Manufacturing growth in Mexico drives Milacron into larger facility

Milacron LLC, a global supplier of plastics processing technologies, announced an open house at its new technology center, which combines machinery sales, and aftermarket parts and services in one location. The new facility is located in the Benito Juarez Industrial Park in Queretaro, Mexico, an area where manufacturing for automotive and aerospace is booming.

Michael Ferlic, Milacron’s VP of sales for Latin America, told PlasticsToday that the move into the new 12,000-sq-ft facility was necessitated by higher demand for after-sales support on much of the plastics processing machinery that is currently being transferred to Mexico, both used and new.

“We have experienced over the past few years, customers that are really looking into having their facilities closer to the U.S. than Asia affords,” said Ferlic. “We have some customers transferring older machinery from Asia to Mexico. That’s one of the reasons we relocated to this new facility in Queretaro. We’re re-evaluating our spare parts for the local market as well. In Mexico, customers don’t always come to us to tell us they’re transferring machines from their other plants to plants in Mexico. We have the opportunity that when all these transferred machines hit the Mexican market, they need to be taken care of in terms of parts and service.”

The new technical/service center stocks spare parts, and trained technicians can rebuild older machines and bring them up to date. “We can bring in older machines and replace the electronic parts and remanufacture them to a point where we offer warranties,” said Ferlic. “This is very convenient to our customers.”

The tech center offers customers in the region the opportunity to run tests for new molds on new machinery, and provides training sessions on equipment in Spanish. Ferlic noted that Milacron is hiring and training local people for technician positions.

Recently the company hired three new technicians, bringing that number to 10. They are planning on hiring two more service techs to handle the increased demand for machinery rebuilding, including the jobs they are currently doing for customers in the Queretaro region. “We have a used 500-ton machine we’re rebuilding at the moment,” said Ferlic, adding that the tech center offers service and spare parts for injection molding, blowmolding, and extrusion equipment.
“We have also smaller machines, but one reason we’re investing heavily in rebuilding capability is that makes sense to rebuild machines 400 tons and up, and there are many bigger machines in Mexico, which is where rebuilding comes into play,” explained Ferlic. “With the smaller machines you can get to a cost-benefit ratio that would be close to being more effective to buy new. We can rebuild machines up to 1500 tons.” 

Milacron offers two ways to rebuild machinery. “The customer can bring the machinery into our facility, but if it’s too large or too complex to move from the customer’s plant, we’ll rebuild the machines at their plant,” said Ferlic.

Ferlic commented that the entire region of Nuevo Leon is experiencing a growth in manufacturing as “most of the new companies are heading toward this region,” he commented. “The biggest volume for plastics is still in automotive, which is where the bigger machines start to play a role. However, the market is very diverse for us. We cover the packaging industry with all-electric machines, and we’re strong in medical with machines out of Japan and Germany including multicomponent and two-platen processing.”

Javier Torres, GM, Americas-Aftermarket Services, commented, “The plastics industry is growing rapidly in Mexico and other parts of Latin America. Combining all our services under one roof at the new facility allows us to be an even stronger partner and more responsive resource to companies across the region.”

The open house, to be held on August 21-22, will feature demonstrations of a Roboshot 165 and MTs 170 injection molding machines, and a Medline extruder. There will also be industry and technical presentations with experts from Ambiente Plastico on opportunities in the Mexican plastics industry. Milacron will lead discussions on all-electric injection molding, servo hybrid technology extrusion and blowmolding processes, and aftermarket efficiencies.
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