HARTSVILLE, S.C. - Sonoco Products Co. expanded its plastic caulk cartridge production with the opening of a plant in Winchester, Ky., early this year. The 8,000-square-foot plant was built three to four years ago by a Toyota supplier but it never opened, said Sonoco Products spokesman Kent Lefebvre. Sonoco secured the facility just before Christmas, then moved and began production during the first quarter.
The plastic caulk cartridges are extruded and made mainly from high density polyethylene. Some products are made from low and medium density PE, as well as from copolymers.
Sonoco makes plastic caulk cartridges for the adhesive and sealant business and for Dow Corning's silicones. Sonoco also has cartridge plants in Hanover, Pa., and Alpha, Ohio.
Sonoco selected Winchester because of its central location to its customer base, according to Lefebvre.
The plant will operate three shifts five to seven days a week. Lefebvre declined to comment on the number of machines and employees at the plant, and the amount invested.
The Winchester operation is part of Sonoco's Consumer Products Division. Sonoco Products is based in Hartsville.
Commodore re-enters foam molding process
BLOOMFIELD, N.Y. - Commodore Machine Co. of Bloomfield is expanding production of polystyrene flat-cut foam sheet for specialty part and package applications.
George Braddon, owner of the firm, which has made tooling and thermoforming equipment since 1991, said the foam production is a return to a process he did from 1981-1991 as owner of Commo-dore Foam Products Co.
Commodore Foam burned down in May 1991, but Braddon recovered from the loss and started Commodore machine in a 9,000-square-foot building on the same site in September of that year.
``We were really big in making meat trays,'' Braddon said in a telephone interview. ``We won't be doing that again, but we will be making extruded PS foam sheet and specialty packaging.''
Last year, the company built a second, 6,000-square-foot plant to house a new foam sheet line, and obtained a contract for some foam parts.
Although he declined to name the customer, he said the company now has begun extruding sheet and contracting to make different foam products, such as cake rings and packaging.
``Essentially, we are looking to build the tool-making business and the foam at the same time,'' he said.
First Years delays stock offering plan
AVON, MASS. - First Years Inc. of Avon, a supplier of plastics products for children, has not decided when to proceed with a secondary stock offering.
The former Kiddie Products Inc. had planned to issue about 1.2 million shares, but overall weakness in retail stock markets and the firm's lower-than-expected stock price forced it to postpone the issue indefinitely, according to Benjamin Peltz, the firm's senior vice president and treasurer.
It originally filed for the share issue last September.
First Years relies on U.S. and offshore molders to make its products, which include feeding, play, safety and gift items and furnishings.
Last year it recorded sales of $75.8 million and profit of $3.7 million. Until last May, the firm had been known as Kiddie Products.