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Formex expanding drops plans for sale

LAWRENCEVILLE, GA.—In a growth phase, Formex Manufacturing Inc. expects the March delivery of a custom-designed, 6-foot-by-10-foot, twin-sheet Brown rotary thermoformer.

The machine will be Formex's largest and will let the Lawrenceville firm make bigger encapsulated dock flotation units measuring 4 feet by 8 feet by 24 inches. Current capacity is 4 feet by 6 feet by 18 inches.

Founded in 1959, Formex does heavy-gauge and twin-sheet thermoforming of dock floats, transformer pads, conduit spaces, duct terminators and air conditioning condenser mounting pads, among other products, and mainly serves end users in marine and utility markets.

Effective Jan. 1, Formex added a permanent third shift.

The company reported 1996 sales of about $8 million, up from the previous year's $7.5 million.

Formex employs 42 and operates four thermoforming lines, annually using about 4.5 million pounds of polyethylene, ABS, polystyrene and ultrahigh-molecular-weight PE.

Brookwood & Associates, an Atlanta investment banking firm, led prospective buyers on tours of Formex early last year, but the owners withdrew the company from the market at midyear.

Brookwood literature indicated that Formex declined both in gross profit and operating profit in 1995.

Philips Driscopipe making new gas pipe

RICHARDSON, TEXAS — Phillips Driscopipe will begin producing its yellow ``shelled'' Driscopipe Prisma 8100 gas pipe during the second quarter of 1997.

The high density polyethylene pipe will be available for use in distribution systems for natural gas, in diameters of one-quarter inch to 12 inches.

The firm, based in Richardson, said the pipe's improved physical properties make it very effective in trenchless pipe applications.

South Bend Plastics adds Toshiba press

MISHAWAKA, IND. — South Bend Plastics Inc., a Mishawaka-based injection molder, is adding a press to its Decatur, Ala., plant.

The Decatur plant, known as Technology Molded Plastics, is adding a $100,000, 120-ton Toshiba. The press will be the plant's 12th, and is being added to mold acetal for a new automotive customer, Brose North America Inc. of Auburn Hills, Mich.

Chrysler Corp. has recognized the Decatur plant for quality for the last two years. South Bend Plastics received QS9000 certification Jan. 25. The Decatur plant expects to be certified in July.

South Bend Plastics has 180 employees and 40 injection molding machines at two plants. It serves the automotive, construction, recreation, lawn and garden and aerospace industries.

The company reported sales of $16 million for the year ended June 30.

PEDI builds facility to handle equipment

CARLSBAD, CALIF. — Injection molder Plastics Engineering & Development Inc. has relocated to a new, custom-built, 50,000-square-foot headquarters plant in Carlsbad, and said it plans to add 10 machines in the next two years.

The new site is better prepared to handle PEDI's growing customer base, said general manager Dean Gaffney. The firm recently bought two 55-ton Toyo H-model presses for its Class 100,000 clean room, which, at 5,000 square feet, is five times the size of the former plant's clean room, he said.

For lifting molds that can weigh as much as 5,600 pounds, it also added a 3-ton overhead bridge crane, which spans the entire molding area of 10,000 square feet, he said.

At its former Carlsbad location, four separate buildings gave PEDI an inefficient layout of 30,000 square feet.

``We basically outgrew it,'' Gaffney said. ``Our main focus now is to increase our quality criteria and the expectations of our staff, in training ... and customer service.''

PEDI, which made the move Dec. 28, plans to add 10 presses within two years, he said.

At the new plant, 22 presses with 25-500 tons of clamping force mold products for the pharmaceutical, medical, biotechnology, electronics and computer industries. Products include equipment for protein analysis and hospital metering devices.

Thermoformer Dordan prepares for growth

WOODSTOCK, ILL., Custom thermoformer Dordan Manufacturing Inc. is adding 15,000 square feet to its plant in Woodstock.

By April, the company expects to have more than 50,000 square feet. Company officials would not disclose the cost of the expansion.

Dordan will use the new space for warehousing and for more equipment. The company plans to add two thermoforming machines to its lineup within six months.

``The last couple of years have been very strong for us,'' said sales manager Tracy Wolf. ``The addition is for growth.''

Dordan thermoforms parts for the household and personal-care packaging, lawn and garden, office products, automotive and appliances.

The firm has 50 employees and eight thermoforming machines. It reported sales of $7.5 million for the fiscal year ended Sept. 30.