Mexico City — US Extruders Inc., a maker of custom single-screw extruders in Westerly, R.I., exhibited for the first time at Plastimagen. The event also marked the first time it exhibited at a trade show outside of the United States.
"Our goal has always been when we started to take care of North America," Stephen Montalto, director of sales, said in an interview at the company's booth. "We have a rep here, Plastec, that handles all of Latin America, and we really wanted to come and support them."
Plastec USA Inc., based in Miami, markets machinery and products for the plastics industry in Latin America. US Extruders shared a booth with the distributor, which has offices in Mexico and all throughout South America.
"Mexico is a strong market, and we want to make sure we're supporting it," said Montalto, who joined US Extruders in March 2018.
"Mexico is an important partner and an important market to the plastics industry, and we look forward to hopefully doing business here," he added.
Montalto said he's quoted "quite a bit" for potential customers in Mexico, but he hasn't received any orders yet — but that just sets a new goal to meet during the show.
"We're hoping to have a lot of good contacts, a lot of good discussions here this week, and hopefully that generates some orders," he said.
For 2019, the Mexican market will probably account for a small percentage of business at US Extruders, but it's viewed as an opportunity for growth.
"We definitely see it as a growth market, and if we can grow that to 10, 15, 20 percent, that would be great," Montalto said.
US Extruders is still a young company.
It launched in August 2017 with several former American Kuhne Inc. employees such as President Bill Kramer. The built-to-spec extruder maker solely focuses on the North American market.
"2018 was our first full calendar year, and we exceeded our expectations," he said.
The company, which has grown to 22 employees, including three interns, is also seeing a positive start to the year, according to Montalto.
"First quarter was very good for us, and we are very optimistic about moving forward for 2019," he said.