TORONTO - Ontario's Ministry of Labour fined Toronto bottle labeler Plastic Impressions Inc. C$25,000 (US$18,600) for an industrial accident Nov. 5. A 26-year-old female employee lost most of the use of her right arm after catching it in a conveyor belt leading to oven doors. She was trying to remove a bottle with a defective label before it entered the oven.
Ministry officials said the oven doors were not locked and there was no limit switch to stop the conveyor when the doors were open.
Plastic Impressions pleaded guilty to a charge of failing to guard a machine that had an exposed moving part. Plastic Impressions President Harvey Meek said in a telephone interview that his firm had an excellent safety record prior to the accident.
Meek said other companies can learn from the accident by not assuming reputable equipment is inherently safe.
Ministry of Labour lawyer Bruce Arnott said the maximum fine for such an offense is C$500,000 (US$373,000). The ministry's fine took into account the financial resources of Plastic Impressions, a 30-employee private company.
``Deterrency is the main goal'' of a fine, but the ministry does not aim to impose excessive financial hardship, Arnott explained.
Novacor planning to add PS capacity
CALGARY, ALBERTA - Novacor Chemicals Ltd. plans to expand polystyrene resin capacity through debottlenecking projects at three plants.
The firm announced Aug. 21 that it will add a total of about 500 million pounds of annual PS production capacity at Springfield, Mass.; Decatur, Ala.; and Montreal. Novacor, based in Calgary, estimated the projects will boost its PS capacity to 1.25 billion pounds per year.
The two-phase Springfield project that is under way will add about 220 million pounds of capacity by the end of 1996, estimated Grant Thomson, business segment leader.
Expansions at the Decatur and Montreal facilities are in the planning stages. Thomson would not disclose the cost of the projects.
Hexcel moving woven fabric plant in '96
LANCASTER, OHIO - Hexcel Corp. will close a 42,000-square-foot Lancaster facility and, by the spring of 1996, transfer its operations in pre-impregnated woven fabric and unidirectional tape to an existing plant in Livermore, Calif. The company informed 43 employees at the Lancaster plant Sept. 6.
In 1968, Hexcel acquired both facilities and one in Seguin, Texas, from Coast Manufacturing & Supply Co., then the company's principal supplier of pre-impregnated glass cloth used to make fiberglass core.
The consolidation continues a restructuring that began in 1992. Hexcel, based in Pleasanton, Calif., closed a Graham, Texas, facility and sold both its European resins business and its Chandler, Ariz., operations.
Hexcel filed Dec. 6, 1993, for protection under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code and emerged from that status on Feb. 9, 1995.
Hexcel decided to phase down the Lancaster operation separately from its pending consolidation with the composites division of Ciba-Geigy Ltd., of Basel, Switzerland. The consolidation of the structural material businesses would form an entity with more than $600 million in annual sales. The companies have been supplying information to the Justice Department under requirements of the Hart-Scott-Rodino law. Completion of the transaction is expected by the end of 1995.
GE Plastics buys Mexico, Brazil ventures
PITTSFIELD, MASS. - GE Plastics has purchased from ICA Plasticos the remaining 50 percent of the companies' joint venture, Polimar, an ABS manufacturing facility in Tampico, Mexico.
Terms of the sale were not disclosed.
Polimar was part of GE's 1989 acquisition of Borg-Warner Chemical Corp.
GE Plastics recently bought the remaining 55 percent of Coplen SA, an engineering thermoplastic venture it had in Campinas, Brazil, with Nitriflex SA of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Terms were not disclosed.
GE Plastics is a Pittsfield-based manufacturer of thermoplastic resins. The company's 1994 sales figures were $5.6 billion.