Repositioning

Expanding its footprint into Mexico and streamlining its supply chain, finishing expert gets closer to customers.

January 2023- Expanding its footprint into Mexico and streamlining its supply chain, finishing expert gets closer to customers.

Vorteq Coil Finishers acquired the coil coating assets of Almexa Aluminio S.A. de C.V. (Almexa) last summer. The purchase represented the first foray into Mexico for the Pittsburgh-based Vorteq. As part of the transaction, the former Almexa coil coating operation, located in Mexico City, has been renamed Vorteq Mexico.

“We purchased a coating line that Almexa had mothballed. We dismantled and moved the line to a nearby Almexa site, made significant improvements to the line and are positioned to offer continuous coil coating and slitting capabilities in Mexico—close to key customers and important suppliers,” notes Vorteq CEO Jim Dockey.

Upgrades to the Mexican line included new towers, new motors and new drives. “When it’s all said and done, it’s virtually a new coating line,” Dockey reports. Slitting capabilities were also added to the site, which will have capacity to coat over 50 million pounds per year once the line is operational this quarter. The Mexico operation becomes the 10th coating line and eighth location for Vorteq, a provider of coil coating services for aluminum and steel products.

“The Mexico coating line gives Vorteq a competitive advantage with the broadest geographic reach in the pre-painted metals industry for a wide range of metal products and multiple end-use markets across North America,” Dockey claims. The other Vorteq coating lines are located in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Illinois, Tennessee and California. “We now have better access to customers in the growing Southwest region of the U.S.,” he adds.

STREAMLINED SUPPLY CHAIN

The acquisition includes a long-term supply agreement with Almexa for aluminum coil that will be produced at their facility adjacent to Vorteq Mexico.

“The agreement fortifies Vorteq’s long-term strategic alliance with Almexa as the exclusive channel to the U.S. market for Almexa’s grade 3105 common alloy coil, which can now be painted by Vorteq in Mexico.”

In addition to being located so close to the aluminum mill, the Mexico City line is nearby Vorteq’s largest paint supplier, Sherwin-Williams. “Paint is supplied from the Sherwin-Williams plant in Monterey, Mexico. As a result, Vorteq Mexico has a very streamlined supply chain to operate under JIT practices, while reducing shipping time and expense,” says Dockey.

“Almexa and Sherwin-Williams are two critical long-term partners for Vorteq Mexico,” stresses Dockey, who views the acquisition as adding incremental capacity and expanded footprint. “Our strategic plan was to support key customers with operations in Mexico and provide an opportunity to attract new customers. This acquisition gives us the opportunity to achieve both.”

The Mexico asset purchase marks the fourth add-on acquisition for Vorteq in the last six years. Coated coil products are for materials used in several industries, including the residential building segment. “We produce gutter and rainware products as well as window screen frames. Channel coils are also used in sign production,” notes Dockey. Other markets served include transportation, automotive, energy and lighting.

VETERAN TALENT IN A NEW MARKET

“Our customers tell us they are excited about the Mexico site,” according to Dockey. “They are almost as excited as our employees. We had a 30-year employee from our Wisconsin plant—who is a Mexican national—ask to come out of retirement to lead the Mexico team. He is now the plant manager for Vorteq Mexico, bringing to the new location valuable experience with our processes and products.”

modernmetalsjanuary2023 2296576768 63aec0719118c

      “Our customers tell us they are excited about the Mexico site,” according to Dockey. “They are almost as excited as our employees. We had a 30-year employee from our Wisconsin plant—who is a Mexican national—ask to come out of retirement to lead the Mexico team. He is now the plant manager for Vorteq Mexico, bringing to the new location valuable experience with our processes and products.”

The plant manager will eventually lead a team of about 25 employees, “with considerable support from our team in the U.S.,” Dockey adds.

As a first-time operator in Mexico, Dockey and his leadership group faced a learning curve. “Closing the deal took longer than past deals because of the complexity of a multinational sale. We started engineering and design work prior to the close date to keep our momentum going,” he recalls. “Setting up a business in Mexico presented a learning opportunity for us. And inflation increased the cost of the overall investment.” Another key partner was PGT Services, which handles shipping and logistics of coil for Vorteq. In fact, PGT Services supports Vorteq across all of the coil coater’s facilities. “They bring a valuable expertise in customs,” Dockey says.

“At Vorteq Mexico, we created a powerful team of metal supplier, paint supplier and trucking/logistics expertise. We’ve streamlined the supply chain to deliver more value for customers and strengthen our position in aluminum coil coating,” concludes Dockey.

modernmetalsjanuary2023-2296576768-63aec0a90b611.jpeg   "WE’VE STREAMLINED THE SUPPLY CHAIN TO DELIVER MORE VALUE."

    JIM DOCKEY, VORTEQ COIL FINISHERS

Sources

Vorteq Coil Finishers, http://vorteqcoil.com/

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