TROY, MICH. - Solvay Automotive Inc. plans a June start on building a 300,000-square-foot, $66 million automotive fuel tank and fuel systems components plant in Adrian, Mich. Production will begin in the first quarter of 1996, Solvay President Norman W. Johnston said. Solvay Automotive, based in Troy, will use the plant to blow mold high density polyethylene fuel systems for Chrysler Corp. and General Motors vehicles.
Solvay Automotive was one of the first companies to take advantage of Michigan's new effort to attract industry with tax breaks. Because the Adrian plant will create 250 new jobs, Solvay's tax break can amount to $4.5 million during 12 years, according to Michigan development officials.
Solvay Automotive was second in Plastics News' 1994 ranking of North American industrial blow molders with sales of $110 million. The company has plants in South Bend, Ind.; Blenheim, Ontario; and Puebla, Mexico.
Frigidaire adds PU foam insulation line
ST. CLOUD, MINN. - Frigidaire Co.'s Freezer Division will switch to polyurethane foam insulation in its freezer doors from glass fiber late this year.
The St. Cloud-based division has ordered a reaction injection molding production line and plans to install it at St. Cloud, its main freezer plant. It placed the order with Gusmer-Admiral Inc. of Akron, Ohio.
``We believe [PU] is more energy efficient and should be easier for handling and shipping,'' said Lee Benjamin, project engineer at the Frigidaire facility.
Neither firm would disclose the cost of the RIM line, which includes tooling, conveyors, ovens, RIM system and mixheads, and control system. Sister company Frigidaire Canada of Mississauga, Ontario, and most competing manufacturers already use PU door insulation between the outer metal layer and inner plastic liner of freezer doors.
Benjamin said his firm plans to use hydrochlorofluorocarbon 141b as the PU blowing agent in the conversion, as do most other appliance companies.
Gusmer-Admiral account representative Doug Dolphi said his company has supplied RIM systems to Frigidaire before.
Eastman wins PET resin patent lawsuit
GREENEVILLE, TENN. - A jury in federal court in Greeneville ruled April 21 that Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. and Shell Oil Co. infringed on patented technology for the production of PET held by Eastman Chemical Co.
The jury ruled that Goodyear of Akron, Ohio, and Shell of Houston infringed on Eastman's patent, but did not do so willfully, at a plant in Point Pleasant, W.Va. Goodyear sold that plant to Shell in 1992.
Eastman filed the suit in 1990, and a spokesman said it concerned PET production technology Eastman previously licensed from Zimmer AG of Frankfurt, Germany.
Eastman did not specify what it is seeking in damages, but a Goodyear spokesman said the jury's finding that the infringement was not willful indicates that damage findings will not be trebled.
The Associated Press reported April 25 that an attorney associated with the suit, who was not identified, said Eastman is seeking $17 million in damages.
TPI buys into cosmetic packaging firm
PARIS - Techpack International has acquired 60 percent of Mably International, a New York firm that designs and manufactures promotional packaging for perfume and cosmetics companies.
TPI, based in Paris, molds plastic packaging for perfumes, cosmetics, shampoo and personal-care items.
Marlyse Gros, who founded Mably 12 years ago, will retain 40 percent interest and remain as president and chief executive officer of the firm. The new joint venture will keep the Mably name, Gros said in an April 24 telephone interview from Paris.
Mably uses some PVC for lining and covering its cosmetic cases, Gros said. It expects sales of about $25 million this year, according to a TPI news release.
TPI expects the buy to boost its U.S. sales to about $90 million a year, representing about 25 percent of its total sales, the release said. The company, which is part-owned by Pechiney International SA, also of Paris, has operating units worldwide.