Craftech Corp. of Anaheim, Calif., has broadened its offerings through two alliances and is exploring an arrangement in China.
``Customers have been asking us, `Are you going to China?' '' said Senior Vice President Alfredo Bonetto.
Craftech considered a plant in Mexico because it was losing business to customers wanting molding and secondary assembly work done in a maquiladora, he said. So in March the company established Craftech Plastico, an injection molding and assembly joint venture in Tijuana, Mexico, with a Power-Sonic Corp. unit.
In April, it formed an injection molding venture in Placentia, Calif., with TRA Manufacturing Inc.
The changes represent the custom injection molder's effort to reinvent the business.
The 70,000-square-foot Mexico venture operates out of two buildings, employs 150 and runs 22 presses with clamping forces of 50-1,420 tons. Its ISO/TS 16949 registration is a key to securing automotive business.
The largest press, a used Mitsubishi, went into operation in June. The machine uses six large-capacity molds to make housings for 52-inch and larger televisions, including liquid-crystal-display, plasma and digital-light-processing rear-projection sets.
>From 1986 until the joint venture started, Power-Sonic operated the site as a maquiladora. San Diego-based Power-Sonic produces parts for makers of rechargeable and standard batteries for electronic and industrial applications.
The Placentia medical molding venture, Craftech TRA, employs 20 at an 8,300-square-foot facility about two blocks from Craftech's main Anaheim plant, where the work had been done. Craftech TRA operates six presses of 25-120 tons in a 2,000-square-foot clean room, and plans upgrades.
TRA is also based in Placentia.
At its main facility, Craftech employs 200, including 10 mold makers, but it also buys tools offshore. It operates 32 presses of 12-550 tons and has three buildings with a total of 75,000 square feet. The plant handles secondary assemblies, pad printing, sonic welding and insert molding services, and specializes in hand-held instruments like bar-code readers and printers.
Craftech did $30.6 million in sales for the fiscal year ended June 30.