Correspondent Roger Renstrom gathered these items at the Mexport trade show, held Sept. 11 in San Diego. Advanced Engineering & Molding Technology Inc. in Riverside, Calif., is sending more custom-molding jobs to its 3-year-old maquiladora Absolute Injec-tion Molding & Assembly de Mexico SA de CV in Tecate, Mexico.
``Most of the growth is in parts being delivered to customers in Mexico,'' D.K. Furness, president of both operations, said at Mexport.
A tight-tolerance molder formed in 1980, Advanced Engineering employs 85 and operates 24 machines with clamping forces of 50-500 tons in a 48,000-square-foot facility.
Absolute added toolmaking capabilities this year, according to Bob Wickwire, vice president and general manager. Absolute custom molds electronic, medical and consumer-product parts and toys using 10 Goldstar machines with clamping forces of 75-500 tons in a 42,000-square-foot facility. Absolute employs more than 80 people, including two full-time toolmakers and one working part-time.
A group of four men with extensive polymer-industry experience has formed a firm to provide companies with partial or full engineering and manufacturing services.
``We incorporated Jan. 4, began operations April 16 and expect to do $1 million in business by next April,'' Robert Fortunato, president of Alliance Plastics & Engineering Inc. in San Diego, said at Mexport.
Alliance Plastics will own 15 percent of a new Mexican injection molding venture with Plasti-Envases de Baja California SA de CV. The venture, known as Alliance Plas-tics Mexicali, expects operations to begin in October in a portion of Plasti-Envases' 20,000-square-foot Mexicali plant.
Plasti-En-vases, formed in 1979, operates three multihead blow molding machines to make plastic containers and a 50-ton Boy injection molding machine to make caps. Francisco Fuentes is majority owner of the Mexican company, which employs 50.
Fortunato said Alliance Plastics arranged financing for and is installing the venture's two new injection molding machines, a 220-ton Cincinnati Milacron and a 390-ton Toshiba. The plant can accommodate seven more ma-chines.
The venture awaits delivery of a 405-gallon-per-minute pump for the cooling system.
``That is the pacing item,'' he said. In an adjoining building, 5,000 square feet has been leased for assembly operations.
Separately, Alliance Plastics handles business operations for SC Mold Enterprises Inc., while Stan Christensen, president and owner of the 19-year-old firm, continues to manage the shop. SC employs 27, including 12 mold makers, generates sales of $3 million and operates in a 10,000-square-foot facility in Ontario, Calif.
Today ``everything needs to be done for less money and, especially, on a shorter time frame,'' said Christensen, who is controlling growth by ``turning away more work this year than last.''
Advance Plastics is injection molding pieces for two maquiladoras in Tijuana, Mexico.
Owner Bruce Browne said at Mexport that the firm is making additional television parts for Hitachi Home Electronics America Inc. and bobbin and pressure-switch parts for the Korean company Usong. Advance Plastics employs 80 and operates 18 molding machines at a 35,000-square-foot facility in National City, Calif.
Advance Plastics is affiliated with Tijuana maquiladora B&B Productos, which uses ABS in molding a manual pressure-washing machine, principally for the Mexican market. A user cranks the Wonder Wash machine for up to 2 minutes for a load using 1.56 gallons of water. B&B has more than 30 injection molding machines and assembly lines for electronics, housewares and toys.
Sales at the maquiladora AGAmex SA de CV are increasing to $3 million this year from $2 million in 1995, according to Anton Gattiker, president of Anton Gattiker & Associates in Torrance, Calif. ``We are almost booked out on our machines for 1997,'' he said at Mexport.
In August 1995, Gattiker acquired equipment from a bankrupt Mex-ican company and relocated the Boy, Toshiba, Arburg and TMC machines to the AGAmex facility in Tijuana's Onix Industrial Park. In addition, a 250-ton Toshiba will arrive soon, and Gattiker has ordered four more Toshibas for use in the first quarter of 1997.
AGAmex is molding overflow work from Mattel Inc. in Tijuana and Mattel's Fisher-Price unit in Fort Wayne, Ind. Also, AGAmex is molding and assembling a motorized tie rack for the Sharper Image and a redesigned speaker stand and base for the JBL Professional Division of Harman International Corp. in Northridge, Calif.
AGAmex employment was 150 on Jan. 1, is now 280 and continues to increase, Gattiker said.
Custom thermoformer Capco Plastics Inc., while expanding its capabilities, continues to look at additional business and possible acquisitions that would complement its operations in El Paso, Texas, Richard Capuano, president, said in an interview at Mexport.
Capco is based in Providence, R.I., and is expanding its El Paso facility to serve existing automotive, medical and electronic customers.
``We see a move from the Northeast to the Southwestern states and the Ju rezes, Tijuanas and Nogaleses of the world,'' Capuano said. ``Everyone needs a package to get [product] to Home Depot and Wal-Mart shelves.''
Capuano said a clean room may be added in El Paso, which has 15 employees now. Prov-idence employs 65.
Formula Plastics Inc.'s maquiladora Polimeros Formula de Tecate SA de CV has expanded its toolroom to maintain, repair and modify molds and may begin making molds in 1997, Denise Loggans, applications engineer, said at Mexport.
Polimeros has an eight-person toolroom and operates 25 presses with clamping forces of 15-550 tons at its Tecate facility.
Nearby, Formula's sister company, Moldeo de Pl sticos, has added two used 500-ton injection-molding machines to its previous complement of five Reed presses with clamping forces of 100-550 tons. Moldeo, a Mexican national company, began manufacturing in Tecate in late 1995 and has expanded operations for the assembly of spa-industry pumps.
Together, Polimeros and Moldeo employ 250.
Formula Plastics employs 50 and custom molds medical, electronic, specialty and sport parts on 12 presses of 60-350 tons in Ontario, Calif.
Formula Plastics has experienced a growth rate of 14 percent in sales of its stylized seasonally shaped ``happy-times'' clear polystyrene containers in which processors can pack food, candy or pasta.
GW Plastics Inc.'s subsidiary in Tucson, Ariz., may add two to four injection molding presses this year to meet requirements for medical precision jobs.
``We have laid the groundwork to eventually have 30-35 presses up to 500 tons in size,'' P. Theo-dore Cantin, plant manager, said at Mexport.
GW Plastics, based in Bethel, Vt., had molding sales of about $40 million in 1995.
The Tucson operation opened in March with five machines and added three in June. The Van Dorns include a 120-ton, two 55-ton, three 85-ton and two 230-ton presses. Tucson has gone from six employees at the opening to 15 now.
In 1992, GW located a facility in San Antonio, largely to serve the automotive market.
``San Antonio has been out of capacity for the last 12-18 months,'' Cantin said, which prompted GW to acquire an existing 63,000-square-foot Tucson building that already had a 10,000-square-foot clean room. ``We took two-thirds of the facility and renovated it,'' he said.
Custom precision die-cutter Hi-Tech Products Inc. is finding growth in producing gaskets, seals, insulators and covers of polycarbonate as components for cellular telephones, computer hard-drive disks and television sets, according to Jerry Oswald, manufacturing engineer.
An effort to penetrate electronic, industrial and medical markets represents a departure for Hi-Tech, which was founded in 1982.
Previously, the company relied on aerospace and military markets.
Hi-Tech employs 30, generates annual sales of about $5 million and occupies 16,000 square feet in two buildings in Buena Park, Calif.