Feiplastic: Winder manufacturer eyes U.S. for first facility outside Brazil

São Paulo—Vemax, a Brazilian supplier of specialty winding technology, is looking to open its first office outside of Brazil in the U.S. later this year, hoping to reinvigorate an export business that formerly constituted 70% of sales. Julio Altemani, Vemax's director, told PlasticsToday at Feiplastic 2013 that one potential location would be Miami since that city has a branch office for the Brazil Machinery Manufacturing Association (ABIMAQ), of which Vemax is a member.

Founded in 1988 with 45 employees and based 90 km outside of São Paulo in Valinhos, Vemax works in a lot of specialty markets, including stretch films, packaging, and labels, according to Altemani.

Vemax's Germano Antunes (far left) and Julio Altemani (second from left) said the maker of specialty winding equipment is recommited to exports.

Germano Antunes, a business consultant for Vemax, said that at this time exports are virtually nil, noting that fluctuations in currency played a large role in undercutting the company's ability to sell beyond its shores, with the Brazilian real moving from $3 to $3.5 to the dollar to $1.6 to $1.55 at one point. During the event, the exchange stood at around $2 for every one real. "I'm not selling the machine for more," Antunes said, "it's the same price, but the dollar is lower."

While the company does contract out some panels and sheet metal work, it does make a lot of components in house, offering customers CNC machining and 3D design.

The company recently launched a machine especially for stretch film that is fully automatic, and can run standard films with or without cores  as well as pre-stretch films with cores. "Were always investing in technology," Altemani said, including software and hardware in that comment. "Almost all of our machines are connected to a PC/PLCs. We can record recipes for job, and when the job repeat is repeated, you can bring up all the information."

Another advance allows Vemax service personnel to connect directly to the machine from a remote location. "Brazil is a big country," Altemani said. "We need something to help our customers as soon as possible."

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