Austrian plastics sheet and film producer Senoplast Klepsch & Co. is growing its business to the east and west, building a new plant in China and launching a capacity expansion in Mexico.
Last month, the Piesendorf-based extruder formally broke ground on the site of its planned factory at Suzhou near Shanghai, China. Initially, phase one of the plant will turn out co extruded sheets and film for thermoforming applications, mainly interior and exterior auto vehicle parts and bathtubs.
Senoplast is sinking around €13m in stage one of the project which is set to go on stream next year. The plant comprises a 4,000m2 operation with a workforce of about 40 who will include several specialists brought in from the firm’s Piesendorf headquarters, the firm said.
“With our new location, we want to serve the relevant industries directly on site with our quality products," explained project manager Michael Reeves.
Meanwhile, Senoplast has already begun extending its only existing foreign manufacturing unit, located at Querétaro in central Mexico, to serve a growing regional market. Set up in the year 2000, the operation was intended to supply customers in the North American Free Trade Area (NAFTA) faster and more efficiently.
The group is investing €7.7m at Senoplast México where it plans to install a fourth production line and expand offices and storage capacity. In addition to serving increasing demand in North America, it aims to supply film and sheet to the growing markets of South America.
Senoplast is currently creating new office space covering 850m2 and building a new 3,000m2 warehouse at the Mexican site. Construction for the expansion there began in March this year and is scheduled to be completed by mid-September 2019.
“With the (Mexican) expansion, we expect production growth to increase by 35% and employment to rise by 20%,” explained Senoplast México chief executive officer Constancio Leal.
Senoplast group’s range of ‘Senosan’ semi-finished sheet and film products are made from different polymers and composites including ABS, polycarbonate, poly methyl methacrylate (PMMA), acrylonitrile styrene acrylate (ASA) and polystyrene.
To date, the company has achieved an annual production of around 50ktpa at its main plant in the Austrian village of Piesendorf and at the Mexican operation serving customers worldwide.
Last year, Senoplast invested €6.1m in a further expansion project, this time at its main base in Austria. In September, it launched a new 3,600m2 industrial extension with space for two new extrusion lines and a cleanroom facility along with a modern storage unit.