SAO PAULO, BRAZIL — A pool of industry and research organizations has launched a pilot project aimed at helping small plastics molders adjust their quality and productivity levels to global standards.
The PRUMO project consists of a mobile technological support service that visits companies in a van equipped with a chemical and physical test lab and a couple of technicians. It first was presented to the market during the Brasilplast show and focuses on companies in the state of Sao Paulo with 100 or fewer employees.
The service begins when a professional from the Institute for Technological Research of the state of Sao Paulo — the project's mentor — goes to a molder and makes a pre-diagnosis of the situation. The processor receives technical and administrative orientation and schedules a visit for the PRUMO van and the two technicians, who stay up to three days at the firm.
PRUMO's team analyzes raw materials, processes and products and measures the results of the instructions given during the visit. After 90 days, they return to the molder to assess the implementation of the recommendations and efficacy of the service.
``The main objective is to keep small companies alive, competitive and capable of exporting,'' said project coordinator Armenio Gomes Pinto.
According to Pinto, the state of Sao Paulo has more than 3,000 small plastics firms, which employ roughly 60 percent of the region's plastics work force.
Initially, two vans will be available. Molders can request the service through a toll-free number. The first 350 service visits will take place during the next 20 months and will be provided at no expense to molders. The cost is being absorbed by the Sao Paulo Small Company Support Service, one of partners in the project.
Pinto said each van costs $260,000, and that the entire project represents a $1.1 million investment. Other sponsors include the National Institute of Plastics and the Research Aid Foundation of the State of Sao Paulo.