DUSSELDORF, GERMANY — Sandretto Industrie SpA, which has licensed Brazil's IrmÃos Semeraro Ltda. to make its injection molding machines for the past nine years, is forming a separate Brazilian manufacturing unit, the Italian firm announced at K'98.
Carlo Garello, a Sandretto executive, said the Turin-based company, Italy's largest maker of injection molding machines, wants a stronger presence in South America.
``We started a new company, Sandretto do Brasil, to increase our production with Semeraro,'' Garello said at an Oct. 25 news conference in Dusseldorf.
Both Sandretto and Semeraro will own part of Sandretto do Brasil, although officials from both companies declined to detail the percentage of ownership stakes. Semeraro will help manage and find employees for the machinery factory.
Semeraro President Nelson Semeraro, said the firms are searching for an existing building in SÃo Paulo. Production should begin early next year, he said.
Semeraro also manufactures Uniloy blow molding machines under license for Johnson Controls Inc. — recently bought by Milacron Inc., the largest U.S. plastics machinery maker. Semeraro, in an interview at K'98, said his firm's relationship with the two competing injection molding machine makers has not caused any tensions. Semeraro makes about 50 Uniloy blow molding machines a year under the agreement.
Sandretto wants a dedicated facility to focus on injection presses.
``We want to have major resources in the same area dedicated to the same products,'' said Garello, who is managing director of Sandretto Holding SpA, part of Italy's Cannon Group, which bought Sandretto in 1997.
The machines will carry the Sandretto nameplate, as they did under the licensing agreement.
``Sandretto wanted to be more directly involved with Brazil and Mercosul,'' Semeraro said.
Brazil's plastics industry continues to grow. Five years ago, per-capita consumption of plastic products was 20 pounds a year. Consumption today has more than doubled, to 42 pounds, he said.
Semeraro produced 323 injection molding machines in 1997. Final-year 1998 production probably will be down 25 percent, he said.
At K'98, Sandretto introduced its Series 9, targeted at high-precision molding and engineering-grade resins. Series 9 machines come in clamping forces of 65-500 tons.