretty good idea'' which company it would work with in Brazil.
``We may get more active in a few months time,'' he said.