SAO PAULO, BRAZIL — Profile extruder Plasticos Silvatrim do Brasil Ltda. is expanding its activities into two specialized areas and is counting on the participation of two U.S. companies.
The first partnership to become operational was signed a month ago with Gossen Corp. of Milwaukee. The 50-50 joint venture will manufacture foamed PVC profiles for the construction market in Brazil, beginning in August.
The second partnership, to be launched in February 2000, focuses on the window-profile niche and was established with an undisclosed partner.
Luiz Augusto Moraes, Silvatrim's commercial manager, said the deal with Gossen will create the first firm in the country entirely dedicated to making foamed PVC profiles.
Initially, the Silvatrim/Gossen business will operate with a 130,000-pound-per-month capacity, utilizing three Davis-Standard extrusion lines that total a $900,000 investment. The machinery will be installed at Silvatrim's subsidiary plant in Jundiai, located near Sao Paulo, where the firm manufactures 220,000 pounds per month of industrial profiles.
To house the new equipment, the plant was expanded from 21,500 up to 32,300 square feet.
``During the first six months, we will supply exclusive new products to a local construction company. As foamed profiles consolidate in the market, we intend to begin making other product items from Gossen's portfolio,'' Moraes said in an interview at Silvatrim's booth at Brasilplast, held March 8-13 in SÃo Paulo. Moraes said Gossen sells PVC profiles for fences, benches, furniture, ladders, blinds and other products.
Within the next two years, the companies will add another six profile extrusion lines, he said.
In the window profile niche, Moraes said that Silvatrim and its undisclosed U.S. partner will together invest $5 million to start up a 440,000-pound-per-month facility in Lapa, in the Brazilian state of Paran . Besides extruding window profiles, the unit also will assemble PVC windows.
Initially, the plant will work with five Weber extrusion lines that have already been imported from Germany. The entire project foresees a total of 12 machines, which will be installed as the market develops.
The Brazilian window market still is dominated by wood and aluminum, and stands at about 15 million units annually. Silvatrim will be one of the first companies to explore local production of PVC windows.
The new facility will occupy a 43,000-square-foot building; groundbreaking is scheduled within the next 60 days.
Silvatrim makes PVC, ABS, polypropylene, polycarbonate, polyethylene and polyurethane profiles for the construction, automotive, appliance, electronics and furniture industries.
``Our investment in two new construction areas reflects our belief that this is a sector with high potential to grow in Brazil,'' Moraes said. ``It also stands as a strategy for diversifying business activities and introducing company brands.''
Silvatrim's headquarters are in SÃo Bernardo do Campo, near SÃo Paulo. The firm reported sales of $18 million in 1998.