An Israeli custom injection molder plans to set up a plant in Canada to supply automotive customers.
Arkal Industries expects to invest about US$5 million in the new facility, said Creig Bowland, recently appointed general manager for subsidiary Arkal Plastic North America Inc. It will break ground on a 24,000-square-foot facility in London, Ontario, in about a month for a scheduled completion in January, Bowland said in a telephone interview.
Arkal of Kibbutz Bet Zera, Israel, chose London because it is close to a major, undisclosed customer and is midway along the southern Ontario automotive corridor, between Toronto and Windsor. Arkal is reviewing injection presses with clamping forces of 1,000-2,000 tons and will decide on sizes and suppliers this summer, Bowland said. The facility will have room for about 10 presses but Arkal probably will not start with that many, he added.
Bowland said Arkal has been exporting molded auto parts to North America and has an engineering and technical center in Detroit. London will be its first production facility on the continent. The firm makes auto parts in Israel, Portugal and Hungary.
Arkal specializes in molding structural parts out of compounds highly filled with long-glass fiber. It makes under-the-hood, powertrain, interior and exterior parts for Tier 1 and Tier 2 suppliers.
The company's other main markets are water filtration and treatment systems and consumer products such as garden supplies, some of which are exported to North America and distributed by Home Depot and other mass retailers. Bowland said Arkal's new London operation will focus on its automotive business.
Arkal is majority-owned by the kibbutz in which it is located in northern Israel. It has annual sales of about US$40 million, 70 percent of which is accounted for by exports. It was founded in 1963.