Nypro Inc., North America's most international custom injection molder, is busy laying the groundwork to expand its position in Latin America.
Carlos Santos, who joined Nypro in Phoenix on July 1 as managing director of the firm's growing Mexico operations, set up two molding plants in Brazil three years ago for InteSys Technologies Inc. He said he intends to leverage that experience to do the same for Nypro in Brazil soon. Santos was interviewed Sept. 3 in Mexico City at the Plastimagen show, where he arranged at the last minute for the Clinton, Mass.-based molder to exhibit for the first time.
Nypro has tried for years to gain a foothold in the huge Brazilian market, Santos said.
``We need to do that within the next 12 months,'' he said, noting also that ``we like to do joint ventures.'' Nypro currently operates some 36 facilities in a dozen countries, mostly via joint ventures. Two deals earlier this year allowed Nypro to broaden its molding base in Mexico by securing certain assets of Advance Dial Co. in Chihuahua, as well as a minority operating stake in the Guadalajara plant of TriQuest Precision Plastics.
Now Nypro wants to begin producing new injection tooling in Mexico - most likely in Guadalajara - in the next year. The goal, Santos said, is to create a new tooling engineering center that soon will be able to sell $3 million a year in molds to the Mexican market.
Noting Nypro's network of operations in such far-flung places as Russia and Hungary, Santos said, ``We're bigger in China than here with our neighbors [in Mexico]. We've done the difficult stuff first,'' he said, quickly adding that he was not implying that cracking the Latin American market would be easy.
After leaving InteSys last year, Santos first consulted for and then became president of Fawn Industries, a $55 million, Timonium, Md.-based injection molder and decorator of automotive and other plastic parts. But while working at InteSys for four years, where he was an equity partner, Santos became very familiar with Nypro by competing directly with it on Nokia cell-phone molding business.
``I wanted to join Nypro for some time,'' he said.
The four plants in Mexico that Santos manages have about 120 injection presses and 1,000 employees.