Custom injection molder and contract manufacturer Moll Industries Inc. is constructing a 2,500-square-foot, Class 100,000 clean room the firm's third at its facility in Empalme, Mexico.
Dallas-based Moll already has clean rooms in Seagrove, N.C., and Donegal, Ireland. Sales and marketing Vice President Keith Dunlap said the firm is investing ``several hundred thousand dollars'' in the room, which will include three machines: an 85-ton Milacron, a 110-ton Demag and a 198-ton Kawaguchi, ``with possibly a fourth new machine [to follow] later on,'' Dunlap said.
The new clean room should be operational by late June, he said.
Dunlap said Moll does not expect further expansion of its operations and capabilities in Mexico until at least 2009.
An opportunity with an existing medical customer convinced Moll to add the clean room at the 35,000-square-foot Empalme facility, which it purchased in early 2005, Dunlap said. The plant already has 29 machines, from 110-500 tons. The company does injection molding of consumer goods, and medical and automotive parts there.
Conan Miller, corporate director of asset management, said the clean room will be a ``fully functional operation, complete with separate material handling, crane capacity and required heating, ventilating and air conditioning.''
``We have seen a steady increase in the demand for capacity not only in medical but certain electronic and other components, where we can improve our offering and productivity by molding in a clean, controlled environment,'' Dunlap said.
``These opportunities are surfacing from a variety of locations in the [Americas] region as we add to the capabilities of our plants. We also have room to complete entire assemblies, which is often a value-added benefit to our clients,'' he said.
Owned by Highland Capital Management LP of Dallas, Moll also has plants in Lexington, N.C., and Ramos Arizpe, Mexico. Dunlap said the bulk of Moll's sales come from North America, including Mexico; about 15 percent come from Europe.
``We are investing in Europe with an expanded sales force, starting in the second quarter of 2008. That said, we are seeing a shift southward [from the U.S.] and anticipate larger business opportunities to be driven by events and opportunities in Mexico. Right now we see considerable growth in Mexico, North America and Europe, in that order,'' Dunlap said.
Moll employs 600 worldwide.