SAO PAULO, BRAZIL — Tech Industries Inc. of Woonsocket, R.I., is investing $3 million to put a lid manufacturing plant in Jundiai, Brazil, near Sao Paulo.
The 35,000-square-foot plant will begin operating in June, serving global customers including Avon Products International's Brazilian subsidiary.
Besides the Woonsocket plant, Tech Industries also has a plant in Waterford, Ireland. Together, the American and Irish units operate about 50 injection presses and 300 compression molding lines. In 1996 the firm manufactured 600 million lids for makeup, perfume and nail polish bottles, and other cosmetics products.
In Brazil, the new plant will produce from 2 million to 5 million lids in the first year using 20 compression lines assembled by Tech Industries in the United States, plus two injection presses with clamping forces of 150 and 250 tons, said Neil Lindsay, general manager for the Brazilian project.
He said the firm normally uses Nissei presses, but the supplier does not have a base in Brazil, so Tech is considering buying Engel, Battenfeld or Oriente presses.
The plant also will have two quick-change lining machines, a vacuum metalizing line and do hot-stamping and silk-screening. He said the Jundiai unit, which will employ 40, will be in a leased building because Tech already is committed to supplying lids for an Avon perfume product to be launched in Brazil later this year.
``There just wasn't enough time to go out and build or buy property,'' he said.
The company plans to invest another $6 million during the next five years to construct a 108,000-square-foot plant and triple its work force to 120. Tech's new subsidiary expects annual sales to reach $10 million by the year 2003. It intends to sell a smaller part of its production to the Mercosul trade region, as well as Chile and Peru.
``The Brazilian market lacks manufacturers of sophisticated lids, and many of our clients have manifested their support toward our coming to Brazil,'' Lindsay said.
Its clients include Revlon, L'Oreal and Estee Lauder. During the past two years, the processor exported lids to Brazil from its other units. In the United States, it also sells jars made by third parties and makes thick-walled jars.