MISSISSAUGA, ONTARIO — Italian machinery maker Maris SpA is moving into North America, opening its first overseas office in Baltimore in June.
Maris America Corp. will launch with a testing, parts and service facility for the company's twin-screw extruders but could expand to assembly and some production in North America if the company sees a strong response, said Luciano Gallino, vice president for Maris America.
"We have had customers in North America, but we realized we needed to have a physical presence in the U.S. to have more sales," Gallino said during a May 2 interview at Plast-Ex 2001 in Mississauga.
Privately held Maris SpA opened in 1962 in Turin, Italy, producing extruders for a range of compounders. It now has nearly 100 employees and sales worldwide, but the Baltimore operation will mark its first full-time center outside Italy, Gallino said.
The site will oversee sales in both North America and South America, but the focus will be on the United States, Canada and Mexico, he said.
"Our intention is to be very aggressive in the North American market," he said.
Alessandro Maris, son of the company founder, is president of Maris America, and Ed Ford is sales manager for the United States and Canada.
"We are starting with a small team, but the intention is, that if all goes well, we may do some assembly and production locally," Gallino said.
Maris has considered locating in North America for some time. At one point, the company nearly settled on an office in North Carolina but opted for Baltimore to gain closer access to compounders in the Northeast, along with customers in Pennsylvania and Ohio. Baltimore also offers less-expensive transportation hubs because it is near four major airports, Ford said.