(From the June 27, 2011, issue of Rubber & Plastics News)
BETHEL, Va.—GW Plastics Inc. has expanded into Costa Rica with the launch of a joint venture factory to serve health care original equipment manufacturers in the region.
The global precision molder and contract manufacturer of silicone, thermoplastic elastomer and other products joined with Corprosemm Corp. to form the venture in Cartago, Costa Rica. GW is the majority owner of the new business, called GW Plastics Cartago.
Initially the new firm will be located at Corprosemm's 10,000-sq.-ft. injection molding facility in Cartago that has an ISO Class 8 100,000 clean room needed for assembly. It will begin production at the site later this summer, according to Larry Bell, GW vice president of business development and marketing.
Early next year, GW Cartago will expand into a 33,000-sq.-ft. plant that is being constructed in the city, which is located about 16 miles southeast of San Jose, Costa Rica. Interior work on the building is under way.
The new factory has property available that will allow for an expansion of up to 44,000 square feet. An addition, however, will be dependent on business needs.
An operations team is being assembled and trained “to support the production launch this summer,” Bell said. “We expect to employ up to 100 people with the new facility after the full build-out” next year.
A limited number of presses currently are available for initial production by GW Cartago, he said, but the firm eventually will need up to 20 injection molding machines to support production at the facility it's constructing in the city.
The manufacturing site was needed in the region, President and CEO Brenan Riehl said, to allow the company to more effectively support its customers in Latin America.
Bethel-headquartered GW intends “to support thermoplastic elastomers as well as liquid silicone molding at this facility, based upon local customer needs in the region,” Bell said.
“Our goal is to have the same high level of standardization that we have at all of our other existing global GW locations in the U.S., Mexico and China,” he said.
Corprosemm's longtime experience in the health care industry “will support GW's decision to enhance its global presence with this manufacturing operation,” said Magin Mora, one of the partners in Corprosemm, a molder and contract manufacturer that was founded by a number of former health care OEM executives.
“We are absolutely confident in the success of this business partnership,” he said.