Nypro Inc. is investing $10 million to build its first plant in Brazil, a molding and contract manufacturing facility in Manaus.
The South American expansion comes as the company is scaling back at its 3-year-old operation in Waterford, Ireland, from 200 employees at one time to just 20 by year-end.
The Brazilian plant will open next month with five injection presses, plus painting and assembly operations. The plan will serve the mobile-phone market and other electronics customers, said Al Cotton, spokesman for Clinton, Mass.-based Nypro. Nypro made the announcement Nov. 11.
The facility will start with 70 employees, and could grow to 200 and a dozen molding machines, Nypro said. The company also is eyeing work for industrial, consumer, automotive and packaging customers, he said.
The 60,000-square-foot plant will be in a tax-free zone in the Marechal Castillo Branco industrial park, which is home to about 85 percent of Brazil's mobile-phone production, according to Nypro. About 40 million phones a year are produced in the park. Cotton declined to identify the plant's major customer, but several companies manufacture mobile phones in Manaus, including Nokia, Siemens and Elcoteq.
The company has several plants in Mexico and Puerto Rico, but Cotton said it had not, until recently, seen customer demand for a facility in Brazil. The presses in the facility will have clamping forces of 100-300 tons.
In Ireland, the company said it is looking for other work for the Waterford plant, but said the layoffs are necessary because a major electronics customer recently changed its operation, pulling work from Nypro.
The facility was an assembly plant without any molding, and the downsizing there is unrelated to the expansion in Brazil, Cotton said. He said the company's other Irish plant, in Bray, is doing well.
Nypro does about $900 million in sales at 65 locations in 17 countries.