Courtesy orders 22 injection presses
BUFFALO GROVE, ILL. — Courtesy Corp. has ordered its first 22 Krauss-Maffei injection molding machines, part of a 60-press expansion at Courtesy's headquarters in Buffalo Grove.
Courtesy originally announced the expansion, which includes more than 300,000 square feet of manufacturing space, in late 1996. The expansion will boost molding of medical products, under Courtesy's Med/Tek division.
Krauss-Maffei Corp. of Florence, Ky., will ship the first 22 machines, with clamping forces of 65-330 tons, to Courtesy's new medical molding facility in February and March.
Rail car leak keeps residents indoors
MIDLAND, MICH. — About 4,000 residents were required to remain indoors for more than three hours Aug. 30 when an undetermined amount of styrene monomer leaked from a rail car at the Dow Chemical Co. complex in Midland.
The monomer, which had arrived from Huntsman Corp.'s Polymers division in Odessa, Texas, the previous day, began to polymerize while still in the car, said Dow spokesman Gary Black.
Community alarms sounded after a Dow employee reported an odor coming from the car. No injuries were reported.
Residents downwind of the site were told to stay indoors from 3:30 a.m. until 6:50 a.m. Officials stopped the leak by venting pressure through a hose and pumping water into the rail car.
The same reaction resulted in a leak in a rail car that was en route to the site from Odessa that same morning. The second car was taken to a rail yard in Cora, Ill., after Huntsman technicians arrived and neutralized the leak, Black said.
Black said Dow officials are investigating why the polymerization reaction occurred.
Marglen plans automated recovery plant
ROME, GA. — Marglen Industries Inc., a carpet maker, plans to open a PET reclamation facility later this month in Rome.
The 45,000-square-foot facility will have 50 employees and a capacity of
30 million pounds per year, said President John Griffin. Marglen plans to double its capacity in the near future.
Baled PET will feed into the processing line and not be handled again
until it comes out in a baled-fiber form. While in the continuous
processing line, the material is sorted, ground and cleaned. The firm will ship baled fiber to a yarn plant, where it is made into carpet.
``This is a multimillion-dollar facility and it is highly automated,''
said Griffin, without providing more details.
He said the firm's goal is to automate wherever it can to drive down processing costs.Marglen employs more than 1,000.
Exxon claims success with metallocene
HOUSTON — Exxon Chemical Co. of Houston is claiming victory in its effort to use its Exceed metallocene linear low density polyethylene to produce biaxially oriented film.
In a presentation at the SPO '97 business forum on specialty polyolefins in Houston Sept. 24-26, Exxon researchers plan to reveal successful results of producing commercial quantities of biaxially oriented LLDPE film on tenter frame equipment.
``We made no effort to develop special grades for tenter frame use,'' Exxon research associate Pat Brant said Aug. 29 by telephone from Baytown, Texas. ``This just shows we're not in a position to say what appropriate uses of this material are. It's so new that we're still finding out a lot of things.''
The new film has a better range of haze and gloss values than cast films and better dart impact strength than biaxially oriented polypropylene film, according to Exxon. Brant added that Exceed could replace standard LLDPE in stretch film and heavy-duty sack applications.
EPA delays decision on Shintech plant
CONVENT, LA. — Shintech Inc.'s battle to build a PVC plant in Convent continued to crawl through the legal system last week, as the Environmental Protection Agency again delayed its decision on the project and a state judge declined to strike down opposition to the plant.
The EPA, which is being asked to settle a claim of ``environmental racism'' brought against the Houston-based PVC maker, now expects to have a ruling Sept. 9, an agency spokeswoman said. The EPA has set three judgment dates since August.
Plant opponents have claimed Shintech is committing environmental racism by planning to build the plant near a government housing project that is primarily minority-occupied.
A claim that the proposed plant's emissions will violate the Clean Air Act is also pending. EPA officials had previously said this challenge was dismissed, but later confirmed the dismissal only affected one branch of the EPA and not the overall Clean Air challenge.
In 23rd District Court in St. James Parish, La., Judge Alvin Turner Jr. deferred a challenge of Shintech's coastal land-use permits to the district's Court of Merits. No court date has been set.