DETROIT — Wilden Plastics (USA) is close to finalizing joint ventures with injection molders in Illinois and Florida, a company executive said at the SAE 2000 World Congress in Detroit. The ventures include a Chicago-area molder that operates 30 injection molding machines and serves the pharmaceutical and medical industries, as well as a Florida firm with 18 presses that molds medical, automotive and general-purpose products, according to Klaus Kraemer, president of Peachtree City, Ga.-based Wilden.
Kraemer, who declined to release additional details, said the joint ventures and other deals the company is seeking "will fill gaps and niches" in its molding portfolio.
The firm plans to add another dozen presses and 25,000 square feet of manufacturing space in Peachtree City this year. That plant currently runs 35 presses.
The unit's 1999 sales were about $15 million, a jump of about 40 percent from 1998. Kraemer said he expects the same growth rate in 2000.
The automotive market currently accounts for about 20 percent of Wilden's U.S. business, but Kraemer said he'd like that share to grow to at least 35 percent by the end of the year. Recent automotive projects at Wilden include motor and engine sensors, and brake systems.
Wilden, a unit of Regenburg, Germany-based molder Wilden GmbH & Co. KG, molds a range of engineering plastics including nylon, polycarbonate, PBT, ABS, polyphenylene sulfide and polysulfone.