The Group is Opening a New Facility in Chihuahua.
Fagerdala Singapore Pte, Ltd, parent company to the Fagerdala Packaging Group was established in 1983 with the primary focus of being a total packaging solutions provider, while incorporating vertically integrated PE foam extrusion and automation fabrication technologies for use with in house fabrication of cushion packaging products. As a growing company, the Fagerdala Packaging Group is currently represented in 6 countries with 13 different facilities with a focus on new and emerging markets; covering Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, China, USA , and Mexico with 1,200 employees worldwide.
During 2014 Fagerdala increased its facility footprint inside Mexico with the opening of a new custom wooden pallet facility in Chihuahua City. Fagerdala Mexico started operations in Juarez in 2010, investing US$2.5 million. It was very easy and friendly to set up our business in Juarez, with a business oriented government. George Wiswall is the VP for Fagerdala Mexico and He received BorderNOW for a tour at their new plant in Chihuahua. “The initial purpose of this facility was for the manufacturing of custom wooden pallets, for one of our customers that is doing business here in Chihuahua City which is Jabil and their end customer is Hewlett Packard”. The new facility in Chihuahua has also allowed us a much needed presence to provide local JIT deliveries for our foam cushion products.
Since opening the new facility in Chihuahua, Fagerdala has been putting focus towards marketing its new pallet manufacturing capability with both new and existing customers, so to complement their custom cushion packaging solutions. The addition of custom pallet manufacturing allows Fagerdala the ability to provide its customers a more integrated solution in one stop.
Fagerdala has had its core competency with the manufacturing of polyethylene fabricated cushion packaging solutions. To complement and better serve their customers Fagerdala also provides other critical packaging components like outer cartons, protective bags, and of course wooden pallets. “We definitely view pallets as an extension of packaging and we saw the opportunity to open the new facility in Chihuahua as a strategy to grow in other regions of Mexico yet still being proximal enough to our main facility which is in Ciudad Juarez, allowing Fagerdala team members an efficient commute to Chihuahua to help with the setup of this facility” said the VP of Fagerdala Mexico.
The competitive advantages for Fagerdala are result of a very driven team and investments made to build facilities which are vertically integrated with the extrusion of Polyethylene foam for use internally to fabricate their customers cushion packaging products. George Wiswall explained: “In addition to the extrusion of PE foam, Fagerdala is also integrated with foam recycling equipment for the purpose recycling any of scrap PE foam generated in our fabrication process”.
“The scrap material” Wiswall mentioned “is ground and shredded to a smaller size and then pelletized for reuse in our extrusion process at a level up to 100%”.
Fagerdala is also very active in collecting scrap PE foam back from its customers for recycling. In combination to Fagerdala´s vertically integrated material manufacturing, the Company has spent years developing and manufacturing its own automation equipment for its global facilities to assist in the fabrication process. “Another key advantage for Fagerdala is found in its product engineering services, providing clients support with a total solution design, sampling and product testing” stated George Wiswall.
To summarize Fagerdala has the advantage of being able to engineer and deliver sustainable cushion packaging solutions, made under the same roof where the foam material is extruded and the cushions fabricated, yielding a cost competitive advantage.
It is important to mention that the Fagerdala Mexico facility in Juarez has is ISO 9001 certified, as well C-TPAT certified. Fagerdala has also initiated the process for its Chihuahua and Indiana facilities to become ISO certified this coming 2015.
George Wiswall is the VP for Fagerdala Mexico and explained it this way: “Fagerdala does have plans to expand further in Mexico, and North America in general. In 2012 Fagerdala also opened its first facility in the United States, locating in Plainfield Indiana where we are also vertically integrated with PE foam extrusion. Growth into different regions for Fagerdala has been a way to better meet a customer’s needs that we are working with in anther region.
Fagerdala is able to work in a variety of industries including electronics, automotive, medical device, defense and consumer. Depending on the market being served will determine the mix of manufacturing. Globally Fagerdala has had its greatest focus in the electronics market, providing solutions for laptops, PC’s, Servers, tablets and other consumer electronics. In Mexico and the USA Fagerdala has also had its focus on electronics, yet we have also been focusing more towards the automotive markets where their cushion products can be utilized in returnable solutions.
As a conclusion, George Wiswall said “Typically the types of fabricated foam cushion solutions offered by Fagerdala are pieced together by hand, similar to the way a puzzle is pieced together. However internal advancements with automation have allowed Fagerdala to minimize manual assembly, allowing for tighter controls on quality, greater consistencies, and higher output, similar to molded products”.
According to Wiswall, given that the majority of foam products produced for Fagerdala customers are specific to their need, the Company is not able to simply purchase automation equipment. Instead Fagerdala has built its own highly skilled engineering and machinery group which is located at its Singapore headquarters.
By Arturo Chretín