PLEASANT PRAIRIE, WIS. - As scheduled, Parker Plastics Inc. has begun blow molding bottles on two Uniloy Comec lines in Pleasant Prairie. The company, based in Sand Springs, Okla., hired 11 people for the extrusion blow molding operation, which is in a 1,500-acre industrial park near the Wisconsin-Illinois border, said Jim Parker, co-owner and vice president of marketing. His partner Buz McAbery is company president.
Parker Plastics, with 1995 sales of $4.5 million, this year expects business to grow by $1 million, mainly due to new Midwest business at the plant.
``We'll have the capability to make our entire product line there,'' Parker said, noting that right now the plant can handle 90 percent of the company's molds.
Those molds comprise custom, proprietary and stock products, including the squeezable bear bottles for honey and F- style bottles for products such as motor oil, he said. Its custom jobs generally are for bottles in one-half-gallon sizes and smaller, he said.
The new, 38,000-square-foot plant also has heat-transfer decorating equipment that can print as many as six colors. Rick Stalle is vice president of operations there.
Bombay-based molder opens in Mich.
DETROIT - A family-owned tooling and molding business in Bombay, India, has opened a small U.S. molding operation to concentrate on the automotive and small appliance markets.
Ask Plus Plastics Inc. started injection molding operations in February in Center Line, Mich., a Detroit suburb. The firm has one new Toshiba injection press with 190 tons of clamping force and two used Toshibas with 250 and 390 tons. President Sarita Hingorani said Ask Plus may add two more presses in the 50- to 100-ton range this year. The firm also is preparing to install equipment to do assembly and pad printing, she said.
The firm is affiliated with Ask Plastics Industries of Bombay, which also has an office in Taiwan. In India, the firm is a supplier to the electronics and small appliance markets, including injection molded parts for coffee makers and thermos bottles.
Although Ask Plastics builds its own tooling in India, its U.S.-based affiliate plans to source tooling locally.
Retailers face suits over miniblinds
WASHINGTON - Retailers in the United States and Canada face class-action lawsuits alleging they knowingly sold lead-containing plastic miniblinds that can pose a health hazard to children.
A lawsuit filed July 10 in California Superior Court in Sacramento against Wal-Mart Inc. charged that the discount retailer advertised the blinds as ``child-safe,'' despite charges the inch-wide, mostly foreign-made blinds contained lead in amounts that exceeded a Consumer Product Safety Commission standard. The suit also names importer Jencraft Corp. of Totowa, N.J., as a defendant.
On July 5, lawyers in Toronto filed a $10.7 billion class-action suit against retailer Zellers Inc. and Window & Bed Covers Inc. of Toronto because of the potential harm to children. The suit seeks $10,000 each for some 8 million owners of the miniblinds, in addition to unspecified punitive damages.
Washington-based CPSC on June 25 alleged lead dust on miniblinds is caused by deterioration of PVC blinds through lengthy exposure to sunlight and heat.
Flexpak plans to consolidate, expand
PHOENIX - Flexpak International Corp. announced plans to expand and consolidate three Phoenix-area operations into one 80,000-square-foot plant. The firm's three facilities total 56,000 square feet. Operations are scheduled to begin in November.
Founded in 1974, Flexpak does custom thermoforming and contract packaging for the medical, consumer, food and electronics industries. Flexpak makes blister and clamshell packaging, shipping and handling trays, shelf organizers and point-of-purchase displays.
The contract packaging portion of the company provides blister and clamshell packaging, heat sealing, shrink wrapping, bagging and labeling, and hand assembly. The company also has a contract packaging plant in Virginia that employs 25.
Don Richardson, vice president of marketing, declined to comment on the cost of the building or the company's annual sales. He said Flexpak plans to add equipment. The firm employs 80 and plans to hire more.