‘Reshoring’ Benefits Mexico, Too
2. January 2014
I’ve been hearing from injection molders lately that Mexico is becoming increasingly competitive with China for custom manufacturing services. One of those molders is EVCO Plastics (profiled in this month’s On-Site feature), based in DeForest, Wis., which has five injection molding plants in the U.S., three in Mexico, and one in China. EVCO president Dale Evans told me, “China tends to have the lowest price but the longest lead times. But as China raises taxes and labor rates, Mexico becomes increasingly competitive. Some jobs that start out in China later move to Mexico.”
Another molder is betting on Mexico getting its share of the “reshoring” trend from Asia to NAFTA. Tekmart Integrated Manuacturing Services (TIMS), is a new contract manufacturing operation established this past March in Juarez, Mexico, in a plant formerly occupied by the Thompson RCA for television and consumer electronics manufacturing. TIMS is a division of Tekmart International, Inc., Toronto, a supplier of secondhand electronics manufacturing equipment (surface-mount, through-hole, and test devices) and injection molding machines. TIMS is restructuring the Juarez plant to accommodate expanded manufacturing operations that include injection molding, surface-mount technology (SMT) for PC boards, sub-assembly, full product assembly, and a variety of secondary operations.
“With 30 years of injection molding, SMT, and assembly expertise in a class ‘A’ facility, TIMS can manage large, complex supply chains, including inventory control of thousands of component SKUs, and provide contract manufacturing support for the near-shoring demands of OEMs in the automotive, aerospace, appliance, and medical markets,” said Junaid Omer, general manager of acquisition development for Tekmart International.
The TIMS plant houses 33 injection machines from 170 to 3000 tons, 23 of them 1000 tons or larger to meet demand for large-part manufacturing. All the presses are equipped with robots. “This facility was the first and largest molding footprint in Juarez,” said Omer. “We also have an on-site tool shop for mold maintenance and repair and to perform engineering change orders (ECOs) upon customer request to minimize mold downtime.” The molding and mold shop occupy 250,000 ft2. The remaining 400,000 ft2 are devoted to sub-assembly and box-build (assembly) of finished products, as well as hot stamping, silk screening, pad printing, heat staking, and three automated paint lines. The facility is certified to ISO 9000, ISO 14000, and TS 16949 quality standards.