British biodegradable additives developer Symphony Environmental Technologies plc's Mexico distributor has changed its name from Plásticos Degradables SA de CV to Polymer Solutions SA de CV as part of an ambitious growth program.
“We want to open new areas of business,” Cuernavaca, Mexico-based Polymer Solutions' managing director, Mauricio Yáñez Lino, said in a Jan. 20 interview, three weeks after the name change became effective.
For its part, Symphony told Plastics News that it is still considering production in Mexico, and “will move when the market volumes increase.”
Asked why Symphony had chosen to start production in Houston, rather than in Mexico, a spokesman for the company responded by email: “We started producing in the U.S. two years ago in preparation for a large marketing development in the U.S. market.”
Yáñez, a chemical engineering graduate of Mexico's National Autonomous University and a former employee of Celanese Mexicana SA de CV, said Polymer Solutions will continue to represent Symphony in Mexico. The relationship started in 2006 and Symphony accounts for 70 percent of Polymer Solutions' business.
Foremost among Yáñez's plans is the development of its research subsidiary, Cecim, launched in 2011 at a cost of $500,000. An additional $200,000 will be invested in new equipment this year, he told Plastics News.
“We're offering laboratory services that are not available elsewhere in the market,” said Yáñez. “We're planning to increase our investment in the lab and to offer the industry additional testing.”
Currently, he said, Cecim is working with 25 end users, including supermarkets. However, the company is interested in developing relationships with Mexico's flourishing automotive industry, according to the executive. “The automotive industry needs more research labs and we can provide solutions,” Yáñez said.
The Cecim lab employs eight, including two with doctoral degrees, while Polymer Solutions has a sales staff of five. Its customers include Grupo Bimbo SAB de CV, of Mexico City, one of the world's largest bakers.
In addition to biodegradables, Polymer Solutions markets conventional additives, such as anti-static, anti-block, anti-oxidant, slip, flame retardant and UV protection products.
It is owned by two Mexican partners whom Yáñez declines to identify for security reasons. Cuernavaca, 50 miles south of Mexico City, has the country's highest ratio of scientific researchers per population, he said. It also has one of Mexico's highest rates of crime, including kidnapping.