Techmer PM looks forward to growth in Latin America

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Techmer PM From left: Craig Burnett, vice president of operations, Techmer PM; John Manuck, chairman and CEO; Marco A. Del Prete T. secretary of sustainable development; Ryan Howley, president, Techmer PM; Guillermo Quijano, general manager of Latin America, Techmer PM.

Materials maker Techmer PM's top two executives say the company will have four compounding lines operating in Mexico by the end of the year.

In a telephone interview on the eve of the official opening of the Clinton, Tenn.-based company's 60,000-square-foot facility in Querétaro, President Ryan Howley and CEO John Manuck said Techmer already has two lines running at the plant.

"We have started our production and have begun shipping material," they said.

They also said plans are going ahead to double the size of the facility within the next 18 months.

"By the time we are through the first year and a half is when we'll require more space," they said.

The Querétaro factory will primarily supply Techmer customers in Mexico and elsewhere in Latin America. The wide array of customers includes those in automotive, packaging, aerospace, medical and agriculture, among others.

"As far as the construction of the facility is concerned, everything has been excellent," the two men said. Everything, including contacts with local and state authorities, had gone "very smoothly."

Howley said he had been "very impressed, overwhelmed" by the quality of the team of workers Techmer had been able to assemble "and I've been involved in starting up plants before."

Asked what effect, if any, the renegotiation of the Nafta pact would have on Techmer's business, Howley and Manuck said: "We don't expect any radical changes. We don't expect it [the final outcome] will change our business."

They admitted to being "very bullish" about the future but said there were supply and pricing issues that were "very concerning" and presented some challenges.

Techmer, which is according to Plastics News estimates is one of North America's 30 largest compounders and concentrate makers, has annual sales of more than $200 million. It has six facilities in the United States, one in São Paulo and another in Cologne, Germany, in addition to the Mexico facility.

It will be showing innovation at NPE2018 (Booth S27015), Howley and Manuck said.

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