DÜSSELDORF, GERMANY (Dec. 11, 4:05 p.m. EST) — Compounding extruder maker Maris SpA is expanding its manufacturing operation near Turin, Italy, and is considering a plant in South America in response to local market potential.
The privately owned firm has its sights set on increasing business in the big but competitive Brazilian market, according to Alessandro Maris, president of Maris America Corp., the company's year-old North American sales, parts and service offshoot in Baltimore.
Meanwhile, the company is completing a $2 million expansion at its plant in Rosta, Italy. The 65,000-square-foot facility is being enlarged to 108,000 square feet to accommodate a new research and development laboratory, Maris said. he company also is adding a second building to provide more assembly space, plus new executive and sales offices.
The plant builds chiefly twin-screw extruders, Maris said in at K 2001 in Dusseldorf. The company currently can make about 40 extruders per year.
After encouragement from local customers, the company opened its U.S. operation in June 2000. Maris recognized there has been “a huge slowdown” in the U.S. economy, but he feels a recovery is just a matter of time.
The company may set up assembly and limited production in North America if demand is sufficiently strong. It plans to install a test laboratory extrusion line at its Baltimore facility next year, as the market picks up.
As for South America, Maris said the company sees a good opportunity to sell small, low-technology equipment. A local plant would manufacture extruders up to 50 millimeters in size, he said. The company expects to decide this year whether to build in Brazil. If it does, the new plant would be operating within three years, said Maris, son of company founder Gianfranco Maris.