MEXICO CITY – Canadian injection molder and turnkey solution provider Papp Plastics & Distributing Ltd. will open an $11 million to $12 million joint venture facility in Querétaro, central Mexico, in December, co-owner Michael Papp said.
Called MexCan Plastics SAPI de CV, the facility is a 50-50 joint venture between Windsor, Ontario-based Papp, which was founded in 1991, and Mexican injection molder Inyecciones Plásticas de Querétaro SA de CV [Inplax], which launched in 1968 and is owned by Mexican businessman Iker Forcén.
According to Papp, the new plant, which was built on a greenfield site 140 miles northwest of Mexico City, covers 59,200 square feet and will supply Tier 1 and 2 auto suppliers with injection molded parts.
“We'll be opening during the Christmas shutdown,” Papp told Plastics News. “It gives us the chance to get up and running and ramp up production.”
Papp, whose father fought against Soviet forces in the 1956 Hungarian uprising, added that “we're starting the plant in phases. We have five employees currently and as we get our machines installed between December and the second quarter we will have roughly 50 people.”
Some undisclosed customers in automotive will be the new plant's first clients, he said.
“What is unique about our operation,” Papp added, “is that we will have a wide range of [injection molding] tonnage — from 200 tons clamping force to 4,000 tons.”
Further explaining MexCan's business strategy, he said: “There's a need in the market for high-tonnage molding. We will be doing a lot of low-volume service parts because nobody has focused on that in Mexico.
“When car [models] go out of production, the car makers have to make available replacement parts for 10 years. … We will augment this with [current car] production molding.”
Another activity planned for the new company is mold try outs. “Many mold makers in Mexico are still doing their [own] try outs and interrupting production,” said Papp, whose brother, George, is a co-owner of Papp Plastics.
Papp confessed to being “very optimistic” about the new venture, particularly in light of Mexico's mushrooming automotive industry.
“There are a lot of opportunities for Tiers 1, 2 and 3 suppliers, and the tooling and mold industry is coming, because to have a stable plastics industry you have to have local tooling.
“Most of the car makers are mandated to have some kind of local tooling capability and we will have a small tool room in order to maintain our tools and do engineering changes,” he said.
In addition, he said, “we will do multi-material molding. We will go from 200 to 1,800 tons in multi-material molding.”
In addition to Mexico, the Canadian company operates three plants in Windsor and others in Colombia and China, where it has two joint ventures.