TORONTO - Brampton Engineer-ing Inc. will include a 1,320-pound-per-hour blown film extrusion line in a new technology center it plans to begin operating by late October. Brampton will invest C$5 million (US$3.7 million) in the center to support innovations in blown film technology. The large film line will feature a 13-inch, three-layer die based on the firm's streamlined coextrusion die technology, Brampton President Bill Wybenga said in a telephone interview. Three 31/2-inch extruders are part of the line. The center also will include an existing 6-inch, seven-layer line Brampton has been using for research and development.
Brampton believes the center will offer the largest blown film equipment for customer development among North American equipment suppliers. Wybenga said ``walk-in'' customers can expect to pay about C$5,000 (US$3,650) a day to use the 13-inch line and associated re-sources. Firms in partnership arrangements with Brampton would pay less.
The center will occupy about 12,000 square feet at the Bramp-ton, Ontario, facility near Tor-onto. In addition to proprietary research, it will be large enough to test blown film lines before Brampton delivers them to customers.
Wybenga said his firm's sales grew 40 percent last year. He did not disclose specific figures but said 90 percent of sales are outside Canada.
Philippines to get polyethylene plant
MAKATI CITY, PHILIPPINES-London- based British Petroleum Chemi-cals Investments Ltd. has forged a joint venture with Makati City-based Petrochemical Corp. of Asia Pacific to build the Philip-pines' first polyethylene plant.
The joint venture company is Bataan Polyethylene Corp., which is controlled by Petrocorp, with a 50 percent stake. BP owns 30 percent. The other shareholders, with 10 percent each, are PNOC Petrochemical Corp. of Makati and Sumitomo Corp. of Tokyo.
BP Chairman and President Antonio M. Garcia said the proposed US$200 million PE plant will have a rated capacity of 441 million pounds. The facility will be constructed in Limay, north of Manila.The PE plant is the second downstream plant project of Petrocorp. The first was the polypropylene plant with an annual capacity of 496 million pounds, which is scheduled to be on stream by the end of 1996. The facility is also located in Limay.
Garcia said Petrocorp intends to pursue the proposed US$700 million naphtha cracker, the third facility that would complete the first integrated petrochemical complex in the Philippines.
Eastman aims CPET at food packaging
KINGSPORT, TENN. - It probably will never eclipse expanded polystyrene and aluminum as a low-cost packaging tray material for food, but Eastman Chemical Co. hopes to bring foamed crystalline PET to the fore as an option for some applications.
``We think it could do a lot in replacing coated paperboard, and other materials in dual-ovenable, food-oriented applications,'' said Robert Schrader, business unit manager for food and consumer packaging. ``We would like to get production of CPET foam up to commercial levels.''
Kingsport-based Eastman be-gan offering the foamed CPET products about two months ago and, Schrader said, they have attracted a small flurry of interest. He emphasized that the CPET foam thermoformed into food or bakery trays would be heatable in either conventional or microwave ovens, an advantage over PS or aluminum. But producing them also would entail modification of traditional extrusion equipment, and some additional costs.
``We feel that this product opens the doors for markets that have been lost to coated paperboard,'' said Paul Anderson, Eastman business market manager for food and consumer packaging. ``And that the material could be of use where high-heat or barrier properties are needed.''
Schrader said the company is prepared to produce as much of the foam CPET concentrate as necessary to meet demand. Cost of the material will be ``in the ballpark with'' coated paperboard with higher heat and barrier capabilities, he said.
Ciba-Geigy expands Los Angeles facility
Ciba-Geigy Corp. Business Unit Adhesives & Tooling in Los Angeles, a supplier of polymers for tooling, has completed a $3 million expansion that includes the relocation of laboratories.
The stereolithography labs were relocated from Ciba's parent in Basel, Switzerland, and join the firm's other research and development labs in Los Angeles. The 11 labs are dedicated to stereolithography, aerospace and electronics, and employ 130. The stereolithography R&D labs alone have invested more than $1.5 million in new equipment.
