EVANSVILLE, IND. - With an eye toward continued growth for its impact modifiers, Nova Polymers Inc. launched its second expansion in four years at its headquarters in Evansville. Nova broke ground Nov. 8 for a 27,000-square-foot expansion, and is plans to install its third production line by February.
Also, the addition will allow the company to relocate its impact modifier and rubber processing plant from Baton Rouge, La., to Evansville, said Roger Chapman, president and owner.
Chapman said the expansion is based on 20 percent increases in sales the company has seen each year for the past four years. With the addition, Nova will have 40,000 square feet under one roof.
Nova uses its compounding lines to produce thermoplastic olefins and thermoplastic vulcanizates and a line of impact modifiers used to upgrade recycled polypropylene and polyethylene for a variety of industries.
Montell signs deal for venture in Japan
TOKYO - Japanese chemical manufacturer Showa Denko KK has inked a deal with Montell International NV of Hoofddorp, the Netherlands, to establish a joint venture that will sell Montell's Catalloy polypropylene resins in Japan.
Montell, the largest polyolefins firm, markets PP resins for automotive, household appliance and packaging applications. The firm said its Catalloy PP resins offer enhanced performance because of its patented Catalloy production process.
The as-yet-unnamed firm will be owned jointly by Montell and Japan Polyolefins, which recently was formed by merging the polyolefin divisions of Showa Denko and Nippon Petrochemical. The new firm will begin operations by March.
No final decision has been made on the initial capitalization of the joint venture.
M.A. Hanna looking to move color unit
CLEVELAND - Compounder M.A. Hanna Co. is hunting for a new home for its Wilson Color unit.
Hanna's motive for the move is to bring Wilson Color operations under a single roof, said Hanna spokesman Andy Opila. In Wilson's current campus-like setup in Neshanic Station, N.J., colorants and additives concentrates manufacturing, ware-housing and sales all occupy separate buildings, he said.
Hanna has trained its search on New Jersey and Pennsylvania, Opila said, since Wilson Color's main end market, wire and cable, is big in the Northeast. It has considered consolidating the unit for some time, and hopes to decide on a site by year's end, he said.
Wilson Color employs about 100 in Neshanic Station. It also has operations in France, Belgium, Sweden and Germany, he said. Hanna bought the business in 1992. Together Hanna's 20 colorants plants worldwide expect sales of about $345 million this year, with U.S. sales making up about $250 million of that total, he said. Those color operations include Allied Color Industries Inc. of Phoenix and M.A. Hanna de Mexico in Toluca, Mexico.
Cleveland-based Hanna is a world supplier of plastics resins and compounds and color concentrates.
Eastman hooks up for cellulosic plastics
KINGSPORT, TENN. - Eastman Chemical Co. and Albis Corp. announced a manufacturing and distribution arrangement on cellulosic plastics.
Under the accord, Albis, headquartered in Hamburg, Germany, will manufacture and sell pellets of precompounded, colored cellulosic and distribute all Eastman-brand Tenite cellulosics for orders less than 10,000 pounds.
Kingsport-based Eastman will continue manufacturing natural clears, selected transparent colors, and selected black formulations for all single-item orders of 10,000 pounds or more.
Ford opens up center to review technology
DEARBORN, MICH. - Ford Motor Co. has opened a permanent display and meeting facility for suppliers in the heart of its research and engineering complex in Dearborn.
The automaker expects to host some 25-30 supplier exhibits and technical sessions annually at the newly opened Technology Review Center. The building, with 7,300 square feet of exhibit space, was conceived as a means of rapidly communicating the latest in supplier technology to the more than 10,000 Ford engineers who work in the vicinity.
Suppliers often have complained that automakers are slow to adopt innovations. If successful, the Technology Review Center should make it easier for suppliers to pitch their latest product and process improvements to Ford.
So far, Dana Corp. and GE Automotive have made use of the facility, which Ford makes available at no charge. Some of GE's floor exhibits at the Technology Review Center featured its composites products and elastomers for powertrain applications.
Ford vows complete confidentiality at the center, even going so far as to bar its own Automotive Components Division personnel if suppliers insist.
New patented system controls mold heat
ORION, MICH. - R.E. Promotional Services Ltd. of Cannock, England, recently received a U.S. patent for its mold temperature control system.
Donn Seres of Orion-based Injection Molding Industries, R.E. Promotional's U.S. representative, said the new process uses the mold as a heater to preheat cavity surfaces.
At the beginning of the injection cycle, the mold heat is turned off and starts cooling as soon as injection takes place. The system calculates how much heat is going into the mold, then extracts the heat at the completion of the injection cycle.
According to Seres, this method is more efficient and results in less stress, lower fill temperatures and faster cycle times. The control has an accuracy set point of plus or minus 2§ F.
``The system measures the temperature during the cycle and from cycle to cycle to maintain shot-to-shot consistency,'' Seres said.
The system is available through Injection Molding Industries with prices starting at $4,300. Systems are customized to meet individual mold requirements.