Carclo Technical Plastics, a medical, automotive and telecommunications/electronics component molder, is preparing to expand on three fronts within the next two years, with plans for increased capacity in Britain, the United States and Eastern Europe.
By February CTP will make a final decision on where to locate its second plant in Eastern Europe following the success of the first facility in Brno, the Czech Republic. A stream of new contracts mean that by April 2003 that plant will be fully occupied, said Ian Williamson, chief executive of CTP parent Carclo plc of Wakefield, England.
``That's very good news. We are looking at opening a further site in either the Czech Republic or in Hungary,'' Williamson said.
Williamson added that CTP is looking at work from the growing number of automakers in Eastern Europe looking for component suppliers.
Meanwhile, Carclo is looking to set up plants during the next two years in the United States and United Kingdom to take advantage of growing demand for molded medical products. The medical market was ``unaffected by the global economic malaise,'' providing good sales and profit growth in 2001.
Carclo expects the first move to come in the United States, where its American subsidiary CTP Carrera already has a medical moldings facility in Export, Pa., with around 20 injection presses, according to Williamson.
Earlier this year Carclo revealed that it was considering Wilmington, N.C., as a potential site for expansion.
In Britain, Carclo recently approved a £1 million ($1.58 million) investment to expand capacity at CTP Plasro, its Mitcham, England, medical and diagnostic product molding operation. The project includes additional space and machines - the plant currently has 42 presses, mainly from Krauss Maffei.
As for Carclo's plans in Eastern Europe, it seems unlikely to follow the course taken with the original Brno facility. That plant is located at the Flextronics Industrial Park, but Flextronics International Ltd., a Singapore-based contract manufacturer, recently shut down its own unit in Brno with a loss of around 1,000 jobs.
CTP's second Eastern European plant is likely to have 16 injection presses, and will probably be located near Prague in the Czech Republic.
One major attraction is the opportunity to take on new component work for power tool maker Black & Decker Corp., which is switching much of its production, assembly and packaging operations from the United Kingdom to Usti, Czech Republic.
About 50 percent of the Brno plant's production is for automotive customers, Williamson said. The facility has 27 injection molding machines.
Last year, Carclo, which built up substantial business manufacturing molded telecommunications connectors, fell victim to the global telecommunications crash when it plunged into the red to the tune of almost £19 million ($28 million).
Since then, the firm has been cutting back its British operations severely and growing abroad.
In October Carclo continued its strategy of focusing on technical plastics when it sold its nonferrous metal castings operation, Francis W. Birkett & Sons Ltd. of Cleckheaton, England, for £2.4 million ($3.8 million).