ASK Chemicals LLC approved plans to build a new manufacturing plant in Monterrey, Mexico, to produce sand binders, refractory coatings, and riser sleeves for metalcasting operations in the region.

No details on the value of the capital investment were provided. The plant is scheduled to be completed and in production by Q4 2017.

Mexico is the site of an increasing volume of foundry and diecasting activity, with investments in new or existing production capacity by numerous metalcasting organizations, in particular those that cast automotive parts. ASK Chemicals referred to

the country’s “increasingly well prepared work force, casting know-how/expertise, proximity to major markets … and a growing accessibility to premium foundry consumables,” in its description of investment climate there. It also cited LMC Automotive Ltd.’s forecast production of 5 million automotive light-vehicle units from OEMs’ Mexican operations by 2023.

ASK Chemicals indicated its new plant would produce cold-box and no-bake binders at an estimated capacity of 30,000 metric tons/year, for current and future customers. The plant also will produce mold coating products at a rate of 10,000 metric tons/year, and it will have infrastructure for several riser-sleeve manufacturing machines, with initial capacity of more than 5 million pieces/year.

The group also noted it will "co-locate" its R&D laboratories in order to bring product development and customer services closer to the Mexican market.

According to ASK, the new Mexican plant will complement its U.S. manufacturing operations, and bring its foundry products nearer to the foundries in Mexico.

“We are committed to the Mexican foundry industry and to providing them an unmatched value proposition,” stated Luiz Totti, ASK Chemicals’ executive vice president (Americas). “We are extremely excited about our new facility and the benefits it will bring our valued customers.  The future of casting production in Mexico is surely bright, and ASK Chemicals is prepared and will be ready.”