FITCHBURG, MASS. - Barry Potter has resigned as president of Netstal-Machinery Inc., U.S. arm of the Swiss injection molding machinery manufacturer, the company announced Sept. 18. The new president will be Werner Christinger, a former vice president of Becton Dickinson Corp. in Frank-lin Lakes, N.J.
Netstal also announced that Netstal will move from Fitchburg to the Devens Technology Center in Fort Devens, Mass.
Potter, who founded Netstal-Machinery in 1982, resigned the position effective Sept. 30, according to a news release issued by Netstal. The release gave no reason.
The company supplies injection presses to a variety of markets, including molders of compact discs, packaging and medical products.
Dieter Klug, president of parent company Netstal-Maschinen AG of Nafels, Switzerland, appointed Christinger as the new president of the U.S. unit, effective Oct. 1.
Netstal officials have been talking about a new facility for more than a year. In May, Netstal sold its CD jewel box molding operation, Optima Precision Inc., to Shape Global Technology Inc. Optima and Netstal share the same building in Fitchburg. Shape officials have said they plan to retain the employees and expand the Fitchburg location.
Potter founded Optima to demonstrate Netstal machines and automation, but it grew to become a major U.S. jewel-box molder.
CANTON, OHIO - An exploding injection press has been blamed for a fire at a Canton injection molding plant Sept. 13.
Five people, including two firefighters, were injured in the blaze at Van-Kay Inc. All have been released from hospitals. The damage estimate is unknown.
``The back half of the main building was lost,'' said Fire Chief Tom Johnson. ``Apparently, the fire began when a hydraulic line off the press broke. A lot of plastic was back there.''
The company is functioning from the front part of the building, which sustained minimal damage. Officials at the company did not return phone calls.
PITTSBURGH - Free-Flow Packaging Corp. won the Outstanding Recycling Innovation award at the National Recycling Coalition meeting held last week in Pittsburgh.
The Redwood City, Calif., company manufactures protective packaging materials and dispensing systems. The loosefill products are made from 100 percent recycled polystyrene, including 35 percent post-consumer material.
The company was incorporated in 1967 and began recycling expanded PS in 1989. Free-Flow claims to have started the industry's first packaging take-back program.
CHICAGO - An oval-shaped table with decoration made from molded-in polypropylene film netted Grosfillex of Robesonia, Pa., the industry's top resin furniture award at the International Casual Furniture Market in Chicago.
Grosfillex received the Design Excellence Award in the resin category Sept. 18 at the five-day event at Chicago's Merchandise Mart.
Plastics also were highlighted in another category, as a resin wicker chair from Shae Designs won the rattan/wicker/woven material award.
Grosfillex injection molds its large Modulis table from PP. A chemical bond is created between the table top and the PP film, which is placed inside the mold before molding. The film prevents scratching and adds a decorative touch because it allows the color of the plastic to come through, creating a different look for tables of different colors, spokeswoman Karen Klein said at the company's booth.
The Modulis table has a suggested retail price of $299.
In the wicker category, Shae Designs, a unit of Brown Jordan International, won for its Nantucket chair, which uses PVC strands of wicker hand-woven around an exposed wrought aluminum frame.
At its Merchandise Mart showroom, Shae Designs displayed the chairs with green frame and tan wicker strapping.