Wisconsin processor Miniature Precision Components Inc. is forming an alliance with a fast-growing British parts molder, Cameron-Price Ltd.
The U.S. firm expects that its new linkup with Cameron-Price will help its chances of winning several new contracts it is negotiating with Ford Motor Co. in Europe. The deal involves technology transfer, the extension of each firm's part range and a resulting expansion in the foreign sales for both, according to Tony Banks, managing director of Cameron-Price of Birmingham, England.
The alliance between the two companies, which is due to be completed this month, follows an 18-month search for a suitable European alliance partner by MPC, a Walworth, Wis., extruder and injection molder.
``Our extensive search for the perfect fit has paid off ... MPC is extremely pleased with the agreement that has been established with Cameron-Price,'' said Jeff Lane, MPC's vice president of sales and marketing.
MPC opened a sales office in Brentwood, England, in 1995.
MPC operates plants in Walworth and Prairie du Chien, Wis., plus a third U.S. plant in Richland Center, Wis., which opened early this year. The company also has a plant in Santa Ana, Mexico, Autopartes de Santana SA de CV. It also has sales offices in Walworth; Southfield, Mich.; and Mexico City.
MPC is a Tier 1 automotive supplier to a string of global carmakers, including Ford, General Motors, Chrysler, Toyota and Volkswagen. It produces a wide range of thermoplastic molded and welded under-the-hood engine parts.
The company has been expanding gradually in recent years and now runs nearly 60 closed-loop injection presses, three extrusion lines and plastic component welding equipment.
Privately held MPC employs 1,500 at its four plants. It has sales of about $100 million, according to a company spokesman.
Its new U.K. partner is a second-tier parts supplier with a reputation in Europe for being a low-cost, quality part maker. Cameron-Price also produces under-the-hood components, including brake fluid reservoirs, fluid-level warning indicator switches and other safety control parts.
A little more than year ago, Cameron-Price was acquired in a management buyout and, since then, management has boosted sales by almost £1.5 million ($2.48 million), Banks said. The firm now has sales of about £6.5 million ($10.7 million), he said.
It runs 30 injection presses, with clamping forces of 22-300 tons, at its 123,000-square-foot plant in Birmingham. The presses include Boy and heavier Negri Bossi machines. It also has two Betol extrusion lines.
More recently, the firm invested about $230,000 to install four new Boy presses. Cameron-Price, which is ISO 9002 certified, employs 75.