CHICAGO — Axxicon Group NV of Vianen, the Netherlands, (Booth E10500) is taking its plastic injection molding operation to North America by opening a plant in Rochester, N.Y., by year-end. The company's TPP Axxicon BV subsidiary will spend $2.5 million to build the 12,000-square-foot plant, which will make thermoplastic parts for automotive powertrains, copy machines, printers and fax machines.
The plant, which initially will employ six, will install three injection presses with clamping forces of 25-150 tons. Production is slated to begin in December.
The company expects capacity to grow considerably, said Marek Ostrowski, TPP Axxicon marketing and sales manager. Within five years, the firm hopes to install a total of 14 presses at the plant and employ as many as 30. In that same period, it expects sales of at least $6 million from plastic parts produced at the plant, Ostrowski said in an interview at NPE.
The 30-year-old TPP Axxicon division also operates a similar plastic parts plant in Vianen. The TPP division accounts for about one-quarter of Axxicon's total sales.
The company, which also performs high-precision tooling and makes quick-change mold inserts, recorded about $55 million in sales last year.
Although the Dutch firm already works with a variety of multinational clients in North America, the expansion was needed to keep pace with tight delivery schedules, Ostrowski said.
``We have a good relationship in Europe with our customers, but we can build better relations by being closer to them,'' Ostrowski said. ``The strategy of many global purchasing departments is for parts to be sent quickly. We couldn't do that from the Netherlands, so this gives us more opportunity for growth.''
Among TPP Axxicon's products are gears, pulleys, part-adjusting helixes and stripper fingers that help strip printer paper from a roller. The parts are made from a variety of plastics, including polycarbonate, polyetherketone and acetyl-based materials.
Customers include Big Three carmakers, automotive suppliers and large printing and copying companies, such as Rochester-based Xerox Corp.
In January, Axxicon Molds opened its first sales office in North America. The 3,000-square-foot office in Atlanta mainly sells standard molds and quick-change mold systems. It makes molds for compact discs, cellular phones, smart cards, computer diskette parts and other consumer and electronics components.
In 1998 Axxicon hopes to locate a toolmaker to make mold inserts in the United States, said Maarten van Mourik, the mold division's vice president and general manager.
Axxicon Group is comprised of six firms—most of them purchased in the past decade. Besides TPP Axxicon, it includes five mold-making and mold component plants, located in Helmond, Eindhoven and Venlo, the Netherlands; Cleveleys, England; and Osterode am Harz, Germany.