SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL (April 7, 9:30 a.m. EDT) — GE Plastics South America Ltda. reserved a series of announcements for Brasilplast 2003, including a partnership to produce GE engineering plastics at a compounder in the Amazon region.
SÃ£o Paulo-based GE Plastics signed a letter of intent March 11 to use Colortech da Amazônia Ltda.'s facility in the free-trade zone of Manaus, Brazil. Details were not disclosed.
Colortech is a 10-year-old company that produces masterbatches, additives, flame-resistant polymers, and compounds and dyes thermoplastic resins. The Manaus-based company operates a 43,000-square-foot facility and claims to lead its segment in the Manaus, an important industrial area for electronic products.
The Manaus area does not house any global engineering plastics compounder. The region is supplied with compounds manufactured in the southeast or southern states of Brazil or via imports from the Amazon River.
“Our goal [through this local presence] is to reduce client inventories by 30 percent,” said Mark Kingsley, director president of GE Plastics South America.
GE Plastics sees the agreement as an opportunity to improve its coverage of Latin America.
The company already has industrial sites in Tortuguitas, Argentina, and Campinas, Brazil. GE Plastics' objective is for 80 percent of its current sales in northern Brazil to be produced at Colortech.
To start, the agreement will focus on ABS compounds for the electronics and appliances market. Production is to begin in mid-2003.
A second partnership that GE Plastics made official during Brasilplast 2003 was with Ãndio da Costa Arquitetura e Design Ltda., a product design firm out of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Through that agreement, GE Plastics' technical staff will work with Ãndio da Costa's industrial designers. GE Plastics' booth was fully decorated with colored samples of Spirit ventilators produced with Lexan polycarbonate resin. The product received the IF Design Award 2002 in Hanover, Germany.
GE also has upgraded manufacturing for its LNP Engineering Plastics Inc. compounding subsidiary in Campinas, part of $6 million that the company has invested there in the last two years, Kingsley said. The investment went both to GE and LNP operations there, he said.
In the customer services field, GE Plastics launched the Savante Project, a mobile laboratory installed in a van to assist customers. The van is driven by a plastics technician who will visit the company's main clients in South America during 2003.
GE Plastics also introduced an Internet tool through which its clients in Argentina can track product shipments, door to door. The same system soon will be available for customers in Brazil.