BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - Like the Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, two small U.S. processors rented booth space at the Interplas '96 show in Birmingham - and both were pleased with the results. American Plastics Molding Corp., a Scottsburg, Ind.-based custom injection molder, and Janco Products Inc., a Mishawaka, Ind., fiberglass-reinforced processor, shared booth space with the Indiana Department of Commerce.
``We made a decision nine months ago to go international. This was our first step, to test the waters,'' said President Doug Jaques of Janco.
The firm specializes in reinforced fiberglass tubing, including filament-wound, filament-braided and pultruded parts. Janco has no business in Europe now.
The firm has 160 employees at one plant in Mishawaka.
APM has about 110 employees and reported 1995 sales of $8.5 million.
The company has 30 molding presses with clamping forces of 50-350 tons, and a mold shop that handles design, construction and repair jobs.
APM President Floyd Coates said Interplas was useful to talk with some overseas mold makers and molders, a few potential molding customers, and to get a taste of the local technology.
``From what I've seen, I think the technology in Great Britain and Europe appears to be very similar to that in the United States. But the U.S. seems to be more business-friendly, with less intervention by the government,'' he said.
``I'm looking forward to the opportunity to do pricing head-to-head [with European molders] to see if I can overcome the freight cost differential of shipping parts over the water.''
Neither APM nor Janco had signed any big deals at the show, but both companies felt it had been worthwhile to exhibit at Interplas.