Contract manufacturer UPG shortened its trade name, but lengthened its reach in low-cost manufacturing environments in Mexico and China.
Oak Brook, Ill.-based United Plastics Group Inc. announced Feb. 13 it will market itself as UPG to reflect its array of services.
UPG spent the past 18 months investing more than $15 million in site development, new machines and human resources. Among those expansions, UPG added to its core injection molding operations.
On Feb. 15, the company held a grand opening ceremony at its UPG de Mexico plant in Tijuana, Mexico. Operations began in December, but the event brought city and state officials and others into the white-room environment for remarks and plant tours.
UPG invested about $5 million to build and equip the Tijuana facility, which operates as a Mexican national corporation. The plant employs about 100, operates 32 injection molding presses with clamping forces of 35-720 tons and occupies 65,000 square feet, including a Class 100,000 clean room with six of the presses.
Many customers are interested in the Tijuana site, said Matthew Langton, UPG vice president of sales and marketing. UPG is launching fully assembled medical devices in Tijuana, including some projects from Europe.
UPG operates two other plants, near Monterrey.
Meanwhile, in Suzhou, China, UPG is making headway with the high-end facility it opened in April. The site has received two certifications, can deal with contract sterilization requirements and offers clean room, white room, tooling and engineering capabilities, said Tom Opielowski, vice president of UPG Asia.
Before its opening, the Suzhou operation sent managers and engineers for extensive training at UPG sites in the United States. Because of that, the company said it believes UPG Suzhou provides a higher level of services than many molding operations in China.
UPG employs about 1,500, operates 300 molding machines in 11 plants in the U.S., Mexico, China and Wales and has annual sales of about $170 million.