Used machinery and mold supplier Molds and Plastic Machinery Inc. of Miami has branched into housewares production and custom molding.
Molds and Plastic President Bruce Miller said the company's new sister firm, Plastix International Inc., has entered a joint venture with Gensini srl of Florence, Italy. Plastix was launched in January but only began molding plastic housewares last month at its Miami plant.
Plastix has 12 presses, with clamping forces of 50-500 tons, and plans to add a 1,000-tonner soon, Miller said in a recent telephone interview. The company also is open to custom molding business, he said.
Plastix is starting out with 12 Gensini products, including bowls, colanders, bread baskets, pails and rectangular mop buckets. Miller said he expects the joint venture to be successful because Gensini's modern, lightweight products will be made using Plastix's low-cost infrastructure. Plastix bought used injection presses and reconditioned them. Plastix and Gensini are sharing the cost of the housewares molds, which Gensini makes in Italy.
Miller said the venture's initial marketing focus will be in the Caribbean region and Latin America. Once the molder has established a track record, it will boost marketing in North America to major retailers, probably within six months, he said. Gensini has sold housewares in North America before, but this is its first production joint venture on the continent. It also has joint ventures in Brazil and Africa, Miller noted.
Miller said he has been selling used and rebuilt machinery and molds into Latin America for about 15 years. He met Gensini officials through common customers in Latin America, where Gensini sells many custom-built molds.
Plastix also offers its presses for sale and will replace them with other rebuilt machines to keep up its production capacity, Miller added.
He said the Gensini joint venture plans a long-term run at the housewares market, where he feels ``we have an edge in cost and design.''