High-performance polymer maker and injection molder Parkway Products Inc. is expanding its operations in Mexico by purchasing a second facility in Saltillo, where it will mold composite airframe components. Production is scheduled to start in June.
``This expansion enhances Parkway's ability to support growing customer demand in the composite aero structures segment'' said Nick Bitter, Parkway's vice president of aerospace, defense and specialty products.
He added that the expansion ``builds on the success of our Erlanger, Ky., engineering and manufacturing center, as well as our existing Saltillo engine and assembly operation.''
Parkway's headquarters is in Florence, Ky.
The existing Saltillo plant will continue to operate, focusing exclusively on production of aircraft engine components and assemblies, Bitter said. The second facility will be adjacent to the first.
According to Parkway, polymer-based composites are expected to capture a major presence in aero structures, with composites taking the place of materials that traditionally are based on metal.
The company said the expanded Saltillo campus will maintain Parkway's current clean room assembly, and injection, compression and resin transfer molding operations, while adding multiple autoclaves, more clean rooms and specialized material storage units.
Mexican President Felipe Calder¢n Hinojosa, in office since December 2006, has identified the aeronautics industry as one of the four pillars of his government's economic expansion plan, the others being automotive, electronics and information technology.
Government officials said at least 150 aerospace-related companies operate in Mexico, employing more than 18,000.