The following items were reported by correspondent Clare Goldsberry from the rotational molders' spring meeting in Scottsdale, Ariz.
Inca Molded finishes addition to facility
Inca Molded Products Inc. recently completed a 10,000-square-foot addition to its Nashville, Tenn., manufacturing plant, bringing the company's total square-footage to 78,000.
Robert Porter, marketing and sales manager, said the company currently operates seven machines and plans to add an unspecified number of new machines from FSP Machinery Canada.
``We're in the process of moving from our older, home-made equipment to machines incorporating new technology,'' Porter said.
Inca makes fuel tanks, water holding tanks and rotocast seats primarily for the marine industry.
Diamond Plastics gets new machine
Ken Wessler, president of Diamond Plastics Inc. in Dunkirk, Ohio, just ordered his sixth rotational machine for delivery in May, and added 1,000 square feet to bring that plant to 55,000 total square footage.
Wessler, a custom rotational molder, said he has purchased one machine each year the last three years. The plant expansion was Diamond's third in four years.
He attributes his success to his customers' growth.
Mexican rotomolders hope for improvement
Members of the Association of Rotational Molders in Mexico are looking for an improvement in business.
Horacio Lobo, vice president and general manager for Servicos Rotoplas SA de CV in Mexico City, said tight supply and higher prices on resins from the United States and Canada have been hurting Mexican rotomolders.
``There appears to have been some stability last week,'' Lobo said. ``The next 60 days will tell. Right now, we're just surviving.''
The company manufactures water tanks for the Mexican market.
Business is good for rotational molders worldwide, as was evidenced by the largest turnout ever for ARM's spring conference.
A total of 365 people attended the meeting, including representatives from Canada, Mexico, Europe and South America.
Ocean Kayak Inc. has been growing 40 percent annually in the past two years. President Tim Niemier attributes the growth of the Ferndale, Wash., kayak manufacturer to good economic times resulting in a surge in buying of recreational equipment.
``Kayaking is becoming more popular,'' Niemier said. ``It's a very inexpensive way of getting on the water and you get about 10 miles to the peanut-butter and jelly sandwich.''
New applications appear to be pushing growth in rotational molding.
According to John Moser, head of rotational molding research and development technology for Boeing Commercial Airplane Co. in Seattle, Wash., the new Boeing 777 airliner has a total of 280 rotationally molded components, which has helped cut costs and weight.
Bonar Plastics Inc., based in Newnan, Ga., doubled the size of its Chicago plant to 100,000 square feet, and installed two new Ferry machines, said President Bill Blaiklock.
Ashland Plastics Inc. of Ashland, Ohio, recently installed two Ferry 330 machines in its newest facility, in Charlotte, N.C. That brings to three the number of machines operated at the plant, which serves the southeastern United States.