Plastics News correspondent Barbara Kastelein reported the following items from Plastimagen, held Sept. 3-6 in Mexico City.
Ricardez recommends training improvement
Plastimagen was coordinated to run alongside Plastic Focus, the international congress of Mexico's National Association for Plastics Industries (Anipac). The opening speech was given by Ricardo Ricardez, director general of consulting firm Prode SA de CV of Mexico City.
Ricardez emphasized the need to develop human resource programs and training, with decentralized authority and incentives for employees to seek education.
He said the plastics market is seeing a better-informed and more-demanding customer, more orientation toward environmental issues and growth in entertainment-related products.
Asked how Plastimagen could grow while the industry is reeling from the U.S. economic slowdown, Anipac General Manager Luis VillagÃ³mez said: ``Maybe when there is a crisis, people realize they have to invest.''
Wittmann will build new technical center
Wittmann Kunststoffgerate GmbH of Lichtblaustrasse, Austria, plans to build a technical center in the state of Queretaro, northwest of Mexico City.
The company established offices in Queretaro in 1999, selling robots for plastics injection molders. The center will include a showroom and warehouse space, and should open in mid-2003, said Carlos Chavez, director of Wittmann Mexico S de RL de CV.
Invest more in R&D to add value: Aguirre
Mexico has a pressing need to invest in research and development to raise the standard of living, according to Guillermo Aguirre, joint director of technology with Conacyt, Mexico's National Council of Science and Technology.
Speaking at the Plastics Focus meeting, Aguirre compared Mexico and South Korea. Forty years ago the two countries were comparable; today South Korea's per capita income is triple that of Mexico's.
Too much of Mexico's manufacturing is devoted to low-cost goods, Aguirre said. Conacyt's statistics show that 39.1 percent of Mexican industry produces items that cost less than $1 per 2.2 pounds.
Mexican industrialists must seek to generate wealth, Aguirre said.
Mexico spends only 0.4 percent of its gross domestic product on research and development, compared with 3 percent in Germany and about 2.5 percent in the United States, he added.