Evco Plastics de Mexico S de RL de CV in Guadalupe is expanding operations with a new plant set to open in December.
``We have grown at gigantic paces'' since launching in 2000, said production manager Jose Luis Chavez.
The injection molding, tooling and product design company was set up three years ago as a joint venture between DeForest, Wis.-based custom injection molder Evco Plastics and Monterrey injection molder Inyeccón de Plasticos Regiomontano SA de CV, or IPRSA. Guadalupe is a suburb of Monterrey.
The new, 18,000-square-foot plant - just two blocks from Evco Mexico's existing facility - will include secondary operations such as vacuum metalizing and painting. The new site will be able to hold 15 presses with clamping forces of 80-350 tons, but will start with eight presses and 50 employees. Evco Mexico currently employs 188.
``We increase our capabilities based on our customers' needs, making us a full-service contract manufacturer, with engineering support from Evco Wisconsin and various locations,'' Director Humberto Garza said in a July 22 telephone interview.
Evco Plastics Mexico, known locally as Evcoplasticos, started out with a focus on engineering. The existing, 70,000-square-foot plant was modeled after Evco's plants in Wisconsin, with custom-designed lighting and handling systems - which are rare in the area. The plant has 20 machines, with room for four more.
Capabilities include vacuum metalizing, which Garza said also is rare in the Monterrey area, as well as water- and solvent-based painting, for which there is high demand.
``We have two main goals: working hard at being a lean manufacturing company, and value-added operations,'' he said.
Other operations include hot stamping, pad printing, sonic welding, assembly operations, a toolroom for maintenance and a real-time production monitoring system.
Garza said the lion's share of the company's work is with engineering materials, primarily for major consumer products such as home appliances and electronics. Garza said the key to the firm's success has been diversification.
``We see need to manufacture and move molds in different countries, at the same time maintaining quality,'' he said, adding that the existing plant has ISO 9001:2000 as well as Underwriters Laboratory certification.
Evco's plant in Shenzhen, China, opened in January and probably will be ISO certified by the end of the year, according to Garza.
``We are the McDonald's of injection molding,'' said Lee Greenberg, director of international sales for Evco Plastics. ``You could go to any of our plants and not know what country you are in. There is the same systems training, and customers get the same service.''
Evco Mexico has been working with internal training programs and with the University of Wisconsin. ``The next phase is to use support from educational resources in the Monterrey area,'' Garza said.
The new Monterrey plant will bring Evco's number of global manufacturing facilities to nine.
``Our customers are looking at Mexico, China, the United States and Eastern Europe,'' Greenberg said.
American customers represent about 80 percent of the company's business, Mexican around 10 percent, and Asian and European 5 percent each.
Garza said Evco's future plans include Eastern Europe. The company is looking at three locations between Poland and the Czech Republic.
``Our policy is to follow clients around,'' Greenberg said.
Although Mexican companies are ``not seeing too much growth,'' Garza said, U.S. companies still are expanding into Mexico.
``Monterrey is still very attractive and strategic for its geography, educated people and dedicated, large workforce. Also for technology, banks, being close to the border and offering good logistics - it's a straight shot up into the United States, east or west.''