GW Plastics Inc. is expanding its 2-year-old factory in Queretaro, Mexico, where it plans to add a clean room molding and assembly area for medical work, a fast-growing market in Mexico.
Earlier this month, the Bethel, Vt.-based company installed an Engel vertical press with 300 tons of clamping force, according to Ben Bouchard, GW Plastics' vice president of international marketing. That means the Mexico plant now has 12 injection molding machines, with clamping forces of 50-500 tons.
Bouchard said GW Plastics will begin building a Class 8 clean room - previously known as Class 100,000 - in Queretaro. Officials expect to begin production in the clean room by the end of this year, he said.
The company's medical molding includes parts for surgical devices.
Bouchard said U.S. medical companies are becoming more comfortable about moving plastics molding and assembly work to Mexico, as the country's industry advances.
``The caliber of manufacturing in Mexico is continuing to increase, and it's becoming a low-risk alternative to U.S.-based manufacturing,'' Bouchard said. ``GW's leading that change.''
GW Plastics opened the factory in 2005 to serve the automotive, appliance and medical markets. Initially, the company leased 28,000 square feet of space in the building. Now GW is taking the entire building, or 60,000 square feet of space.
The company has enough room to grow to house 50 injection presses.
``We are aggressively expanding our extensive full-service capabilities in the region for our customers that are doing business here,'' Bouchard said. ``This expansion also allows us to optimize the facility for maximum efficiency, throughput and quality.''
GW Plastics has factories in Bethel and Royalton, Vt.; San Antonio; Tucson, Ariz.; Queretaro; and Dongguan, China. The Mexico expansion will be the company's fourth clean room, joining Bethel, Tucson and Dongguan, Bouchard said.