COLUMBUS, MISS. - A federal bankruptcy court has ordered the sale of one of Columbus-based Universal Industries Corp.'s two blow molding plants to Slush Puppie Corp. of Cincinnati. The Jan. 31 decision in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Mississippi, accepted the $2.4 million bid of Slush Puppie, a frozen confection and flavoring company, for the plant, which makes plastic beverage containers.
Patty Keaton, a spokeswoman for Slush Puppie, said the plant will be used to make containers for some of Slush Puppie's products, which include ice teas, vitamin-fortified health drinks, and frozen cocktail mixes.
The court's ruling affected only UIC's Columbus plant, and said that disposition of its other blow molding plant in Phoenix would be dealt with in a separate ruling. Universal filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in November.
Berstorff now making extruders in U.S.
DALLAS-German compounding extruder manufacturer Hermann Berstorff Maschinenbau GmbH has begun making its smaller model machines in the United States at its Charlotte, N.C., facility.
The company has built parts for and assembled larger machines - to 96 millimeters - in Charlotte for about eight years, but only in the past few weeks began manufacturing its 25- and 40mm extruders there. Gene Stroupe, vice president of the compounding division, said Feb. 13 at Plastics Fair Dallas that the move was prompted by ``unfavorable exchange rates and the high cost'' of doing business in Germany.
The firm also wants to be more flexible in its delivery time to U.S. customers and to improve market coverage.
Toward that end, Berstorff has opened sales offices in New Jersey and Houston in the past year, and hopes to open another soon in the Ohio Valley region.
The Hanover, Germany-based company's Berstorff Corp. subsidiary is based in Charlotte, and reports back to Germany.
Berstorff makes twin-screw extruders with diameters of 25-330mm for compounding and specialty mixing, single-screw extruders through 600mm, foam lines, and equipment for calendering and pelletizing. In 1994, Krauss-Maffei AG of Munich, Germany, purchased 52 percent of Berstorff.
Texas Extrusion plans to build machines
DALLAS - Texas Extrusion Service Inc. is backing into machine building.
The Spring, Texas, extruder rebuilder plans to construct a 10,000-square-foot building this summer to house its new custom extruder-building operations. The facility, which will be next to the company's existing, 40,000-square-foot location, should be complete by fall.
``We said, `We've already got the service department, we might as well start building them ourselves and service our own equipment,' '' field service engineer David Kores Jr. said Feb. 14 at Plastics Fair Dallas.
``We had customers asking us for custom-built extruders,'' said sales representative Troy Shaffer. ``We should be making our first extruder by the end of the month.''
The first machine will be a 21/2-inch, air-cooled profile extruder with a 24:1 length-to-diameter ratio for an undisclosed customer.
TES also is quoting on an 8-inch extruder, Shaffer said.
``On our models, customers can specify the feed-opening size. You'll be able to replace the feed-section liner,'' he added.
The suburban Houston firm employs 12 and plans to add three workers. The company does retrofitting, borescoping, barrel and screw blueprinting, and coextrusion alignment.
Three PC suppliers look to boost prices
AKRON, OHIO-Three North American polycarbonate suppliers are aiming to boost prices for PC resins and PC blends by 7-12 cents per pound.
Bayer Corp. of Pittsburgh said its increases are due to take effect March 1. GE Plastics of Pittsfield, Mass., and Dow Chemical Co. of Midland, Mich., previously announced similar hikes, with GE's increase due to have taken effect Feb. 1 and Dow's Feb. 15. It was not possible at press time late last week to determine if the increases were taking hold in the market yet.
Despite increased production capacities, the producers said they based their actions on growing demand that continues to outpace supply.