(From the July 25, 2011, issue of Rubber & Plastics News)
DELICIAS, Mexico—Tristone Flowtech Group GmbH is expanding its hose manufacturing operation into North America with the addition of a production plant in Delicias.
The Frankfurt, Germany-headquartered company has leased the former Veyance Technologies Inc. factory in the city with the aim of further penetrating the NAFTA automotive market and establishing a strong manufacturing footprint in the region, according to Guenter Froelich, pre¼sident and CEO of the firm.
Tristone's new automotive products plant is being prepped for production of engine and battery cooling hoses and systems as well as turbochargers, he said.
Needed manufacturing machinery has been purchased, he said, and is being moved into the new location.
Production at the factory, which spans about 118,400 square feet, is expected to start at the end of 2011 with the first deliveries from the site beginning shortly thereafter, Froelich said.
Its first products are earmarked for BMW, Volkswagen, Magna U.S. and Ford Argentina, according to the company.
About 100 workers likely will be employed at the facility by the end of the year.
By the end of 2013, the site should have a work force of 650, the firm said.
In addition to the Delicias factory, Tristone has product development and production plants in Germany, Spain, France, Italy, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Turkey.
The company, a spinoff of Trelleborg A.B. in July 2010, presently has a strong base in Europe, with about $256 million in sales annually, Froelich said. “Overall, business is very positive.”
Tristone became a stand-alone company when Trelleborg sold its fluid solutions business to Bavaria Industriekapital A.G., a German industrial holding company.
Tristone also is considering setting up a cooling hose and turbocharger production operation in China, possibly within the next year, Froelich said.
Currently, however, its main emphasis will be to build its manufacturing arm in Mexico rather than exporting products from its European plants and increase its share of the NAFTA market.
Meanwhile, it hasn't neglected its large European operation. In early November, the firm opened a central laboratory for rubber development in Walbrzych, Poland, adjacent to its manufacturing facility in the country.
The laboratory is focusing on three areas: compound development, material/ compound testing and functional/product testing.
Its compound portfolio consists of different polymer bases, including EPDM, silicone, natural butadiene rubber and several others.