Illig Latin America, Grupo Interconsult's service center for thermoformers, has invested 4 million euros ($4.9 million) in a new facility in Mexico.
Formerly based in Mexico City, the new location is Toluca, capital of the central Mexican state México, situated about 65 km southwest of Mexico City.
Humberto Peschl, CEO of Grupo Interconsult, told PlasticsToday the location was changed in order to have more space available for its thermoforming technology training and technical service.
The new building houses a 1260 sq m hall and a three-story office building with 2000 sq m of usable space. These are spread over a large exhibition room and two training facilities on the ground floor as well as offices for customer service, sales, tool design, administration and also conference rooms on the first and second floor.
The customer support services provided by the ILLIG Latam service center are not limited to Mexico, as they support customers over all of Central America, the Caribbean islands and some countries in the north of South America. The service center employs more than 40 staff members.
The new facility provides optimum infrastructure for comprehensive customer care and support under one roof, from sales through to continuous support regarding all questions of every day production. To suit this purpose, the facility is also equipped with machine tools for the construction of new tools as well as for service and maintenance of customers' tools.
Enhancing the skills of staff members to handle thermoformers constitutes a major share of customer care. Practical machine knowledge is imparted using an Illig RDK 80 automatic roll-fed machine, equipped with the latest control concept, Illig IC.
The RDK 80 machine features a forming area of up to 756 x 565 mm² and is equipped as a complete thermoforming line with interlinked equipment groups: a hole punch station (punching force 600 kN) positioned after the forming station, a steel rule punch press and a stacking station. This type of machine is used for the production of trays and hinged packs to lids of different shapes and sizes made out of the materials from PS, PP, PET, and PLA.
When asked if the company will add more machines, Peschl said at the moment, only RDK training is available, but RDM machines could be added to complete the training program.
The Mexican/Latin American thermoforming market is stable due to the amount of orders placed during the past two years, Peschl said. Local business is driven by high-speed thermoforming, improved packaging design, multilayer packaging, and qualified training, he said.
While the presidential elections in U.S. and Mexico during 2012 have slowed down some projects, Peschl said a better USD / EUR exchange rate could speed up more projects than expected.