Automotive supplier dlhBowles has opened a 280,000-square-foot assembly plant in Reynosa, Mexico.
“That was a greenfield facility that we built from the ground up,” said CEO John Saxon. The Reynosa plant was designed to be a world benchmark plastic assembly facility for efficiency and cost effectiveness. He said dlhBowles is not releasing dollar amounts of the investment.
The private equity-owned company formed in mid-2015, when Morganthaler Private Equity purchased Canton, Ohio-based DLH Industries Inc. and merged it with another company it owned, Bowles Fluidics Corp. in Columbia, Md.
Saxon said the Reynosa factory was built by the two joined companies. Bowles Fluidics had already run another Mexico assembly plant, in Fresnillo, he said. Both operations in Mexico also do extrusion, and source injection molded fittings and other parts from dlhBowles' U.S. plants.
“We're growing dramatically. We are absolutely experiencing tremendous growth,” he said.
The company makes components for handling automotive fluids, such as hoses and nozzles for windshield washer systems, which are then turned into finished assemblies. The company also has expanded into other automotive areas, including actuation systems for turbochargers, vacuum brake-assist assemblies and the growing market of special washing systems for cameras and sensors in cars.
Saxon said the Reynosa factory, which opened in January, employs about 580. It was designed for up to 2,400 employees.
The opening of the Reynosa factory is not directly related to dlhBowles' decision to close an assembly plant in Carrollton, Ohio, and lay off 94 people by March 31.
Saxon said the Carrollton work will be absorbed into other existing manufacturing facilities in Ohio, Maryland and Mexico.