DETROIT — Loranger Manufacturing Corp. is heading south, setting up its first operation in Mexico with plans to begin injection molding during the second quarter of this year.
The plant in Guadalupe, Mexico, eventually will add blow molding capabilities to its product lineup, George Loranger, president and chief executive officer, said during a March 7 interview at the Society of Automotive Engineers 2001 World Congress in Detroit.
"There are a lot of plastic [processing] houses there, but not a lot of the precision molders," Loranger said. "I think it'll grow quite fast."
Loranger invested more than $3 million in the 24,000-square-foot facility. General Manager Drake Schrage — a 17-year veteran of plastics molding in Mexico — expects to have about 100 employees on the job by the end of the year.
The company already has lined up business with traditional Loranger customers that operate in Mexico.
Loranger anticipates the work there will split with about half of the sales to the automotive industry and the rest to a mix of consumer and electronic manufacturing contracts.
Guadalupe marks the second international operation for Warren, Pa.-based Loranger. It has operated in Szekesfehervar, Hungary, for more than a decade.
Moving into Mexico has been a smoother operation so far, Loranger noted, simply because of the large number of American businesses already there.
"I think we have a leg up on most people just because of our experience in Eastern Europe over the past 11 years," Loranger said.
Loranger Manufacturing will stick to molding in Mexico, though, unlike Hungary where the company also oversees an industrial park.
Mexico has developed a good work force for the plastic industry, Schrage said. The company will work with local schools on employee training programs, Loranger said.
By investing in trade and technical studies, both students and business can benefit, he noted. Local residents get the skills needed to advance their careers, while companies obtain research partners for new projects.
Beyond Mexico, Loranger noted the company is looking at opportunities to expand even further, both through existing alliances and with new on-shore facilities. One potential growth target is the Pacific Rim, he said.