Mexico City — Mexico's red-hot automotive industry is boosting business for Milacron Holdings Corp., officials said at Plastimagen.
Mexico is becoming a center of the auto supply chain for plastics, including Tier 1, Tier 2 and direct-to-assembly plants, said Juan Carlos Gonzalez, Milacron's Latin American director.
“Queretaro, particularly, is becoming the plastics hub for Mexico,” Gonzalez said. “Not only molding companies, but also mold makers are coming. Since we have many European company assembly plants, they are bringing with them many, many suppliers.”
Building the supply base is important for Mexico, which has become a powerhouse for automotive assembly. According to AMIA, the Mexico automotive industry trade association, 77.4 percent of all light vehicles that are assembled in Mexico are exported to the United States — but Mexico still imports 70 percent of the components for those vehicles.
Most of Milacron's machinery sales to Mexico — volume-wise — go to multinational companies. But Gonzalez said an active base of Mexican-owned processors also is investing in new equipment. “That's opening opportunities for local suppliers for the automotive industry, and the local industry is preparing very well in quality,” he said. “They are acquiring better technologies and processes.”
Milacron opened a High Impact Technical Center in Queretaro about 18 months ago, to boost sales, parts and service for its injection molding, extrusion and blow molding machinery for Mexico and other countries in Latin America.
Milacron had “very strong growth in 2015” in Mexico, said Shawn Reilley, vice president and general manager of injection presses and advanced plastics processing technologies.
“We think we're well positioned to partner with automotive OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers,” Reilley said in a March 8 interview at Plastimagen.
At the show, Milacron has two injection molding cells. One has an all-electric Roboshot 165 with an E-Multi secondary injection unit for two-component molding of liquid silicone rubber and thermoplastics. The cell has a Mold-Masters E-Multi injection unit for liquid silicone rubber.
LSR is used in medical molding, which is growing in the maquiladora region in northern Mexico, Gonzalez said.
Also at Plastimagen, Milacron is showing a Magna T 170, a toggle press that accommodates large and heavy molds.
Milacron also is showing Mold-Masters hot runners for automotive parts and automotive lens production, and a Mold-Masters TempMaster hot runner controller.