SAN RAMON, CALIF. - Chevron Chemical Co. is considering an expansion that would more than double the capacity of its 200 million-pound-per-year high density polyethylene plant in Orange, Texas, by 1999. If Chevron approves the plan, estimated to cost $50 million to $100 million, it will increase capacity to 500 million pounds per year. The company would use BP Chemical's Innovene PE production technology.
The plant mainly would serve the blow molding, pipe and film markets. Chevron Chemical, headquartered in San Ramon, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Chevron Corp.
JCI expanding automotive joint venture
MANCHESTER, MICH. - Johnson Controls Inc. of Manchester said it will expand a joint venture to produce seating, door panels and interior trim moldings for a full-size pickup truck that Toyota Motor Corp. plans to build in the United States.
The parts will be supplied by Trim Masters Inc., a joint venture established in 1987 between Johnson Controls, Araco Corp. and Toyota Tsusho America Inc.
Araco of Toyota City, Japan, supplies interior seating and trim to the automaker. Toyota Tshusho is a trading company.
JCI said it will build a plant at an as-yet unannounced site to supply parts for the T-100 pickup truck. In November, Toyota said it would begin producing the truck in late 1998 in a $700 million assembly plant it will build in Princeton, Ind. The new plant will have an annual capacity of 100,000 trucks.
Trim Masters, based in Harrodsburg, Ky., manufactures complete seats, seat frames, trim covers and door panels for Toyota and New United Motor Manufacturing Inc., the Toyota-General Motors Corp. joint venture based in Fremont, Calif.
Trim Masters supplies parts for Toyota's Avalon, Camry, Corolla and Tacoma small pickup. The company has plants in Bardstown, Harrodsburg, and Nicholasville, Ky., and Modesto, Calif. It recently broke ground on a plant in Leitchfield, Ky., that is scheduled to open early next year.
Canada's C-Tech moving to larger plant
VANCOUVER, WASH. - C-Tech Plastics, a Vancouver injection molding firm, is moving from a 4,000-square-foot plant to a leased, 10,000-square-foot facility.
``We outgrew this [plant] quicker than we thought we would,'' said Steve Cartier, president and chief executive officer.
The company will invest $450,000 to add three injection presses, an ultrasonic welding machine and other equipment. The presses, which have clamping forces of 80-125 tons, will be installed this month. A 350-ton press will be installed in August.
The firm now has five injection presses with clamping forces of 35-350 tons. It also has three ultrasonic welding machines and assembly equipment. The staff of 12 will increase to 22 within 90 days, Cartier said. C-Tech plans to move by July 21.
A tooling facility will be included in the plant along with computer-aided-design systems for part and tool design.
The firm serves the electronics, household consumer products, transportation and sporting goods industries.
Sabin switches to leased facility nearby
BLOOMINGTON, IND. - Medical components manufacturer Sabin Corp. hopes to occupy 177,000 square feet of refurbished manufacturing and warehouse facilities within 1 mile of its existing two buildings sometime after Jan. 1.
Sabin will move from its 97,000-square-foot manufacturing and warehouse complex in Cook Inc.'s Bloomington headquarters to a larger facility that combines manufacturing and a warehouse, said Sabin President Bob Lendman. Sabin now is involved in thermoforming, injection molding, compounding, insert molding, extrusion, braiding and stamping medical parts for Cook, a privately held medical device manufacturer. The old Sabin building will be used for a Cook expansion.
Lendman said new Sabin facility will house environmentally controlled manufacturing, but will not be a clean-room facility.
Refurbishment of the new plant will transform a 112,000- square-foot, single-story building to a two-story facility. It will employ 165. Sabin will add one compounding and one extrusion line and two injection molding presses with 110 and 175 tons of clamping force.
Lendman declined to reveal the level of investment or equipment in use now.