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Preferred Compounding plans expansion in Mexico

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Preferred Compounding's Mexico manufacturing facility.

BARBERTON, Ohio—Preferred Compounding de Mexico has plans to expand its capabilities and double capacity at the firm's plant in central Mexico by the first quarter of 2015.

A wholly owned subsidiary of Barberton-headquartered Preferred Compounding Corp., the company said it will add a Farrel F-270 Tangential variable speed mixer and an in-line gear pump strainer at the San Luis Potosi, Mexico, facility. Financial details were not disclosed.

Preferred will install the gear pump strainer first, and installation of the mixer should be complete by early 2015, according to Scott Lieberman, general manager of Preferred Compounding de Mexico.

It's aiming to complete the project in the first quarter of 2015.

Once in place, the second F-270 mixer, with an average batch load of about 500 pounds, will double the company's capacity of 25 million gross pounds per year.

Lieberman said the current 66,000-sq.-ft. plant can accommodate the additional mixer without physical expansion.

Preferred's work force at the Mexican factory has been growing steadily during the last year. It has 45 employees, up from 23 in January 2013, which for the time being is large enough to handle the new machinery and extra capacity, a spokesman said.

Its expansion announcement came 16 months after the company commissioned its first F-270 Farrel mixer at the San Luis Potosi plant and 24 months after the compounder purchased the Mexican operation from Iacp Jevsa of Barcelona, Spain, in July 2012.

The new F-270 mixer will have the same rotor configurations and controls as the current mixer at the San Louis Potosi facility and another one the firm operates at its Huntington, Tenn., plant, Lieberman said.

“We expected to add another compounding line sometime in the future, but our rapid growth in Mexico is enabling us to move forward now,” he said.

He said the capacity expansion “provides additional throughput, local redundancy and enhanced capabilities to our customers in Mexico.”

Scott Lieberman

Its latest additions and expansion should take care of the company's near- and mid-term needs, Lieberman said.

“The long term is harder to predict, but we will always be willing to invest to keep ahead of the growth of our business,” he said. “All of this is for compounds delivered in Mexico.” It does not ship to the U.S. from Mexico.

Preferred Compounding supplies U.S. companies from its Huntington; Tallapoosa, Ga.; Fruithurst, Ala.; and Barberton facilities.

However, Preferred Compounding de Mexico provides custom compounds and services primarily to the Mexican operations of U.S., Asian and European parts manufacturers.

Lieberman said all of Preferred's plants are doing well. “We continue to grow at all sites,” he said, and the company has received positive response from customers to the continuing improvements in quality and service at its facilities.