United Plastics Group Inc. has begun work on a 45,000-square-foot addition to its plant in Monterrey, Mexico, that will make it the company's second-largest facility, after its site in Suzhou, China.
``We project that we will be running by the fourth quarter and reach full capacity by the second quarter of 2009,'' Matt Langton, vice president of sales and marketing for the Oak Brook, Ill., contract manufacturer, said at Medical Design & Manufacturing East, held June 3-5 in New York.
Langton said that, even after the expansion to more than 100,000 square feet, UPG will be ``in an undercapacity situation in Monterrey,'' and won't be able to expand that site any further.
``We would have to add a very nearby facility or go into some other area,'' he said. UPG previously had a plant 10 minutes away that did not work out, he said.
The Monterrey expansion began in March. The company will add 15-20 injection molding machines with clamping forces of 100-500 tons, bringing the total number to around 70.
The site makes consumer, medical, automotive and electronics products. A consumer packaging customer will take up a ``good portion'' of the new production, Langton added.
Langton said a secondary benefit of the expansion will be lower operating costs because of redesigned material flow for the entire plant.
``We were able to address the delivery of incoming material for the entire facility, so that our material flow will be a lot more efficient and give us economies in operation,'' he said.
The expanded plant will have 30,000 square feet for assembly, with the remainder of the space for molding and warehousing. He said the current workforce of 150 eventually will grow to 200.
``Monterrey continues to be a strong location for us,'' he said.