Profile, tube and sheet extruder Pexco LLC of Atlanta may open a second production facility in Mexico within 24 months, according to CEO Neil Shillingford.
I would be very surprised if we didn't have a second operation there [in Mexico] in the next two years, he said May 3 by phone. The company most likely will locate the plant in western Mexico, he said.
Pexco, formerly known as Filtrona Extrusion Inc., operates 126 extruders, 51 coextruders and six sheet lines at seven facilities in the U.S. and Mexico. It opened a 25,000-square-foot operation in Monterrey, Mexico, in 2000.
By 2003, according to Shillingford, the Monterrey business was bursting at the seams and the firm to commissioned an architect to design a new facility, incorporating all the site's 125,000 square feet of land and including a Class 100,000 clean room.
The Monterrey site, which employs 70 full time and is Pexco's second-largest facility, will be at the center of its push to supply clients not only across Mexico but also in South America, he said.
He believes Pexco has greater potential for growth in Latin America than in the U.S.
We have been through some difficult times in the United States. The rate of improvement is more significant in Latin America than in the United States, Shillingford said.
Most of Pexco's early work in Monterrey, much of it transferred from the firm's operation in Columbia, S.C., was for the lighting industry. Today it serves sectors that include the retail, traffic safety, medical and fence industries.
Although 75 percent of the company's business is with multinationals, including Boeing Co. and Wal-Mart Stores Inc., this will probably change in the coming years, Shillingford said.
We are expanding our sales resources in Mexico, he said. We've put in a sales manager down there to develop our business in Mexico and a second sales person. Our company website is in Spanish. We have a lot of spare [production capacity].
Pexco runs 16 extruders and three co-extruders, as well as a clean room, in Monterrey, the most recent investment being about $3 million in 2006.
The company, which ships in excess of 70 million pounds of extruded plastic products annually, has traditionally favored Davis-Standard machinery, according to Shillingford.
While he declined to reveal the Monterrey operation's annual sales, he said: Our intention would be to double, possibly even more, the size of the business within five years. A lot of the growth will come from medical, while lighting will continue to be a significant proportion.
Large retailers such as Wal-Mart have expressed a desire for their stores in Latin America to be supplied by [the Pexco plant in] Monterrey.
Shillingford said its Mexican workforce is determined to see the business grow. They have a good work ethic. They see Pexco as their long-term future.
In March 2009, Filtrona plc a global specialty plastics and fiber supplier based in Milton Keynes, England sold Filtrona Extrusion Inc. to private equity investor Saw Mill Capital Partners LP and Filtrona Extrusion Inc. senior management for $115 million.
The company was renamed Pexco late last year. Pexco is the brand name of the firm's medical tubing products.
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