Undeterred by recent economic unrest in Southeast Asia, Xaloy Inc. has announced plans to build a manufacturing site for bimetallic barrels and high-performance screws for plastics processing machinery in that region.
The Pulaski, Va.-based firm will spend $18 million to build a plant that will cover about 30,000 square feet and include room for expansion. Final site selection is set for May, when construction is to begin. Production is slated for 1999.
The company, which has seen the Asian percentage of its total sales climb from 3 percent to 15 percent in the past four years, said it may locate in one of several countries that are members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, including Thailand, Malaysia and the Philippines. Total 1996 sales were almost $50 million.
``We've seen major growth in the injection molding industry four years running,'' Xaloy President Walter Cox said in a Nov. 7 telephone interview from his Pulaski office. ``We see the recent events in Southeast Asia as a correction in an overheated market. We view it as an opportunity to invest at a more reasonable price.''
Xaloy's entire bimetallic barrel line, with the exception of sizes larger than 120-125 millimeters, will be available from the new plant.
Cox added that the timing of the decision was influenced by Husky Injection Molding Systems' recent announcement of a major Asian expansion.
``We're interested in finding out who else has similar moves planned so we can make decisions on how to serve'' other original equipment manufacturers and processors, Cox said.
The plant, which will employ 65-70, will be Xaloy's first Asian manufacturing site. The company has operated a sales office in Japan since 1995.
The announcement is in step with major capital improvements at Xaloy's U.S. plants in Pulaski and Newburyport, Mass. The company has spent $16 million to improve those facilities since 1992 and expects to spend an additional $10 million through 1999.
The company said it has added three computer numerically controlled milling machines, an electric discharge machine, three new lathes, a Schleif grinder and heat-treating equipment at those sites this year.
Xaloy manufactures process-system components for plastics molding and extrusion machinery. It supplies bimetallic barrels, high-performance screws and precision-engineered nozzles to machinery builders and plastics processors.