By December, Fiberite Inc. will install custom-made equipment at a Pennsylvania plant to expand use of the technology at its recently acquired French bulk molding compounder. ``Our compounds have higher strength than competitive products and will give more value to users in every market,'' said Nick DiMeo, sales and marketing manager. The compounds have impact strength of 2-8 foot pounds per inch and will complement Fiberite's existing line of long-glass phenolic molding compounds with impact strength of 8-20 foot pounds.
On May 21, Fiberite acquired the proprietary equipment, formulations and other assets of the Simmaco subsidiary of equipment maker Sofremi SA in Corcelles-Les-Lens in northern France's Pas-de-Calais region. Simmaco is known now as Fiberite France Sarl.
Simmaco employed 15, manufactured engineering-grade bulk molding compounds from vinyl ester and polyester resins and fiberglass reinforcement and supplied the materials to transportation, electrical, appliance and construction markets in Europe. The French technology reduces damage to the glass-fiber reinforcement and yields higher mechanical properties.
Currently, Fiberite supplies the high-performance compounds to U.S. customers from France, but the new production capability will reduce delivery times to several days or less than two weeks instead of the typical four weeks.
A European machinery maker built the Simmaco equipment, ``which has exhibited exceptional reliability for the past 10 years,'' said Mel Johnson, Fiberite business manager. Identical hardware will be delivered to Fiberite's 140,000-square-foot Delano, Pa., plant in November. Together, the sites will have annual BMC production capacity of 33 million pounds.
In 1997, Fiberite expects to add BMC capacity for another 11 million pounds at an existing or new facility to further shorten supply lines to customers, particularly for automotive under-the-hood and electrical applications. Now, Fiberite supplies phenolic and epoxy molding compounds to those markets.
Fiberite plans to expand the product line to high durability and ultraviolet light-stable materials for construction and appliances. Two developments involve biodegradable and recyclable-low-density BMCs.
Fiberite, based in Tempe, Ariz., supplies short- and long-fiber reinforced molding compounds using phenolic, epoxy, bismaleimide, melamine and silicone.
Other Fiberite facilities are in Winona, Minn.; Orange, Calif.; Greenville, Texas; and Ostringen, Germany. A partnership of DLJ Merchant Banking of New York, and Carlisle Enterprises LP of La Jolla, Calif., acquired Fiberite from Imperial Chemical Industries plc on Oct. 6, 1995.