``Completion of the new stereolithography labs brings Ciba even closer to our strategic partners and enhances our ability to speed to market new materials,'' said market director Ed Clark. ``It was important to have them here also because we manufacture the material here.''
Part of the expansion involved reconstructing some of the Los Angeles plant. The building was old and arranged haphazardly, said Clark. About 2,500 square feet were added for the stereolithography labs and around four times that much for the aerospace and electronics labs.
Ciba supplies acrylic, epoxy and polyurethane to manufacturers such as 3D Systems, Lock-heed Martin, Northrop Grumman and Volvo. When the plastics are used with stereolithography apparatuses manufactured by 3D Systems, objects can be produced from computer-aided design and manufacturing data.
Based in Tarrytown, N.Y., Ciba-Geigy Corp. has annual sales of $5.3 billion.
Pact gives PSI use of Micromet equipment
BLACKSBURG, VA. - As part of a partnership agreement, Polymer Solutions Inc. is using dielectric analysis machines made by Micromet Instruments Inc. to test thermoset composites at its Blacksburg facility. PSI and Micro-met of Newton Centre, Mass., formed the partnership in June. Terms were not disclosed.
PSI had been using its own custom-built equipment to do chemical analysis and materials testing for its customers, which are mainly plastics manufacturers that ``need help either with their processing ... or with their understanding of a finished product,'' said James Rancourt, PSI president. The company also works with other materials, such as metals, ceramics and explosives. PSI will use the Micromet machines primarily for testing coatings and adhesives. The setup could mean more sales for Micromet, if PSI customers decide to bring their materials testing in-house.
``This equipment is process-oriented, rather than research-oriented, so it finds application down on the shop floor,'' Ran-court said.
The venture is Micromet's first, said Nathan Smith, national sales manager.
At its Newton Centre headquarters, Micromet makes the dielectric equipment, which also can be used on compression and injection molding machines. The facility houses a lab, where the company does testing only to prove out the instrument and justify its cost for potential customers.
But many companies need the equipment only for periodic materials testing and do not want to own it, Smith said.
``Our real goal is to make dielectric analysis more accessible to people,'' he said.
To that end, Micromet last month introduced a dielectric system that small injection or compression molders can afford. It consists of a printed circuit board that is plugged into an existing control system, and costs about $10,000, Smith said. A full-blown system costs around $50,000, he said.
N.Y. compounder adds two extruders
ROTTERDAM, N.Y. - B&M Plastics of New York Inc. is increasing its compounding capabilities by in-stalling two twin-screw extruders at its Rotterdam plant.
B&M is spending about $1.9 million on the project, which it expects to complete in mid-September, according to the firm's president and chief executive officer, Brian Schrowang. The twin screws will allow B&M to make filled materials and do reactive extrusion, he said.
The Rotterdam operation focuses on engineering materials and counts major resin companies as its customers. The 5-year-old firm started in pulverizing and demetalizing but has diversified and plans to become ``a one-stop shop'' performing various toll processing operations.
The expansion includes fluid-bed drying equipment and a fully equipped test lab. B&M is buying Sentry 70-millimeter and an 80mm twin-screw extruders with long flights for versatile compounding. It increased its leased space in Rotterdam from 67,000 square feet to 90,000 square feet this summer.
Milacron gaining business in Asia
CINCINNATI - As part of its move into Southeast Asia, Cincinnati Milacron Inc. recently shipped five Eclipse-brand blow molding ma-chines to firms in China and Australia.
Yangzhou Auto Plastic Parts Co. in China bought three 50-ton E-series machines with accumulator head capacities of 5-15 pounds. The company molds mostly high density polyethylene parts for the automotive and motorcycle industry. Its main customer is Volkswagen.
Exacto Plastics in Australia bought a similar unit with an 8.5 pound head and a Milacron T1100 with a 15-pound accumulator head and a 125-ton clamp. The company also serves the auto industry and molds glass-filled nylon parts to withstand high temperatures under the hood.