Materials maker Techmer PM will open a compounding plant in Querétaro, Mexico, this month.
"The investment is a multi-million dollar investment in order to make it a world-class facility with the same broad range of capabilities we have across our other six facilities in the United States," a spokesman told Plastics News.
The plant will help meet growing demand for color, additives, and engineered compounds in key Latin American markets, officials with Clinton, Tenn.-based Techmer said in a recent news release.
The Querétaro plant "was designed to create high-value technical products that meet demanding quality requirements," they added.
The 60,000-square-foot plant will be doubled in size within the next two years. Production will be ramped up through the first quarter of 2018. A formal opening ceremony will be held in early 2018 as well.
In a recent interview with Plastics News, Techmer President Ryan Howley said that his firm looked at several sites in Mexico before choosing Querétaro.
"One of our original owners — Rehrig Pacific — has been in Querétaro for a long time," Howley said. "We visited there and it really jumped out. There were a lot of multinational companies already there and a lot of potential customers.
"The infrastructure in Querétaro also is solid," he added. "It's a good place to do business."
The new plant "will enable us to directly serve customers with operations in Mexico, Central America, and South America, producing high-value technical products for challenging applications," Latin American general manager Guillermo Quijano said in the release.
Techmer's Querétaro location will open with three compounding lines. A fourth line is expected to be added in 2018.
To support the facility, Techmer is currently hiring and training employees. The firm plans to hire about 100 employees in the next three to five years. Some of Techmer's U.S. team members also are moving to Querétaro to support the opening and ongoing growth.
Techmer expects that, going forward, about 60 to 70 percent of materials developed at the Querétaro facility will be purchased by customers in Mexico. The rest will be exported to other Latin American countries.
Customers of the new plant span the automotive, agriculture, packaging, fibers, and nonwovens sectors, as well as new markets such as 3D printing.
Company officials said in the release that Techmer is exhibiting at Plastimagen for the first time this year as part of its commitment to the Latin American market. At Plastimagen, the firm will demonstrate TechmerVision, its web-based design tool that helps designers and engineers to innovate with the creation and application of new colors.
Techmer ranks as one of North America's 30 largest compounders and concentrate makers. The firm has annual sales of more than $200 million. Plastics News has recognized Techmer on its Best Places to Work list in 2014, 2016, and 2017.
Techmer PM also has a plant in São Paulo, Brazil, and another in Cologne, Germany.