Plastics News correspondent Roger Renstrom gathered these items at the Naftasho trade show, held Feb. 8-9 in Mexicali, Mexico.
Plasticus upgrades may include presses
Plasticus SA de CV may replace 12 injection molding machines in its 80,000-square-foot Mexicali facility this year.
The operation aims to upgrade capability, improve efficiency and reduce cycle times. Eight Van Dorns were added last year.
The plant now has 38 presses for molding components for consumer-market tools and office products and also provides assembly services.
Plasticus employs about 400, has sales of about $20 million and is undergoing business changes.
"A major customer left the area, but new business is coming in," said Joe Taylor, Mexicali general manager. "We see a large potential in the injection molding market in Mexicali."
Plasticus operates as a maquiladora within the diversified products division of Technimark Inc. of Asheboro, N.C. Technimark acquired Plasticus in 1998 and started other Mexican operations in Chihuahua and Reynosa during 1999.
"When I started with Technimark in 1988, the company had 15 molding presses in one plant," Taylor said. "Now, Technimark has seven plants, one distribution center, a material recycling business and up to 180 molding presses."
Custom-Pak eyeing 3 blow molding units
Custom-Pak de Mexico S de RL de CV is considering additional equipment while in the midst of an economic adjustment.
"We intend to bring in three more machines this year, but that depends on getting a major program," said Fernando Barba, operations manager.
Now, Custom-Pak operates 15 blow molding machines and is repositioning from the loss of its biggest customer. "We are looking for more customers," Barba said.
The Mexicali plant opened with eight machines in October 1998. Custom-Pak entered the Mexicali market under a shelter program in 1997.
Custom-Pak designs and makes custom blow molded and double-walled cases and industrial products. The operation employs 100 and occupies 60,000 square feet.
The Mexicali plant operates as a maquiladora of Custom-Pak Inc. of Clinton, Iowa.
MBK aims to enhance film making with units
Specialty tape converter MBK Enterprises Inc. of Chatsworth, Calif., is shopping for a three-level rotary die cutting press.
MBK operates five rotary presses but wants more capability for processing various polymer films including thin urethanes for medical applications such as incision positioning, said Steven Gilbert, director of marketing. A couple of new toupee tapes will be available soon.
MBK employs 33, achieved ISO 9002 in May and had 2000 sales of more than $7.5 million.
Ironwood promotes reel-to-reel molding
Ironwood Plastics Inc. of Ironwood, Mich., exhibited at Naftasho to promote its continuous reel-to-reel molding capability, particularly for engineering-intensive electronic and fiber-optic applications.
The firm has considered adding an Arizona facility if enough additional Southwest customers come aboard, Vice President Scott Stephens said by telephone.
Recently, Ironwood retained several sales representatives in southern California.