After three years in Mexico, sheet extruder Senoplast Klepsch & Co. KG is preparing to add its second coextrusion line there and increase sales into the U.S. market.
The company, headquartered in Piesendorf, Austria, already is one of Europe's largest independent sheet extruders. In 2000, Senoplast began a large push into North America by opening a 226,000-square-foot plant in Queretaro, Mexico, north of Mexico City.
That facility, a coextruder of polyethylene and ABS sheet for thermoforming, has done well with one line until now, said Harald Stephan, commercial manager for the site. But the three-layer line is closing in on capacity, he said at the Society of Plastics Engineers 2003 Thermoforming Conference, held Sept. 13-16 in Cincinnati.
The company will add the line by June 2004. It will be dedicated solely to PE production, while the first line will focus on ABS, acrylic and acrylonitrile styrene acrylonitrile sheet, Stephen said.
The five-layer line will help the company boost production of several core products being exported to the United States. Those include exterior parts for automotive applications, tractor parts and sanitary sheet for bathtubs, sinks and countertops, he said.
The Mexico plant currently employs about 30, and Senoplast could add 15 people when the line is introduced, Stephan said.
The company invested more than $7 million to open the facility three years ago as its entree to North America. The plant has room for nine coextrusion lines, Stephan said. Senoplast also runs a dozen coextrusion lines at its plant in Austria.