Mold-Masters Ltd. has launched a plant to make hot-runner systems in Sumare, Brazil, for the South American market.
President Jonathon Fischer said Mold-Masters spent about US$10 million on the venture, including the lease and site preparation, working capital, relocating machinery from plants in Canada and Europe, buying equipment and acquiring Manuplast Indústria de Moldes para Termoplasticos Ltda.
Manuplast provides tooling technical assistance and did some toolmaking. Manuplast was owned by Afonso Podadera, who was Mold-Masters' agent in Brazil and has been named to direct the Brazilian subsidiary.
Mold-Masters, based in Georgetown, Ontario, incorporated Manuplast into its plans for South America because of its technical expertise, Fischer said. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
``Mold makers are our customers and we do not intend to compete with them anywhere, but we believe that Manuplast's know-how will bring benefits to our clients,'' Fischer said.
Podadera added, ``In Brazil, we often notice a certain disobedience in relation to mold projects - whether in the interpretation of design, selection of steel, etc. - which consequently hinders the performance of hot-runner systems. Manuplast has made it its specialty to provide support in such situations.''
Manuplast and Mold-Masters operate in five adjacent warehouses that total 26,000 square feet. In the next 90 days the site will be expanded another 21,500 square feet. The facility produces 20 systems per week with one work shift, and can reach 35 systems per week with two shifts.
``We believe this capacity should be sufficient for the next couple of years,'' Fischer said.
Mold-Masters has had a presence in Brazil through representative firms for the past 20 years. The time was right for the venture, Fischer said: ``The market is now hungry for technology.''
The unit is Mold-Masters' sixth industrial facility worldwide.