DETROIT — Carlisle Cos. Inc. has formed its previously announced 50-50 joint venture with Lander Plastics Ltd. to make automotive parts in the United Kingdom.
The venture, the first for Carlisle in Europe, will allow the automotive supplier to make plastic powertrain and seating parts for carmakers based in England. The companies have agreed to the deal, which is not yet final. The venture will report to Carlisle Engineered Products Inc. of Chardon, Ohio, which runs Carlisle's auto and transportation parts businesses.
Carlisle Cos., based in Syracuse, N.Y., also is expanding its Belleville, Mich., plastics molding plant by 30,000 square feet, said President Allen Hofmann.
The moves are key elements in the company's drive to expand its plastics operations, Hofmann said at SAE '98, held Feb. 23-26 in Detroit. The company, also a major player in rubber-based auto parts, has grown its plastics area as part of its strategy for the future, Hofmann said.
``We've got to go forward with plastics in our facilities,'' Hofmann said. ``The market is growing quickly, and, in the case of our joint venture in England, our customers are asking us to be there. There are a lot of opportunities we can't pass up.''
The venture, called Lander-Carlisle, will work from Lander's existing headquarters in Birmingham, England. The 24,000-square-foot facility includes 17 injection presses with clamping forces of 50-350 tons. The operation occupies about a quarter of the manufacturing site owned by Lander's parent company, Lander Holdings LLC.
Products made at the facility include under-the-hood auto parts, such as radiator intake manifolds, plastic seat mechanisms and other small interior components. Customers include Ford Motor Co., Johnson Controls Inc. and General Motors Corp.'s Delphi parts-making division.
The company would like to grow out of the facility quickly and move to a new site removed from the rest of Lander's operations, Hofmann said.
The company also will tack on 30,000 square feet to its Belleville plant. The plant, which now has 44,000 square feet, was converted to a full-time plastics processing facility in November, when Carlisle moved its rubber-parts processing operation from there to Ashtabula, Ohio.
The expansion should be complete this summer, and the number of presses to be added is yet undecided, Hofmann said.
The Belleville plant's 11 presses, with clamping forces of 700-1,500 tons, make window cowl screens and other exterior parts.
Hofmann did not reveal the cost of the expansion.