MEXICO CITY — Milacron LLC plans to officially open a new technical center in Querétaro, 140 miles northwest of Mexico City, early in 2015, and the company is considering building another tech center in Brazil.
In use since July, the 32,300-square-foot Mexican facility is at the heart of Milacron's expansion plans in Latin America, according to Alejandro Guzmán, aftermarket sales manager for the Cincinnati-based plastics processing machinery manufacturer in Mexico.
“We want to make Mexico a hub for Latin America,” he told Plastics News at Plastimagen México 2014.
But privately held Milacron also is hoping to open another technical center — Guzmán refers to such facilities as “hit centers”— in Brazil in 2015.
“The plans for 2015 are to grow in Latin America. We are going to try to open a HIT [High Impact Technology] center in Brazil to service the South American market,” he said. “I don't think they [Milacron's owners] have decided where they will put it.”
Milacron's aftermarket business in Mexico through mid-November totaled $7 million and included servicing used machines, spare parts sales, rebuilding presses, and screws and barrels, Guzmán said.
In addition, he said, Milacron sold between $11 million and $15 million worth of new presses in the country. The largest, purchased by a Tier 1 auto industry supplier in Monterrey, is a hydraulic injection press with a clamping force of 2,300 tons.
The Querétaro technical center employs 45, including 25 service engineers. It stocks $2.5 million worth of spare parts, according to Guzmán. “We opened it in July. We'll have an open house at the beginning of the year.”
Guzmán said Milacron's sales in Mexico this year are up 35 percent from 2013, and Milacron management is talking about growth of “at least 20 percent next year,” he said.
“Growth this year had a lot to do with the automotive and packaging industries. Automotive accounts for 70 percent of our business and packaging 20 percent,” he said.
Sales of extrusion and blow molding machinery are also showing signs of growth, he said.