HOUSTON - Laird Plastics Inc. expanded its plastic sheet, rod and tube distribution business with the March 4 acquisition of A-1 Plastics Inc. of Houston. Officials did not disclose terms. The purchase gives Laird full-service locations in Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, Austin and Corpus Christi, Texas. It already had a service center in Fort Worth.
Laird, based in West Palm Beach, Fla., opened new service centers in Erie, Pa., and Hamilton, Ontario, late last year. It also expanded its Crystaplex Arena business unit by purchasing Strutt Specialties of St. Paul, Minn. Crystaplex, of Mississauga, Ontario, supplies dashboard structural supports, glazing, flooring and other equipment to skating rinks and indoor soccer and other recreational facilities.
Laird Plastics is a subsidiary of Laird Group plc of London. A sister company, Plastic Profiles in Cannon Falls, Minn., does profile extrusion.
Toshiba has training at new tech center
ONTARIO, CALIF. - Toshiba Machine Co. America is offering mold qualification, material tests for molding requirements, and pre-production mold tryouts at its Ontario Tech Center.
This is the fifth U.S. technical center that Toshiba has opened to provide value-added services to customers and potential customers of its injection molding equipment.
Toshiba also offers training classes in molding machine maintenance and processing in its regularly scheduled seminars.
The company has two- and three-day courses that use both a classroom setting and hands-on training with the three presses in the technical center, which have 310, 120 and 90 tons of clamping force.
Sandretto opening 6th technical center
MIDDLEBURG HEIGHTS, OHIO - Italian injection molding machine maker Sandretto Industrie srl continues to expand its geographic reach through the United States and Canada, with the opening of its sixth technical center, in Batavia, Ill.
Last November, Sandretto's U.S. arm, Sandretto Plastics Machinery Inc., relocated to the Midwest, moving from New Jersey to Middleburg Heights. Throughout 1995, the company opened technical centers in the offices of its sales representatives. Sandretto has scheduled an open house April 11 and 12 at the newest one, housed at EPM Sales in Batavia.
Bernard Choquel, president of the U.S. unit, said Sandretto established the centers to better cover the entire market.
``We really want to go after the Midwest, and we have spread our inventory all over the U.S.,'' he said in a March 21 interview.
Each center is stocked with several Sandretto presses. Choquel said the centers will speed delivery, allow customers to do mold trials and provide training.
Sandretto is providing free training for 12 months after a sale, he said.
The Batavia center will have four Sandretto presses.
Macro expands with new headquarters
MISSISSAUGA, ONTARIO - Blown film extrusion machinery supplier Macro Engineering & Technology Inc. moved to new, larger headquarters on March 25.
Macro moved to a 100,000-square-foot facility, about three times larger than its previous one, assistant marketing manager Paul Asturi said. The new building, which houses its engineering research and development center, is across the street from its former Mississauga headquarters.
Asturi said Macro will move its new production-size development line to the headquarters building by this fall, when the lease expires on the facility now housing it. Macro started running the development line a few months ago to test new resins and machinery for customers. It has a 31/2-inch extruder with a groove-feed design.
Black Clawson has financing division
AMELIA, OHIO - Black Clawson Sano Inc., which makes machinery for blown and cast film, has set up its own financing arm, Black Clawson Capital Services, at its headquarters in Amelia, Ohio.
Currently, Black Clawson uses third-party financing on a customer-by-customer basis. Under the new system, however, the company will be able to use the clout of its overall customer base, according to Joe Altimari, executive vice president.
``Now we tie the whole package together for them,'' Altimari said. ``We can actually bring to the customer better financing rates.''
Financing will be more flexible, he said. For example, a qualified customer could stretch out payment schedules over a longer period of time.