Japanese plastics molder Yamada Electric Ind. Co. is expanding the customer base for its two plants in Latin America, and is pondering where to set up its first plant in Eastern Europe.
Its facility in Apaceo el Grande, Guanajuato, Mexico, opened in mid-2012 and has been dedicated to an undisclosed customer since then. The operation, called Yamada-Vistamex SA de CV, soon will take on additional customers.
Yamada opened a manufacturing plant in Manaus, Brazil, in May 2013 to take advantage of a specialized tax zone. That operation is called Yamada-LOM.
“Our commitment to a long term customer is now complete and we are now focused on bringing additional current and future customers into these locations,” noted Yamada USA Inc. director of new business development Barry Curtis.
In an email correspondence, Curtis said he couldn't specify which Eastern European country will be chosen for the new plant but he stated it will begin operating in 2015.
Yamada, based in Chiba, Japan, focuses on personal care, floor care and small household appliances, according to Curtis. Its three plants in Shenzhen, China, mold its full product line. The Mexico and Brazil sites emphasize personal care products but eventually will mold all product lines. Chiba does most of Yamada's engineering.
“To grow with our customers, we need to be where and what they need us to be,” Curtis explained. What it molds and where depends on labor content of the product and landed costs. It now counts Procter & Gamble, Panasonic, Toshiba, Sharp and Cuisinart as key customers.
“The higher cost of manufacturing in China, shipping costs and the need for shorter and more flexible supply chains are driving companies to produce “on shore” or “near shore,” Curtis added.
Curtis said Yamada has no plan yet to establish manufacturing in the United States. Its office in Peabody, Mass., is administrative and sales headquarters for the Americas and Europe.
Curtis said injection molding is Yamada's forte. In the process it can do multi-shot, overmolding, carbon fiber reinforced resins and molding of metallic resin to replace spray painting. The company has 115 injection presses and 2,500 employees globally. Total annual sales exceed $200 million.