Plastics News correspondent Roger Renstrom reported these items from the Mexport trade show, held April 15 in San Diego.
Plasticorp planning Mexico molding site
Plasticorp of Harbor City, Calif., is looking at potential sites for an injection molding facility in Mexico.
``We plan to come down to Tijuana in the next 12 months'' and start with six to 10 machines, said Hector Juarez, director of Mexico operations.
Juarez said Plasticorp is likely to relocate some Harbor City equipment and a paint line to the new site in Mexico. The aim is to serve the region between Tijuana and Guadalajara, he said.
In February, Plasticorp acquired 45,000 square feet of space adjacent to its main, 80,000-square-foot facility in Harbor City. The firm had leased the space.
The molder recently invested about $1.3 million to add three Taiwan Machinery Corp. presses with clamping forces of 500-1,400 tons, plus the paint line. That equipment is to begin operating in May. Previously, Plasticorp operated 52 injection molding machines of 13-750 tons. The 1,400-ton unit allows for the molding of 19-inch television cabinets.
Plasticorp employs 152 and had sales of $10.8 million for the fiscal year ended June 30.
Binamex adds space, mold-cooling tower
Binamex SA de CV invested $30,000 to upgrade its mold-cooling ability and rented additional space in Tijuana, Mexico, for assembly jobs, said Jorge Caballero, vice president of business development.
Binamex operates about 28 injection molding machines with clamping forces of 28-725 tons.
``With the new cooling tower, we can operate all at the same time,'' Caballero said.
The Tijuana-based firm took 11,000 square feet next door to its 45,000-square-foot facility for pick-and-place jobs and customized assembly work. Binamex employs 180 in three shifts and will jump to about 300 in early summer for the annual cycle of the toy industry.
Caballero forecasts that Binamex's 1999 sales will exceed 1998's figures by more than 15 percent.
Business park developer Grupo Bustamante's industrial division operates Binamex and its U.S. operation, Offshore Promotion Inc. in Chula Vista, Calif.
Mexico firm launches to sell, fix machinery
J.R. Duff of DABR Industries Inc. and Walter Puffelis have formed a new Mexican business to sell, distribute and service plastics machinery and other equipment in the states of Baja California and Sonora.
The co-owners incorporated Equipo y Maquinaria Industrial de Mexico SA de CV in March, have set up offices in Tijuana and Mexicali and will have a site in Hermosillo soon.
EMI, an authorized agent for HPM presses and Mac automation conveyers, will base a mechanical engineer and central warehouse in Mexicali.
``Our objective is to establish relationships,'' Puffelis said.
Puffelis already represents lines of power cogeneration, telephone and energy-saving equipment and has plastics industry experience in pipe manufacturing and injection molding of fittings.
Duff's Placentia, Calif.-based firm represents 14 lines of injection molding, extrusion and auxiliary equipment. For the fiscal year ended March 31, DABR Industries had sales of $6.2 million. Including EMI, Duff forecasts sales of $12 million in the current fiscal year.
Ace/ClearDefense Inc. distributes in Mexico
An Ottawa, Ontario, supplier of polyester-film-reinforced security glass extended its presence into the Mexican state of Baja California in April.
Ace/ClearDefense Inc. of Ottawa has formed a Tijuana dealership, Clear Defense Ace de Mexico SA de CV, to sell and distribute safety and security film laminates for commercial, residential and automotive applications, said Jose Ripa, general director.
The Ottawa firm manufactures the cold-laminated multilayered product in Bartonsville, Va., and sells through factory-trained licensees including 15 U.S. dealerships, mostly in Southern California. Ripa's firm reached an agreement with U.S./Ace Security Laminates West Inc. in San Diego, said Michael Moore, U.S./Ace national director.
The laminates can have three film layers totaling 0.014 inch or one film layer with a thickness of 0.002 inch.
Visitors to Clear Defense's Mexport exhibit used a heavy tool to test a display. The glass shattered, but the laminate withstood the force and contained broken pieces.
Laird Plastics hires Mexico marketing rep
Material distributor Laird Plastics Inc. is getting serious about the Mexican market.
Laird hired Jeannette Anaya as a marketing representative in January.
``The country is my territory,'' Anaya said.
She has extensive experience in plastics distribution, said Bill Barth, Laird regional manager in Rancho Dominguez, Calif. Her hiring is the first step in what the company hopes will be a full Laird operation, Barth said.
Laird operates 50 warehouses in the United States and 10 in Canada. Until now, the firm has ``played in the Mexican market from a distance.''
Laird Plastics is a subsidiary of London-based Laird Group plc. The parent firm employs more than 14,000 and had sales of about £1.1 billion ($1.8 billion) for the fiscal year ended June 30.
Demand in lacking for PP battery tray
Industrial Battery Engineering Inc. of Sun Valley, Calif., finds the industrial marketplace responding slowly to a polypropylene tray for its line of standby-battery products.
``We have not had the response we expected,'' said production manager Javier Sanchez. ``We are hoping it will take over in the future.''
Leakage of sulfuric acid corrodes steel trays, and the firm thought it perceived a demand for a noncorrosive container.
The PP tray must support a standby battery that can weigh about 200 pounds, including lead and acid.
An Ohio molder filled Industrial Battery's initial orders in early 1998.
A plastic tray is not being considered for the firm's core line of more-substantial, industrial batteries.
``We don't feel comfortable at this point that [customers] would be able to pick up'' the bigger units, Sanchez said.
Industrial Battery Engineering employs 50.