Evco Plastics de Mexico has invested $3 million in a new plant in Guadalupe, the company's second plant in northern Mexico.
``More customers in the U.S. need services in Mexico,'' said General Manager Humberto Garza, noting that there is an increased demand for molding and other value-added operations.
``We have a lot of new customers, both in Mexico and the United States,'' Garza said.
The new plant, called M2, started operations Sept. 1 and consists of a vacuum metalizing and painting area of 25,800 square feet and 14 presses with clamping forces of 85-220 tons. The factory joins the M1 facility that opened in December last year.
``With M2 we can focus the strategy of the M1 plant with larger machines,'' Garza said, adding that the M1 presses are being upgraded to clamping forces of 400-2,000 tons.
The injection molding, tooling and product design company was set up four 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.
``This new plant is one step more in Evco's global strategy,'' said Garza, referring to Evco's plants in the United States, Mexico and China.
The new plant will bring Evco's number of global manufacturing facilities to 10.
``We are serving Evco global customers in a global manner. If a U.S. company has a plant in Mexico, we serve them from here.''
This continues the trend Garza noted a year ago of U.S. companies expanding into Mexico, with American customers representing about 80 percent of the company's business and Mexican around 10 percent.
Most of the company's clients are in the north of Mexico and in the United States, as well as Europe, South America and Brazil, Garza said.
``All our production organization and systems are identical to other Evco plants in China and the United States,'' he said. The plant in Guadalupe operates six days a week, 24 hours a day.
Guadalupe is a suburb of Mexico's major industrial city Monterrey, strategic for its geography and logistics, as well as attractive for its large educated workforce, technology and banks.
M2 has 55 new employees, bringing Evco Mexico's staff up to a total of 280.
Garza said the new plant reflects the company's strategy, producing not just plastic parts, but also value-added operations, such as assembly, hot stamping, pad printing, sonic welding, vacuum metalizing and painting.
``Value-added operations are the ones growing the most,'' Garza said. The new M2 is ISO certified and will be TS 16949 certified in the third quarter of 2006.
With the increasing growth of its customer base, Evco Mexico is now seeing sales of $1.8 million per month, Garza said. Based on figures from the first 10 months of 2005, Evco Mexico has seen 27 percent growth over the same period in 2004.
``With M2, our expectations for 2006 will be $2 million a month by the end of 2006,'' Garza said, although he added that the company's growth does not reflect the plastics industry in Mexico.
``It's the U.S. economy,'' he said.
A year ago, Garza said that Evco's future plans had included Eastern Europe, with the company looking at three locations between Poland and the Czech Republic. Today he says the expansion still is on track, but he still would not specify locations of future plants.
``In 2000 we said we planned three or four new plants in the next 10 years - well, here's the second.'' He said Evco expects to announce the next plant in three or four years.