TOKYO - The Japanese Petrochemical Industry Association plans to end a post-shipment price-setting method first implemented in the 1950s. The decision is the result of a May report by an advisory council to the Ministry of International Trade and Industry, which concluded that sales practices prevalent in the polyolefin industry restricted competition and drove up prices. The prevailing custom was to decide on selling prices three to five months after shipment.
Now 15 producers of polyethylene and polypropylene, including industry leaders Mitsubishi Chemical Corp., Sumitomo Chemical Co., and Mitsui Petrochemical Industries Ltd., have agreed on a new sales mechanism that simplifies trading of polyolefin film.
Aussie firm sells off plastics subsidiaries
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - Australian diversified manufacturer Pacific Dunlop Ltd. has sold its plastics subsidiaries to separate buyers for a total of A$107 million (US$81.1 million), and it plans to focus on advanced-technology rubber products.
Pacific Dunlop would not disclose individual sale prices for the subsidiaries.
The Melbourne-based company sold its Plastics Group, composed of compounding, extruding and injection molding operations trading as Improdex, Viplas Olympic, Rosebank Plastics, Barfell Industries and Plasticoat. The buyer was Auckland, New Zealand-based Marley New Zealand, a division of Marley plc of the United Kingdom.
Another unit, RMax, which produces and distributes expanded and molded polystyrene products in Australia and New Zealand, was sold to Melbourne-based Huntsman Chemical Co. Australia Ltd.
Pacific Dunlop's industrial products and cables group, including its plastics operations, recorded sales of A$675 million (US$511.3 million) for the year ended June 30.
Pacific Dunlop continues to operate its Dunlop foam division, which manufactures bedding and other foam products.
DuPont halts plant's production of CFCs
WILMINGTON, DEL. - DuPont has ceased production of chloro-fluorocarbon 11 and CFC 12 at its Montague, Mich., site.
That is the last DuPont site in the United States to stop producing Freon 11 and 12.
The Wilmington-based company also ceased production of hydrochlorofluorocarbon at the Montague plant. According to DuPont production plans, HCFC 22 supply needs now will be met at its Louisville, Ky., facility.
DuPont also approved construction of a second plant to produce hydrofluorocarbon 152a at its Corpus Christi, Texas, facility. The plant will supplement supply from the unit in Louisville. Annual capacity will increase from 35 million pounds, to more than 73 million pounds. Operations are scheduled to begin in the second half of 1996.
Modeling machine to print 3-D objects
VALENCIA, CALIF. - 3D Systems Corp. has introduced a new technology called Multi-Jet Modeling, planned for application next year in an office modeler.
The machine, about the size of a copier, will print three-dimensional solid objects produced via computer-aided design.
According to the Valencia-based company, Multi-Jet Modeling is aimed chiefly at product designers. It will operate in an office setting as a peripheral to CAD workstations. Usually, model making is done in laboratory-like specialized settings.
``Multi-jet Modeling is an ink jet process that builds solid objects in successive layers using a thermoplastic material also developed by 3 Systems,'' said Charles W. Hull, 3D Systems president. ``Engineers can conceive their idea, design it in CAD and, without leaving the CAD workstation, build a physical model of their concept as easily as creating a paper print or plot.''
Evaluation units are at two customer sites and additional shipments are planned for November and December. The price of commercial units has not been established.
BASF to add capacity at La. amines plant
MOUNT OLIVE, N.J. - BASF Corp. will expand capacity of its specialty amines plant in Geismar, La.
The plant is to begin operations in late 1997. Capacity will increase to about 45 million pounds from 30 million pounds.
BASF also introduced the Lucolor database for the firm's plastics colorants. The database is designed to help plastics manufacturers select the best colorant for their particular situation, the company said.
Specialty amines are used in cosmetics, detergents, polyurethane catalysts, and pharmaceuticals, among other applications.
DSM Elastomers BV of Heerlen, the Netherlands, has started a second production line for its Sarlink thermoplastic elastomers at DSM Thermoplastic Elastomers Inc. in Leominster, Mass. The move doubles production capacity at the plant.
Resin supplier Dow Plastics of Midland, Mich., received the Supplier Distinction Award from General Polymers, a division of Ashland Chemical Co. Also, Dow Plastics' Joliet, Ill., polystyrene plant received a Six Sigma Quality Award from 3M Corp. ... Budzar Industries Inc. of Euclid, Ohio, a manufacturer of fluid temperature control systems, will move to a larger facility in the spring. The 45,000-square-foot facility in Willoughby, Ohio, will employ 60. ... Autojectors Inc. has named Methods Plastic of Sudbury, Mass., as its representative in New England. Autojectors of Albion, Ind., is a manufacturer of vertical clamp injection molding machines. ... Allen-Bradley Co. Inc., a manufacturer of industrial automation controls and systems, has moved to a 460,000-square-foot plant in Mayfield Heights, Ohio. Allen-Bradley is headquartered in Milwaukee. ... Fisher Sales Corp. has moved to a new 11,000-square-foot facility in St. Charles, Ill., which offers a training center for engineers, processors and machine operators. ... Occidental Chemical Corp.'s production facility in Ingleside, Texas, received a marine environmental protection award from the U.S. Coast Guard. ... TopWave USA Inc. has moved its main office to Marietta, Ga. TopWave imports and sells testing equipment for the plastics industry. ... FGH Systems Inc. of Denville, N.J., now represents Aoki Technical Laboratory Inc. stretch blow molding machines in the northeastern United States. The machines process containers from crystallized and amorphous PET, polyethylene naphthalate, polycarbonate, polypropylene and polyethylene. ... Antimony oxide products maker Laurel Industries Inc. of Cleveland recently moved its headquarters to a larger building in the city. The 8,500-square-foot facility houses administrative offices and the company's sales and marketing staff. ... Engelhard Corp. of Iselin, N.J., has increased manufacturing capacity for organic color pigments by 35 percent. Investment in the Louisville, Ky., plant is more than $2 million, company officials said. ... Filmaster Inc., a manufacturer of single-screw extruders, mono and coextrusion blow film dies, air rings, and complete blown and cast film systems, has moved to a Parsippany, N.J., facility with 35 percent more production space.