Plastic Design & Manufacturing Inc. (PDM) is investing $500,000 in establishing a full-service injection molding, assembly and tooling facility in northwestern Mexico in partnership with a local Ciudad Juárez molding company.
PDM-MX, a wholly owned subsidiary of Manhattan, Montana-based PDM, will start 24-hour operations in October with eight injection molding machines, ranging in clamping force from 50 to 600 tons.
“This is just the initial outlay of funds to transfer one or two existing jobs from our facility here [in Montana] to Juárez,” PDM owner and CEO Michael Groff said in a Sept. 24 telephone interview.
“I've been working in Juárez since the 1980s. Now the [Mexican] economy is doing well, that market is growing and coming back very strong,” Groff said.
Drugs-related violence in Juárez was costing 300 lives a month as recently as 2010. But Groff said that violence “is no longer an issue.”
He said the deal with Juárez molder Advanced Molding Technology is not a joint venture but rather an exercise in “sharing resources to help each other grow.
“Mostly we're going down there for existing customers,” including one, he said, who is in the hardware business. “PDM operates in the micro economy,” he added.
According to Groff, the 20,000 square foot plant where PDM-MX will be based stands on a one-acre plot of land. About 30 percent of PDM's U.S. business is tooling “and it will probably be the same” in Mexico, Groff said.
PDM-MX expects to employ 20 initially, all of them from the Juárez area.
Staff, including managers and technical molding people, already have been hired, Groff said.
PDM employs 52 in Manhattan, Montana, where its injection molding press suppliers include Haitian International Holdings Ltd, of Ningbo, China.
Founded in 1998 as a consulting and off-shore tooling company, PDM today offers “custom molding, tooling trials and assembly services to the hardware, outdoor/sporting goods and communications industries.”
Double-digit growth over the past six years has driven the recent expansion, the company said.¬