DÜSSELDORF, GERMANY (Nov. 27, 4 p.m. EST) — Italy-based MIR SpA wants to begin building its injection press factory in Brazil in February or March, and the company plans to gradually increase the Brazilian content of the machines, a company official said at K 2001.
Marcio Ribaldo, director of MIR operations in Brazil, said MIR will ship to Brazil key parts such as injection units and clamping units and the machine base from its headquarters factory in Brescia, Italy. In the future, the company may source machine bases from Brazilian suppliers, he said.
Some other components, such as Vickers hydraulic valves, will be sourced from Brazil from the beginning.
MIR already has prepared the land for construction of the first phase, a 40,000-square-foot building, in Sorocaba, about 60 miles west of SÃ£o Paulo, Brazil. The second stage will measure 13,200 square feet, Ribaldo said.
The plant will make midsized injection presses, with clamping forces from 280-1,000 tons.
Meanwhile, MIR has cut its forecast for 2001 sales to Brazil, which is economically the dominant country in South America. A few months ago, MIR said it expected to ship 150 machines to Brazil. But Ribaldo said that figure has been cut by about 60-70 percent to about 100 presses. He blamed severe economic difficulties facing Argentina and Brazil's own electricity shortages this year.
In K show news, MIR showed its first all-electric injection molding machine, dubbed the e-power. While MIR will aggressively market e-power presses, the company remains committed to straight hydraulic-clamp machines, toggle-clamp machines and hybrid machines that use both electric and hydraulic power.
MIR is only being rational, said Franco Inverardi, sales director. “In the U.S., you've got everybody talking about the electric machine,” he said. “But in Europe we are more realistic than you in the U.S.”
European molders have been slower to adopt all-electrics than their U.S. counterparts because they are smaller and need more flexibility, Inverardi said. He does agree that all-electrics are the machines for the future. “But we are not yet in the future, so we need something in between to get us to the future.”
MIR's answer is its Ecologica line of hybrids.