Fiber reinforcement firm Beaver expanding into Mexico

Beaver Manufacturing Co. Inc., a supplier of technical fiber reinforcements for hoses in North America, plans to open a new plant in Mexico, but said it won't impact operations at its headquarters facility in Mansfield, Ga.

The new facility will be located in Tepeji, about 45 miles northwest of Mexico City, according to Mike Dubin, Beaver's senior vice president and chief operating officer. The site will expand the company's global presence and increase its converting capacity of meta- and para-aramid, rayon and polyester products that support automotive, oil and gas, and other industrial applications in Mexico and South America.

The aramid fibers are a class of heat-resistant and strong synthetic fibers that provide high strength-to-weight ratios with greater flexibility not available in steel wire, according to the company.

Strong growth in Mexico prompted the need for the Mexican factory, as Dubin said the share of Beaver's revenues derived from Mexico has increased substantially over the past five years. And the new plant will be in a prime location for expanding the company's aramid product market, with major growth projected in Mexico and South America for the automotive and oil and gas industries.

"Whether it is business that has been transferred from the U.S. to Mexico, or whether it's business that came from other parts of the world into Mexico, the growth rates are really high," Dubin said. "It's become a large percentage of our business, and we felt like localizing that business with all the growth we're working on was an important way to handle it. And it's much better for us to serve South America from Mexico."

Beaver's factory will be located at an industrial park in Tepeji, with the firm's section in excess of 50,000 square feet, he said. Equipment will begin arriving in January, and Dubin hopes to have the plant operational by the end of 2018's first quarter. Initial employment is planned at between 30 and 40 and will expand from there, according to Dubin.

Beaver didn't disclose investment or capacity figures for the operation.

The new plant will be headed by General Manager Enrique Quirarte, who has 13 years of experience in sales and marketing. He has managed sales force teams in Mexico and South America, has specialized in working in the aramid market, and is accustomed to selling in diverse markets such as automotive, electrical, energy, pharma and others.

"We are very excited about having an expert with sales and marketing in the meta- and para-aramid markets," Dubin said. "His extensive knowledge of these heat-resistant and strong synthetic fibers will be a key asset in supporting our development into the automotive, oil, gas and other specialty industries in Mexico and South America."

Quirarte will oversee both the operations of the factory and business in the region. "He'll have full responsibility for the facility, and he'll have full bottom-line responsibility for everything," Dubin said.

To this point, Beaver has serviced Mexico from its main facility in Mansfield, and that site will continue to operate at full capacity and employment, Dubin said. The addition of the new Mexico plant will complement operations at the main facility without disruption and help the company efficiently handle projections for growth.

"There are no plans to change anything that we're doing in our current facility in Mansfield," he said. "This is an expansion of the business. There will be no change in employment and no equipment will be moved."

In fact, growth has been so strong, Dubin said, that the new capacity can't come on-stream soon enough.

This is Beaver's second major move in the past two months. In October it reached an agreement where Germany's Mehler Engineered Products Group will represent Beaver's product line in Europe beginning Jan. 1, eventually leading to manufacturing of the goods in Europe.

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