Tultitlán, Mexico — Family-owned Freudenberg Group's household cleaning products division is bringing more and more injection molding to Mexico, while extrusion operations are also under consideration.
“The plan is to bring much more work into Mexico,” Victor Andriani, country manager for Freudenberg Home and Cleaning Solutions, told Plastics News Aug. 21, stressing in a subsequent telephone call that in-house injection molding is not on the agenda for the time being.
“Some time in the future, there could be in-house injection molding,” he said Aug. 29, emphasizing that it is not yet in the company's short-term plans.
The company is increasing the amount of work given to local suppliers. “We work with one big injection molder and a smaller one,” Andriani stated.
He also said the Mexican company is investing in molds. Two of the molds purchased recently were made locally, he said, “while one was brought in from Italy.”
The company's Freudenberg Productos del Hogar SA de CV subsidiary and Vileda brand were established in Mexico 25 years ago. In that time Vileda's share of the national market has risen to 15 percent, Andriani told journalists during a plant tour.
He expects the company's sales to grow by up to 15 percent this year in relation to 2017. Mauricio García is the marketing director.
Most of Freudenberg Home and Cleaning's injection molding for market-leading products such as the Easywring mop and bucket is done at plants in Aurora, Ill.; Rocello, Italy; Shanghai and Hong Kong.
“The company is bringing in more and more work here and supplying other companies [within the group] from here,” said Tebaldo Mureddu Gilabert, Freudenberg Group's official spokesman in Mexico.
Andriani, however, was reticent about the size of the investment in the 6,889-square-foot facility, located in the industrial municipality of Tultitlán, just north of Mexico City.
A recent hire is indicative of the Mexican subsidiary's ambitions. José Luis Guzmán, the new plant manager, was operations and supply chain manager at Procter & Gamble for 12 years and with Berry Plastics for two years.
“I've been brought in because they're thinking that this site will grow considerably,” he said, adding that, apart from increased injection molding activities in Mexico, extrusion operations are also under consideration. The plant's 70 employees carry out assembly and warehouse duties currently.
Founded in 1849, the group's headquarters is in Weinheim, 45 miles south of Frankfurt, Germany. Its four other divisions manufacture auto parts, textiles and building materials and supply telecommunications.
According to Andriani, group sales amounted to 10.6 billion euros ($12.3 billion) in 2017. The cleaning products division's sales are close to $1 billion euros ($1.16 billion), he said.
The group employs 50,000 in 60 countries.