SPA now blow molds automotive parts
Sociedad Productora de Autopartes SA of C¢rdoba, Argentina, has started blow molding automotive parts such as water reservoirs and air ducts in a 27,000-square-foot facility launched in early April.
The unit supplies Fiat's Palio and Siena models, which are assembled at a nearby plant, Gianmaria Cominato, SPA general manager, said in an April 9 telephone interview.
The region is an important automotive manufacturing center in Argentina, where Renault and General Motors Corp. also have facilities and where Chrysler started its Cherokee assembling line in 1997.
SPA is an Italian family-owned company formed in September via a $1.5 million investment. The firm employs 10 and has a Bekum blow molding machine to produce containers as large as 5 liters, as well as Battenfeld equipment for containers as large as up to 13 gallons.
Cominato said the plant can process 6.4 million pounds annually, but will operate at 35 percent of installed capacity for a few months.
``We are developing other products and clients in order to occupy the equipment's full potential,'' he said.
SPA will supply plastic fuel tank systems to the GM Silverado, which is assembled in Cordoba. For now the actual tanks will be imported from Brazilian blow molder Soplast Plasticos Soprados SA, based in Sao Bernardo do Campo. SPA is considering blow molding tanks in Cordoba in 1999.
Latin America shows plastics trade deficit
All Latin American countries reported a negative trade balance for plastic products during the 1993-96 period, according to a new study by the Latin American Integration Association, or ALADI.
According to the report, plastics accounted for 5 percent of the region's imports during the period, but only 2 percent of the exports. ALADI is based in Montevideo, Uruguay.
The study, which included raw materials, manufactured goods and machinery, was requested by leaders of the plastics industry in Latin America to be disclosed during the Plastics Industry Congress of the Americas, held April 6-8 in Buenos Aires.
``All countries in the region achieved negative trade balances regarding the products of the sector. The overall trade deficit amounted to $6.116 billion,'' said Edgar Ergueta, chief of productive sectors at ALADI.
The study shows that the trade of plastics processing equipment totaled $643 million in the region, including $31 million in exports and $612 million in imports. Injection presses represented 52 percent of the total amount of imported equipment, or $314 million.
Roughly 49 percent of machinery imports from countries outside the Latin American area originated from the European Community, while 29 percent came from the United States.