MILWAUKEE-Citing the need to reduce capacity for PET bottle production, Johnson Controls Inc. will shut down two of its plants in October. A 100,000-square-foot facility in Columbus, Ohio, and a 250,000-square-foot plant in City of Industry, Calif. will be closed, because the firm overestimated the demand for PET bottles this year, according to Glen Ponczak, a spokesman for the Milwaukee control, packaging and automotive parts maker.
``All the predictions were that demand would be increasing, and we anticipated greater increases than actually occurred,'' he said. ``We are making more bottles than last year, and the market is continuing to grow. But when you have excess capacity, that translates into cost. This is strictly a cost issue.''
The company, one of the largest blow molders of PET bottles for the beverage and other industries, will have 17 U.S. container plants left in operation after the closures. The company has operated the Columbus plant since 1979, and the California location since it acquired it from Tri Coast Inc. in 1984.
SPI Canada's Ron Evason dead at 61
TORONTO - E. Ron Evason, former president of the Society of the Plastics Industry Inc. of Canada, died July 27 at age 61 after a two-year battle with prostate cancer.
Evason joined SPI Canada in 1966 when it was a branch ofWashington-based SPI. He helped steer it into an independent association focused on growth of Canada's plastics industry, which logged about C$20.6 billion (US$15 billion) in sales last year.
Evason retired from SPI Canada, based in Mississauga, Ontario, early this year and recently was replaced by Pierre Dubois, formerly executive vice president of packaging producer Twinpak Inc. of Montreal.
During his 20 years as president of the association, Evason promoted industry links with government. He tirelessly explained to policy makers the plastics industry's importance to the economy. He felt the industry, one of Canada's fastest-growing, deserved status similar to more visible businesses such as auto or forest products.
Evason helped establish the Canadian Prostate Cancer Research Fund and a prostate cancer support group in Toronto to turn his personal struggle into a broader effort to save lives.
He is survived by his wife, daughter, son and grandson.
Hoechst, Courtaulds forming OPP pact
FRANKFURT, GERMANY - Hoechst AG and Courtaulds plc plan to create a European oriented polypropylene film joint venture with sales of more than US$400 million per year.
Frankfurt-based Hoechst announced July 26 that it and Courtaulds of London will combine their European OPP film operations. They expect the venture to begin operating before year's end, pending regulatory approvals. Hoechst spokeswoman Ursula Tober said her firm will hold more than two-thirds of the joint venture's shares.
The new company's production plants will be Hoechst's current Neunkirchen, Germany, facility and Courtaulds' Swindon, England, and Mantes, France, plants. Total capacity will be about 264 million pounds of OPP film per year. The operations' 1,130 employees will transfer to the new firm, as yet unnamed.
Hoechst estimates its Neunkirchen plant will generate sales of 350 million deutsche marks (US$250.3 million) in 1995. Courtaulds' European OPP film sales will be about DM230 million (US$164.5 million).
Associated Rotomolding Inc. to expand
BERTHOULD, COLO. - Four-month-old Associated Rotomolding Inc. of Berthould is planning to expand, according to owner and founder Steven Spelts.
The firm began production in April making custom parts using a machine with two independent arms, supplied by Rotational Engineering Inc., also of Berthould. Spelts would not disclose expansion details for Associated Rotomolding, his third start-up company. He also owns Associated Thermoforming Inc. of Berthould, which had sales of $5.2 million last year. Spelts sold his first firm, a glass-fiber composites company, in 1981.
Associated Rotomolding offers design, engineering, toolmaking, assembly and urethane foam-filling services to diverse industries. It uses polyolefins, nylons and polycarbonate.