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GE Plastics begins ultraclean bulk shipments of Lexan optical—grade polycarbonate resin to a silo at Sonopress Inc. in Weaverville, N.C., this month.

``We have a dedicated truck and a dedicated driver who will be trained at the customer location to assist in the unloading of material,'' said John VanBuskirk, operations manager in GE Plastics' optical-quality facility in Mount Vernon, Ind.

``We've invested in a pellet transfer system that is capable of maintaining the cleanliness required for material used in the CD industry,'' VanBuskirk said.

The system includes high-efficiency particulate air filters.

GE Plastics process engineer Elissa Bakke heads the project to bring optical disc maker Sonopress a capability that GE and some other resin suppliers use to deliver PC into extensive silo systems at customer locations in Europe and Japan.

Pittsburgh-based Bayer Corp. has been supplying Sonopress with bulk shipments of optical-grade PC since April.

Bakke worked with Sonopress and materials-handling system provider Motan Inc. of Plainwell, Mich., to develop systems that eliminate any potential contamination points from the truck's stainless-steel container. Motan supplied GE with details on the stainless-steel connection points and an electrical proofing connection that ensures resin is directed into the correct silo.

Currently, GE Plastics supplies Sonopress with the PC in 1,540-pound supersack-type containers, usually shipping 26 sacks at a time. Now, each 40,000-pound shipment will flow under air pressure into the truck container and eventually into one of three Sonopress silos.

Sonopress is a unit of Bertelsmann AG in Gutersloh, Germany.