In its new ownership's first major move, Trend Plastics Inc. plans by October to begin injection molding and secondary operations in a newly established Southern California facility.
The firm specializes in molding plastic enclosures for the information processing industry.
Trend officials signed a five-year lease July 1 for a 66,280-square-foot facility in the Otay Mesa area of San Diego near the Mexican border. Easton Inc.'s composites manufacturing division occupied the facility until relocating across the border to Tijuana in mid-1996.
Trend Plastics' operations had 1996 sales of $91 million, operate 80 injection molding presses and employ 850 at facilities in San Jose, Calif., and Albuquerque.
Initially in San Diego, Trend plans to employ 60-65 and will install 12 Engel injection molding presses with clamping forces of 55-700 tons. Trend will move five machines from San Jose, setting the stage to reconfigure one of its molding buildings in San Jose during 1998's first quarter.
Engel Machinery Inc. will deliver other presses to San Diego from facilities in Guelph, Ontario, and York, Pa.
Long-term, Trend is designing the San Diego site to accommodate 27 presses and employ 200.
As in San Jose and Albuquerque, secondary operations will include pad printing, heat staking, sonic welding and heat shielding. Component assembly will involve speakers, power supplies and floppy drives for original equipment manufacturers. The plant will use new robotics and automated materials-handling systems.
Rich Kwasny of Business Real Estate in San Diego represented Trend, and Regan Tully of International Real Estate in San Diego represented the lessor. Faraday Partners of Van Nuys, Calif., developed the building in 1991.
Early work at the new site will include manufacturing computer and electronics equipment enclosures for Hewlett-Packard Co.'s San Diego operations and sunglasses for Oakley Inc. of Foothill Ranch, Calif. Maquiladoras in Baja California are a target market.
In April, Trend hired Ted Duggan as general manager for the new site. Duggan had been with Portola Packaging Inc. since September 1995 and general manager of Portola's San Jose operations since February 1996.
Trend is offering employment opportunities in San Diego to employees elsewhere.
The company will allocate about 35,000 square feet to molding and manufacturing operations, 20,000 square feet for raw materials and finished goods and 10,000 square feet for offices and employee facilities. The firm plans to create a clean room that eventually will accommodate four presses.
In March, investment firms Riverside Co. of New York and Cleveland and Plastics Capital Group of New York acquired Trend Plastics Inc. and toolmaker Tool-Tech Corp. The seller, Gino Cavallini, started the toolmaking business in 1973 and the molding operation in 1980. He continues as a Trend consultant.
At the time of the acquisition, the new owners indicated interest in acquiring other domestic molders and expanding to places like Ireland and Singapore to accommodate customers such as Sun Microsystems Inc., Apple Computer Inc., Silicon Graphics Inc., Cisco Systems Inc. and US Robotics Inc.