DETROIT — Carlisle Engineered Products is on the move with a new injection molding plant in Chihuahua, Mexico, and a joint venture assembly plant in Meadville, Pa., with a minority-owned company.
The Chihuahua plant, which opened in February, eventually will house 14 injection presses in a 48,000-square-foot building.
The plant primarily will produce polypropylene wire harnesses for electrical uses in the automotive market, according to William Person, Carlisle's vice president of marketing and sales.
``Our customers in Mexico asked us to build there,'' Person said in an interview at the Society of Automotive Engineer's SAE '99 show, held March 1-4 in Detroit. ``We're there to serve their needs.''
Mexico currently accounts for less than 10 percent of Carlisle's business, but Person said sales volume from that country has been increasing in recent years.
The new assembly plant — Prism Technologies and Assemblies LLC — is owned by a minority joint venture between Carlisle and Mariah Industries Inc. of Warren, Mich.
The 36,000-square-foot facility opened in Meadville earlier this year and expects to employ as many as 100 by late 1999.
The plant will assemble plastic automotive parts such as door handles; heating, ventilation and air conditioning valves; and windshield washer bottles.
Carlisle owns 49 percent of the new firm.
Person added that Carlisle is seeing continued success with its blow molded bumper beams made of GE Plastics Xenoy-brand thermoplastic alloys. The bumper beams appear on several 1999-model GM vehicles and will be included on some 2000-model vehicles.
Person, who declined to identify the maker of the 2000-model vehicles, said automakers have chosen the Xenoy bumper beams because of the weight and cost savings they offer. Carlisle produces the beams at its Lapeer, Mich., plant.
Carlisle is a Chardon, Ohio-based division of Carlisle Corp. of Syracuse, N.Y. The company posted $125 million in injection molding sales and more than $50 million in blow molding sales in 1997. Those totals ranked the company 36th among North American injection molders and 39th among blow molders, according to 1998 Plastics News rankings.