DETROIT - Loranger Manufacturing Corp., which makes plastics for the auto industry, is setting up its first operation in Mexico to begin injection molding during the second quarter of this year.
The Guadalupe, Mexico, plant will add blow molding to its product lineup, CEO George Loranger said here March 7 at the SAE World Congress.
'There are a lot of plastic (processing) houses there, but not a lot of the precision molders,' he said. 'I think it'll grow quite fast.'
Loranger invested more than $3 million in the 24,000-square-foot plant. General Manager Drake Schrage - a 17-year veteran of plastics molding in Mexico - expects to have about 100 employees by the end of this year.
The company has lined up business with traditional Loranger customers that operate in Mexico. Loranger anticipates the work will be split between the automotive industry and consumer and electronic manufacturing. Guadalupe marks the second international operation for Loranger, of Warren, Pa. It has operated in Szekesfehervar, Hungary, for more than a decade.
Moving to Mexico has been a smooth operation, Loranger said, because of the large number of American businesses there.
'I think we have a leg up on most people just because of our experience in Eastern Europe over the past 11 years,' he said.
Loranger will stick exclusively to molding in Mexico, unlike Hungary, where the company also oversees an industrial park.
Mexico has developed a good work force for the plastic industry, Schrage said. The company will work with schools on employee training programs.
By investing in trade and technical studies, students and businesses can benefit, Loranger said. Residents get the skills needed to advance their careers, while companies obtain research partners for projects.
Beyond Mexico, Loranger said the company is looking at opportunities to expand, through alliances and with on-shore facilities.