SAN LEANDRO, CALIF. - Two rapid prototype and tooling firms are merging their operations to create an outfit with 20 rapid prototyping systems, seven computer numerically controlled machining centers and six injection presses. Plynetics Corp. of San Leandro and Prototype Express Inc. of Schaumburg, Ill., have linked up, but the companies will continue to do business under their respective names.
Terms were not disclosed.
Plynetics' customers will gain increased access to secondary applications, including urethane casting, investment and die casting patterns, Prototype Express co-owner Dave Flynn said in a news release. Prototype has a 28,000-square-foot plant in Schaumburg.
Plynetics operates out of a 23,000-square-foot plant in San Leandro and a 12,000-square-foot facility near Portland, Ore.
Since 1989, both firms have been making prototype plastic and metal parts and tooling for companies serving markets such as automotive, electronics, medical and consumer products. Their rapid prototyping and tooling capabilities include stereolithography and Selective Laser Sintering.
The firms' combined sales for 1995 were $11.1 million. This year they expect business to exceed $20 million, according to the release. Together they employ 135.
Flynn and partner Tom Mueller founded Prototype. Frost Prioleau is Plynetics' owner and president.
General Electric ponder Asian plant
PITTSFIELD, MASS. - A report published July 1 in the Wall Street Journal said General Electric Co. intends to invest $750 million to build a 356.4 million-pound polycarbonate resin plant in Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore or Indonesia. Construction is to start by the second quarter of 1997, the report said.
However, a GE Plastics spokesman said July 3 the company has not decided what investment it may make, how large the facility may be or in what country it may build such a facility.
``We have made no announcement,'' said Rick Pocock, spokes-man for the Pittsfield-based company.
He acknowledged, however, that the company is investigating sites and countries in Southeast Asia for its first Asian PC production facility.
Delta Tooling to use Swiss technology
AUBURN HILLS, MICH. - Delta Tool-ing Co. said it reached an agreement to produce in-mold lamination tooling using technology developed by Georg Kaufmann AG of Switzerland.
Delta, based in Auburn Hills, said it will build and repair the molds for the United States, Canada and Mexico, primarily for automotive customers. The company, which employs 400, also has a tool building facility in Charlotte, N.C.
Kaufmann specializes in in-mold lamination tooling and is a supplier to Mercedes-Benz AG and BMW AG. The German automakers encouraged the Delta-Kaufmann agreement, said Delta President Pete Mozer.
While Delta hopes to supply tooling for Mercedes and BMW manufacturing operations in the United States, the company is also hopeful of producing in-mold lamination tools for the Big Three and major suppliers, Mozer said.
In-mold lamination is used to produce a variety of automotive parts, such as fabric-covered door trim panels and bumper covers. A fabric or film is placed into a compression or injection mold, and plastic is filled in behind it.
The process eliminates secondary finishing operations such as gluing or painting and also can make use of recycled plastics for backfilling.
Nissei exports its 70,000th press
NAGANO, JAPAN - Nissei Plastic Industrial Co. Ltd. passed a landmark on March 25, shipping its 70,000th injection molding machine.
In 1995, Nagano-based Nissei said it shipped 3,250 presses. That was 250 units less than the estimate of 3,500, because of a decline of exports to the United States, according to the company.
The fiscal year ended March 31.
Nissei exported 51 percent of its total output and sold 49 percent within Japan.
Nissei's U.S. unit, Nissei America Inc., is based in Anaheim, Calif.
Australia's Moldflow to get Nasdaq listing
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - Austral-ian plastics technology company Moldflow Pty. Ltd. plans to list on the Nasdaq stock system within two years.
The public-listing plan follows the purchase of 25 percent of Moldflow by North American-based capital firm Ampersand Ventures of Wellesley, Mass.
``We think Moldflow has the potential to be a public company, and while it is premature to say when, we believe it won't be long before we deliberate on an initial public offering on the U.S. Nasdaq,'' said Charles Yie, Am-persand general partner.
Moldflow, based in Melbourne, manufactures computer-aided engineering software for the plastic injection molding industry.
The company has customers in 46 countries and sales offices in North America, the United King-dom, Germany, Korea, Taiwan and China.
Japanese equipment production clumbs
TOKYO - After a four-year decline, Japanese production of injection molding machines increased in 1995 to nearly 13,000 units, according to the Japan Plastics Machine Industry Association.
The Tokyo-based association said 12,999 presses were manufactured in 1995 - a 15.1 percent increase over 1994.
In 1990, the peak year, Japanese companies turned out 16,000 presses.
Performance also turned around for extruders and downstream equipment for extrusion. Extrusion machines gained 28.3 percent, to 1,472 units in 1995. Downstream equipment grew a more modest 4.1 percent, to 1,310 units.
Blow molding machines, ex-cluding stretch blow molding equipment, declined by 25.7 percent in unit volume. But the trade association reports stronger demand for fully automated lines or equipment for special resins.
Autojectors Inc., an Albion, Ind.-based supplier of vertical-clamp injection molding ma-chines, announced three new sales representatives: Canfield Plastic Equipment Sales of Franklin, N.C., to cover North and South Carolinas, Georgia and eastern Tennessee; Hammond Co. of Lenexa, Kan., to cover Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, southern Illinois and southern Iowa; and B&B Plastics Machinery Sales of Leesburg, Fla., to cover Florida.