For many years, our Ontario, CA, facility has been a convenient production partner for our customers. However, recently, we have all seen a clear trend of brands and manufacturers moving their production to Mexico. As Mexico continues to grow as a manufacturing hub for our partners and other North American brands, we started evaluating the best ways to serve them.
Rohrer [and previously Transparent Container] have relocated production to follow customers before. Steve Fifer, VP of Operations, recalled a long-time customer we secured in Georgia but later moved to Illinois. Now they manufacture in Tijuana, and we produce their packaging in Ontario, CA. In another example, Transparent Container even built a temporary facility in Scotland to support Motorola’s growing European business in the 1990’s.
Fifer points out, “Several of our key partners have moved their manufacturing facilities to Tijuana and Mexicali in the past few years. When we saw the general trend in that area, we determined the best way to serve businesses in Mexico is by building a new manufacturing facility.”
The transition and expansion to Tijuana allows us to provide great packaging solutions to new partners in Mexico as well.
“Opening this facility allows us to help our customers in two ways. We’ll be closer to our customers in the area, and Tijuana is a lower cost area for manufacturing. It will provide a lead-time savings, and a cost improvement.” Says Fifer.
Building a State-of-the-Art Facility
The Tijuana facility is 87,750 square feet [8,150 square meters] of new construction. It will be one of Rohrer’s largest manufacturing facilities. The building is named “Falcon I” in the industrial park “La Encantada.” The building was named after the Millennium Falcon, a ‘wink’ to our speed-to-market philosophy.
Fifer’s production plan includes 11 thermoforming machine lines. Rohrer will run custom thermoforming and ezCombo® in the Tijuana facility.
Rohrer will transition from our manufacturing facility in Ontario, CA, to make this change. We’ll be able to serve our customers in Mexico and on the West Coast locally with the new facility. Replacing the Ontario facility with the new Tijuana facility doubles our manufacturing space in the region.
Project Green Light
The key to Rohrer’s success over the years has been a focus on innovation and customer support. The Tijuana expansion is an important part of this strategy. We recognize the value of being close to our customers’ point of manufacture.
The project has been active for a year already with incredible support from several key members of Rohrer staff. Fifer and his team helped manage a variety of projects with international nuances. Arguably the most momentous news to date is Rohrer’s new hire, Plant Manager Javier Solis.
Solis is the perfect leader for the new plant. He’s a 25-year packaging and manufacturing veteran and a Tijuana local; Solis earned his master’s degree in industrial engineering. He’s training with existing Rohrer teams now, preparing to open the new facility. Fifer indicated the importance of ensuring Solis’ understanding of the business that’s moving to Tijuana. The time Solis spends in our existing manufacturing facilities will help him incorporate company culture in the procedures he will implement with his new team in Tijuana.
Since the Tijuana facility will have 11 lines, including custom thermoforming and ezCombo®, the process is extremely important. Our ezCombo® program is the fastest in the industry – with 3-day blister tooling and 12-day production times for plastic blister parts. Solis’ years of experience coupled with our manufacturing process will provide great packaging solutions to our partners in Mexico.
Solis will also work with the team of people implementing our Tijuana project to achieve the final milestones prior to launch: installing power, and moving machines and support equipment. Over the course of the next few months, Solis will begin building his team, hiring and training the staff who will help him launch production later this year.
Phased Approach to Production
Fifer answers questions about launching production with confidence. “We’re going to have a phased approach to production. We will start production this winter, starting with one customer in custom thermoforming and training our team to add scale. We’ll start running ezCombo® in the spring of 2019.”
A Trusted Partner
Rohrer Corporation believes true partners make the perfect package. We design and manufacture packaging for many verticals, including health and beauty, housewares, office/school, sporting goods, toys, pet, automotive aftermarket, electronics, hardware, and hobby. Rohrer is headquartered in Ohio, with manufacturing locations throughout North America. We are ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 certified, and our printing facility is G7 Master Printer Qualified and an authorized printer for UL Certification Marks.
Our expansion in Mexico improves our capabilities, allowing us to grow partnerships with manufacturers and brands on both sides of the border. We continue to provide industry-leading speed, service, and value throughout North America.
Interested in learning more about how our new facility can help you reach your packaging goals? Reach out to us by clicking the button below!