Continuing a recent global growth trend, Spartech Corp. will open an assembly facility in Reynosa, Mexico, later this year and plans to start injection molding work there.
The 30,000-square-foot plant will assemble parts used by wheelchair manufacturer Invacare Corp. of Elyria, Ohio, said David Carrillo, manager of Spartech's compounding and sheet-production facility in Ramos Arizpe, Mexico.
Carillo was interviewed during Plastimagen Mexico 2004, held April 27-30 in Mexico City.
Spartech purchased the Reynosa site, located near the U.S. border, and will start with 15-20 people, Carrillo said. Eventually, once the work is ramped up, Spartech plans to offer injection molding at the plant, potentially for window profile trim, he said. The plant will start within the next six months, he said.
The wheelchair assembly includes about 170 parts. Invacare can ship completed wheelchairs as soon as a couple of days after receiving the order, he said. In the United States, Spartech molds wheels for the company, he added.
``It's a good opportunity for new products in our molded and profiles unit,'' Carrillo said. ``We've taken some nice steps to move into the Mexican market.''
Spartech also plans to add two new extrusion machines to its Ramos Arizpe plant by the end of the year if business continues to climb, Carrillo said. One machine would be used for color compounding and the other for polystyrene and ABS sheet, he said.
That 110,000-square-foot plant is split equally between compounding and sheet extrusion. The plant opened less than two years ago and currently has five extrusion and coextrusion lines, Carrillo said.
The plant makes PS sheet for refrigerator shelving, serving a nearby facility of Whirlpool Corp. and other customers. The plant also molds profiles and automotive parts.
The company is in the midst of a global growth binge, looking for a location for a new facility in China and expanding a plant in France this year. The Ramos Arizpe facility has about 30 customers, Carrillo said.
Spartech has built several plants that combine its compounding, sheet extrusion and molded and profile products operations.
``We hope to open the market even more in Mexico with new products,'' he said. ``The market seems to be improving, and we came here at a good time.''
Spartech recorded $956.2 million in sales for fiscal 2003, which ended Nov. 2. The company placed 11th on Plastics News' film and sheet ranking with relevant 2002 sales of $607.9 million in North America.