MISHAWAKA, IND. - Custom Plastics Inc. has added 5,000 square feet of warehouse space at its Mishawaka injection molding plant to accommodate Midwest rotomolding customers. About 80 percent of Custom Plastics' business is proprietary products for rotational molders, said Linn Derickson, president and owner. The Ontario, Calif., firm makes nearly 200 different parts for rotomolders at its two plants. Most of its $1.97 million in sales come from fittings and drain cocks for water and holding tanks in recreational vehicles, and agricultural products.
Custom Plastics, now at 15,000 square feet in Mishawaka, needed more room for large parts it molds on 400- and 500-ton presses. Derickson started the Midwest operation two years ago to tap the rotomolding market there and keep shipping costs down. At each plant, the firm has 12 presses and employs 20.
Packaging maker builds drum facility
WEST HAZELTON, PA. - Sonoco Products Co. has built a $5 million plastic drum plant in West Hazelton.
The 51,200-square-foot plant has two blow molding machines to make the drums.
The facility will employ 25.
``One of the machines is a co-extrusion [unit],'' said John Mikula, vice president of customer service and marketing. ``It's the only one we're aware of of its type serving our market.''
Mikula said the drums are made from high-molecular-weight high density polyethylene, and come in 12- and 36-gallon sizes. The drums are used for chemical, pharmaceutical, industrial cleaning, food, paint and coating markets.
Mikula said Pennsylvania offer-ed a geographical advantage: ``It's centrally located to serve customers in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Connecticut.''
Sonoco is headquartered in Hartsville, S.C., and makes paper and plastic packaging products.
Commercial opens distribution center
JESSUP, MD. - Plastic rod and sheet maker Commercial Plastics & Supply Corp. has opened a distribution center in Jessup.
The 15,500-square-foot facility consolidates sales, warehouse and plastic cutting operations previously located in Baltimore and Hyattsville, Md. It employs 20.
Miami-based Commercial Plas-tics extrudes most of its rod and sheet from engineering plastics, such as nylon and polyether-etherketone, at manufacturing plants in Richmond Hill, N.Y., and Bensalem, Pa., according to spokesman Steve Graham.
The company also distributes other plastic products, including flexible tubing for the medical equipment and food-processing markets; resin for firms such as Rohm and Haas Co. and DuPont Co.; and sheet for GE Plastics and ICI Acrylics, among others. It also converts Lexan polycarbonate film for use in graphic arts and automotive applications, Graham said by telephone from Bensalem.
Commercial Plastics operates 80 distribution centers worldwide, and employs about 800 people, including more than 100 in manufacturing, Graham said. He would not disclose sales or extrusion capacity.
PMT insert molding parts for automotive
SEYMOUR, CONN. - Plastic Molding Technology Inc. has begun new programs to insert mold automotive parts with five rotary injection molding presses it installed late last year.
The Seymour custom molder makes electronic connectors, sensors and similar under-the-hood parts for Tier 1 suppliers for undisclosed 1997 vehicle models, Todd Sholtis, facilities director, said in a telephone interview. It spent about $625,000 for the Autojectors HCR 40-ton presses and now has 29 presses.
Sholtis said his firm also plans to buy a 40-ton Autojectors shuttle press for its Bratislava, Slo-vakia, operation this year for an automotive parts customer.
PMT molds nylon, polycarbonate, other engineering resins and thermoplastic elastomer in the five new presses. Customers for the parts include Philips Auto-motive Electronics in Cheshire, Conn., and Texas Instruments in Attleboro, Mass.
Sholtis said the new presses have three-station mold capability and automatic adjustment of the parting line through Cincinnati Milacron-licensed, closed-loop controllers.
Tupperware explores makets in Europe
ORLANDO, FLA. - Newly independent Tupperware Corp. plans to boost eastern European sales by establishing more distributors there, the Orlando firm said.
The plastics housewares maker set up a franchisee at an undisclosed location in the Czech Republic in July and plans similar moves in Turkey and the Baltic states by year-end.
Spokeswoman Christine Hanne-man said existing manufacturing plants in Europe will supply the new markets.
``Europe is Tupperware's lar-gest and most-profitable area,'' said President Rick Goings.
Its success in Hungary, which it entered three years ago, encouraged it to expand to other east European countries.
Tupperware reported a 10 percent sales increase in Europe to $155.1 million for the quarter ended June 29. European profit was $40.3 million, up 9.5 percent from the period a year ago. The results reversed a weak first quarter in Europe when sales and profit dipped.
Overall, Tupperware's second-quarter sales were up 8 percent to $379 million and profit rose 11.3 percent to $50.5 million.
Tupperware said recently it is boosting its Asian sales. It plans to set up businesses in China and India by the end of the year, following recent government appro-vals.
Its Asia-Pacific segment sales were down 4.7 percent in the second quarter because foreign exchange rates hurt Korean and Japanese sales.