SARNIA, ONTARIO - Dow Chemical Canada Inc. will boost low density polyethylene capacity at its Sarnia plant by 19 percent in a C$1.2 million (US$900,000) debottlenecking program. Dow Canada will install reactor improvements, new pumps and a new silo at the facility, which makes LDPE clarity grades using tubular reactors.
Spokeswoman Catherine Yates said Sarnia was selected for the expansion because its technology makes the program more cost effective than at other Dow sites in North America. She would not disclose capacity figures.
Hobson Bros. gains rapid prototyping
SHELL ROCK, IOWA - Hobson Bros. Aluminum Foundry and Mould Works Inc. in Shell Rock recently added a computer-controlled, laser-operated, three-dimensional, rapid prototyping system.
The Laminated Object Manufacturing system is capable of rapid prototyping and production model-building to provide reduced product development cycles and production costs in the design and build of tooling for the blow molding industry.
LOM interfaces with computergenerated models, eliminating the manufacturing constraints typically associated with wood models. Hobson's silicon graphics-based software system, PRO/Engineer, and Camax system fully integrates the LOM system with that of its customers' by the use of stereolithography files.
Hobson will showcase the LOM system during the company's annual blow molding seminar on Oct. 26.
Sumitomo, Ube end joint PP venture
TOKYO - Sumitomo Chemical and Ube Industries, which have been jointly producing polypropylene, are terminating that relationship.
Effective Oct. 1, the two companies exchanged interests in two PP producers that have been jointly owned. Ube will turn over its 31.7 percent share of a producer in Chiba prefecture to Sumitomo and the Chiba firm will become a Sumitomo subsidiary.
Sumitomo will divest itself of a 29.7 percent stake in a jointly held company in Ube. That will add to Ube Industries' 47.5 percent share in the firm, which will then be operated under the umbrella of Ube Industries.
The production of both producers is 176.3 million pounds of PP per year. Sumitomo and Ube are separating their interests in the two companies because of Sumitomo's decision to combine its PP business with that of Mitsui Petrochemical Industries.
Advanced Polymer boosts compounding
CARPENTERSVILLE, ILL.-Advanced Polymer Compounding Inc. has doubled the size of its plant and added machinery to keep pace with orders.
President Stan Jakopin said the compounder, headquartered in Carpentersville, just completed a 35,000-square-foot expansion. The company also added two full-scale compounding lines, including kneaders and twin-screw extruders, to the three already in the plant.
The company is operating 24 hours a day at near capacity, he said.
APC is a custom extrusion compounder of developmental and semicommercial engineered plastics, specializing in strand pelletizing, hot die face pelletizing, underwater pelletizing, liquid injection, and multiple-feed additions. APC processes about 50 million pounds of resin per year, Jakopin said.
The firm plans to expand to an unspecified site in the southeastern United States within the next year, Jakopin said.
IMS Co. relocates California office
FOOTHILL RANCH, CALIF. - IMS Co. has moved its California branch office and warehouse from Tustin to Foothill Ranch.
The new facility covers 22,000 square feet, including 17,000 for warehousing, so the company can keep a larger inventory for its West Coast customers.
All phone numbers and the address for invoice payments remain the same.
3 Japanese firms creating PVC giant
TOKYO - The largely unprofitable PVC and vinyl chloride monomer divisions of three of Japan's largest chemical firms will be spun off and combined into a single joint venture firm to produce PVC.
The new firm will be incorporated in January and operations will start in April. A definite location has not been announced, but officials said it probably will be based in Tokyo.
The parent companies are Mitsui Toatsu Chemicals Inc., Tosoh Corp. and Denki Kagaku Kogyo, all of Tokyo. Mitsui Toatsu is part of the Mitsui Group, Tosoh produces chlorine and caustic soda, and Denki Kagaku Kogyo makes petrochemical products and other chemicals.
The venture will have the capacity to produce 1.28 billion pounds of PVC annually. According to Mistui spokesman Hidetoshi Todokoro, that figure represents about 23 percent of total Japanese PVC shipments.
Briefly. . .
Macro Engineering & Technology Inc. won a 1995 Canada Export Award. The blown film equipment maker sells about half of its output in China. Exports account for 88 percent of the Mississauga, Ontario, firm's sales, which were not disclosed. Canada's Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade presented the awards to 11 companies.