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Werner & Pfleiderer hikes screw output

RAMSEY, N.J. — Werner & Pfleiderer Corp. is boosting screw production by 60 percent at its U.S. manufacturing facility and headquarters in Ramsey.

W&P officials said they plan to make more screws for W&P's own ZSK twin-screw compounding extruders, and replacement screws for the aftermarket, a particularly attractive business. All ZSK machines sold in North America are assembled in Ramsey.

W&P has announced it will buy more computer numerically controlled metalworking machinery. But the company will not disclose how many machines it is buying, or give any specifics about unit production, according to Gerhart Lempp, vice president of manufacturing.

W&P did not say how much it is spending on the expansion.

Fanuc Robotics buys P.E. Black property

AUBURN HILLS, MICH. — Fanuc Robotics North America Inc. has purchased some assets of P.E. Black Corp., an Ohio supplier of robotic painting systems.

Eric Mittelstadt, president and chief executive officer of Fanuc Robotics, said the acquisition will help Fanuc meet the needs of the industrial painting market, including the automotive components industry.

P.E. Black of Holland, Ohio, will continue repairing and refurbishing hydraulic robots.

Fanuc Robotics of Auburn Hills has more than 20,000 robots in service.

SAS Automation buys headquarters facility

XENIA, OHIO — SAS Automation, a manufacturer of robotic end-of-arm tooling, pickers, conveyors and other auxiliary equipment for plastics and automotive factories, said it has purchased a 6,000-square-foot building in Xenia for its manufacturing headquarters.

SAS Automation said it received tax credits worth $39,000 from Xenia for the plant. The company also received a grant worth $10,000 from the Ohio Industrial Training Program. SAS expects to employ 25 people in Xenia, which is near Dayton in southwestern Ohio.

SAS also announced it has become the North American manufacturer and distributor of modular end-of-arm tooling, according to an agreement with Automations-Systeme-Schwope, headquartered in Overath Brombach, Germany.

Americhem hailed as fast-growing firm

CUYAHOGA FALLS, OHIO — Americhem Inc., a manufacturer of custom color concentrates and specialty dispersions for thermoplastics, recently was honored for its rapid growth.

The company was named to the Weatherhead 100, a list of the 100 fastest-growing companies in northeast Ohio, according to Cleveland Enterprise magazine. Nominees were judged based on sales growth during the past five years.

Americhem does not release sales figures publicly, but aggregate sales for the 100 firms grew from $403 million in 1990 to $1.32 billion in 1994.

The company, headquartered in Cuyahoga Falls, has seven plants in the United States and Europe.

Americhem also announced that it achieved QS-9000 registration, following one year of preparation and systems upgrades. General Motors Corp., Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler Corp. eventually plan to require their Tier 1 suppliers to achieve QS-9000 certification.

Americhem previously had achieved ISO 9001 certification at all seven manufacturing sites, and ISO 25 (A2LA) certification at its corporate research and development.

New Century dicision will make extruders

TRAVERSE CITY, MICH. — Century Inc., a maker of screws and barrels, has started a new division, Century Extruders, and will give the operation its own space in Traverse City to manufacture co-rotating twin-screw compounding extruders.

The company will assemble CX-series extruders in screw diameters of 30-133 millimeters.

Century is adding an assembly facility, specialized tool shop and test laboratory with two twin-screw extruders.

The Traverse City company is building a 23,000-square-foot addition. Moving into the new space will be another division, Century Specialties, a commercial heat-treating operation. Century Extruders will occupy space that had been used by Century Specialities, said Jack Kubica, Century Inc.'s marketing manager.

Although Century Extruders only recently was created formally, the company has been making extruders since 1994, Kubica said.

The new space will be Century's first dedicated space for extruder production, the company said.

Kubica said Century Extruders expects to have 24 machines in operation through the end of 1997.

Briefly ...

Fina Oil and Chemical Co. announced it plans to start up its polypropylene expansion at La Porte, Texas, in the third quarter of 1998. The 550 million-pound-per-year production line, the Dallas firm's ninth at the facility, will boost total capacity there to 2.15 billion pounds. The new line will mark Fina's entry into the PP impact copolymer market in the United States.

Siebolt Hettinga, chairman of injection molding machine manufacturer Hettinga Technologies Inc. of Des Moines, Iowa, was named Iowa Inventor of the Year for 1996 by the Iowa Intellectual Property Law Association. ... Productivity Inc. of Minneapolis has signed an agreement to distribute the Sinterstation rapid prototyping machine made by Austin, Texas-based DTM Corp. ... Buyers of injection presses from Niigata Engineering Co. Ltd., based in Elk Grove Village, Ill., this year will receive a set of aftermarket tie-bar covers supplied by G.A.I.M. Engineering Inc. of Bensenville, Ill. ... Progressive Components of Wauconda, Ill., has added titanium nitrided-coated Top Locks to its series of mold alignment components. ... Kruse Analysis Inc., a consulting firm in Newington, Conn., that does computer simulations of injection molding, has started a ``frequent buyer'' program that gives discounts based on how many analyses are purchased. ... Under a new quick-ship program, K-Tron America, based in Pitman, N.J., now promises shipment of its most popular single- and twin-screw volumetric feeder models in 15 days or faster. ... The Posiratio Mini, a small dispensing machine for rapid prototyping from Liquid Control Corp., has received a designation allowing the North Canton, Ohio-based company to sell the machine in countries of the European Community.