Custom rotational molder Solar Plastics Inc. has formed an alliance with OK Play India Ltd., an Indian company that rotomolds toys, point-of-purchase items and signs, institutional furniture and industrial products.
Solar Plastics, of Delano, Minn., will help OK Play India grow faster in high-technical, higher-end rotomolded products, such as automotive parts, which Rajan Handa, marketing director, called an ``almost virgin product'' with ``huge untapped potential'' in India.
Publicly traded on the Bombay Stock Exchange, OK Play India claims to be the largest manufacturer of plastic toys, children's furniture and playground equipment in India. The firm had sales of $10.5 million sales in the fiscal year ended March 31.
OK Play India is embarking on a $20 million expansion program, and needs the technical support from Solar Plastics.
Solar and OK Play India announced the partnership Aug. 2.
Solar's president and owner, Chuck Carlsen, said Solar will receive some fees from its Indian partner, ``but it's also helping expand technical knowledge of rotational molding in other parts of the world.''
With sales of $23.5 million, Solar Plastics is the 23rd largest rotomolder in North America, according to the Plastics News ranking in this issue. It operates 16 rotomolding machines at two plants, in Delano near Minneapolis, and Davenport, Iowa. Solar employs 195.
OK Play India employs 142 and runs three four-arm carousel machines, as well as a range of injection and blow molding machines, Handa said via e-mail from India. Under the expansion, the firm will add more machinery, he said.
The company, based in New Delhi, has a factory in Sohna, India.
Ravi Mehra, a well-known Indian rotomolding authority, was instrumental in bringing OK Play India and Solar together and will continue as an adviser to the firms. Mehra also played a key role in creating the South Asia Region of the Glen Ellyn, Ill.-based Association of Rotational Molders International in 2004. He is managing director of Norstar International, part of Norstar Aluminum Molds Inc. of Cedarburg, Wis.
``It's the first of its kind of partnership alliance between a top-notch rotomolder from the U.S.A. and a very progressive rotomolder from India,'' Mehra said.
The firms have been working on the deal since late last year.