NEWS & UPDATES
An Article about MIRWEC
Film, Inc. in "Business Network" (Bloomington
Chamber of Commerce)
Still Made in the U.S.A.
Despite challenges, business is booming for these local manufacturers.
By T. Wayne Waters
business sector in the U.S. has seen tremendous changes in recent decades.
Globalization, technological development and ownership changes have transformed
manufacturing, perhaps more drastically than other business sectors, and
the changes have often meant the closing of manufacturing plants.
But the ownership
and management of two local companies – MIRWEC Film Inc. and MSP
Aviation Inc. – serve as examples of the adaptability to changing
circumstances that has helped maintain the manufacturing sector in Bloomington.
MIRWEC Film: Adapted
to Market Vagaries and Ownership Changes
MIRWEC Film Inc. manufactures polypropylene film, used primarily in high
voltage power capacitors. The film is manufactured in a high cleanliness
production area that features a computer-controlled air handling system
to eliminate contamination of this sensitive product. The company has
also diversified to make a similar product, called wrapping tape, which
is used to add temporary structural integrity during the manufacturing
process of products such as fishing poles and golf clubs.
MIRWEC Film is currently enjoying a major expansion and rejuvenation.
The company nearly doubled the size of its plant in 2004, adding 12,788
square feet to the existing 13,159, following the acquisition a couple
of years earlier by the Yasui Seiki Co., Ltd. of Japan. MIRWEC added a
precision coating division recently with the new ownership.
addition, all we did was make film here,” said Peter Thiel, MIRWEC
plant manager. “The expansion was to expand the building so that
we would have another tower, as we call it, for a second film machine.
The other half (of the expansion) was to have a coating division here.”
Not bad for a company
that lost 90 percent of its business in the early-1990s and was on the
verge of being closed down just a few years ago. The changes make for
a convoluted but ultimately positive tale of corporate flexibility and
doggedness, along with a healthy dose of entrepreneurial spirit.
MIRWEC Film was incorporated
in 1988 as a joint venture between Mitsubishi Rayon Company (MRC) and
Westinghouse to provide the latter’s capacitor division while bypassing
yen/dollar exchange rate problems and extended delivery periods. Asea
Brown Boveri Ltd. (ABB) acquired MIRWEC Film the next year when it bought
certain Westinghouse facilities. MRC then acquired the interest held by
ABB in 1992.
But with ABB gone, so was 90 percent of MIRWEC’s business. The company
had to find new customers or new products or both. MRC had already begun
closing out its wrapping tape operation in Japan and moving it to Bloomington,
so one new product line was opening up, but one that constitutes less
than 10 percent of total business.
As for new customers, MIRWEC had by 1995 become the primary supplier of
capacitor film for South Carolina-based Cooper Power, previously a competitor.
Nevertheless, MRC decided MIRWEC no longer fit its core business and was
looking to sell the company.
“MRC was very close to closing the place,” said Thiel. “If
they didn’t find a purchaser in that 2001-2002 time frame, I don’t
think it would have been very much longer before they would have closed
Meanwhile, Yoshinari Yasui, principal in Yasui Seiki Co., a major precision
coating development plant in Japan, was also operating a small facility
“The plant that Mr. Yasui has in Japan, with the coating business,
is quite similar to this business,” said Thiel. “So he just
thought that was a natural expansion of his product lines. He’s
In 2002, Yasui Seiki Co., Ltd. acquired the majority interest of MIRWEC
Film from MRC. All of the equipment from the company’s Industrial
Drive location was moved to the newly expanded S. Liberty Drive MIRWEC
plant last year.
MIRWEC’s Coating Division uses the Japanese company’s precision
coating machines to produce and apply coatings on all sorts of things,
from cell phones to computers to batteries. They also sell the $1 million-plus
machines to large companies.
Another facet of the Coating Division is new product development and test
sample preparation. Clients from around the country use the lab to test
the performance of specific coatings they themselves develop or use.
MIRWEC has 22 employees and plans to add around a dozen within the next
couple of years.
“Now that Mr. Yasui has purchased the plant, the expectation is
very high that we’re going to be very successful, mainly because
of his entrepreneurial spirit,” said Thiel. “He’s willing
to spend money when it’s needed. He’s a very good engineer
and a very good business manager.”
New BOPLON® Product
We have expanded our BOPLON®
Product Line. Please look at our presentation.
CMM Trade Show in McCormick
Place Chicago, IL April 18-21, 2005
MIRWEC Film, Inc., in conjunction
with Yasui Seiki Co., will exhibit at the CMM 2005 - booth #3672. Please
see below and pre-register to receive a free VIP pass. We also exhibit
two of our tabletop Mini-Labo™ units.
International 2005 VIP PASS
VIP Pass is provided to you compliments of Yasui Seiki/MIRWEC Film
In just one trip and
in a few short days, you will see the widest range of new products
and technologies representing the entire converting & package
- Gain Access To The
Latest Products And Technologies
- Discover Innovative
Solutions From The World's Leading Suppliers
- Form New Alliances
With Your Global Peers
- Be The First To Learn
About Groundbreaking Industry Developments
- Help Your Team Make
The Best Buying Decisions
- It's Your Very Best
Coating Services -
We have started to provide
coating services since September, 2004. We have installed two Yasui Seiki
coating machines. The coating machines are dedicated to toll manufacturing
and laboratory test coating.
If you have a question, please
contact us at 812-331-0700. (MIRWEC Film Coating Division)
Copyright (c) 2012 MIRWEC Film, Inc.
P.O. Box 2263, 601 S. Liberty Dr, Bloomington, IN 47402 All