New 3M Co. division targets electronics
ST. PAUL, MINN. — 3M Co. of St. Paul has bundled together several product lines into one new division to focus on the fast-growing electronics market.
``The core technologies common among [these] businesses include base resins, precision molding and forming and plastics treatments for static dissipation,'' said Vic Yones, general manager.
The new 3M electronic handling and protection division targets the market for precision and delicate components, Yones said. The division, which began operations Aug. 1 in Austin, Texas, draws from three 3M units.
A now-disbanded Austin-based electrical specialties division contributed static-control systems and electromagnetic interference shielding materials. The electronic products unit, also in Austin, supplied its Textool-brand integrated-circuit transport media, test and burn-in sockets and electronic production sockets. EDP continues to make electronic interconnect products.
The industrial tape and specialties division in St. Paul provided passive, semiconductor and electromechanical components' tape and reel transport media. Yones had headed the division's surface-mount business.
St. Paul-based 3M maintains internal production lines for proprietary processes and materials and uses outside molders and suppliers for items on which it is willing to share technology.
Hexcel to complete PAN capacity boost
STAMFORD, CONN. — Hexcel Corp. is on track to complete by the end of the year its 50 percent increase in polyacrylonitrile-based carbon-fiber capacity, but the sold-out market wants more.
Worldwide, ``demand exceeds supply ... by 2 million pounds,'' said James Burns, president of Hexcel's carbon-fiber strategic business unit. He pegged demand at 26 million to 30 million pounds for all sizes of small- and heavy-tow fibers, with aircraft and recreation demands leading the way. Burns said he expects demand to outpace supply until 1999.
In 18 months, Hexcel is spending $15 million to add a second precursor line in Decatur, Ala., and debottleneck three of seven small-tow fiber lines at its Salt Lake City operations. The changes will increase Hexcel's annual nameplate PAN capacity to 4.5 million pounds from 3 million pounds.
Hexcel of Stamford employs about 100 in Decatur and more than 200 in Salt Lake City.
Venture co-owner buys Hexcel's share
SAN DIEGO —Edward Fyfe has extracted his infrastructure repair and seismic retrofit business from a four-year joint venture with Hexcel Corp. and soon will face Hexcel as a competitor.
Fyfe Associates Inc. of San Diego bought Hexcel's 40 percent equity interest in Hexcel-Fyfe Co. LLC, ending the association Aug. 12.
Terms were not disclosed.
Fyfe's firm, installer Fyfe Associates Inc., already owned 60 percent of the venture, formed in 1993. Fyfe wraps highway and parking garage columns with its Tyfo SEH-51 system of glass-based composite fabric and epoxy.
Hexcel of Stamford, Conn., and Fyfe Associates will co-own intellectual property that the joint venture developed and used. Hexcel anticipates entering the construction repair and retrofit market with its own fiber-reinforced composite systems in the near future.
Fyfe Associate has a product supply unit, Fyfe Co. LLC, and runs a Canadian operation based in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Hexcel makes carbon fibers, structural fabrics, composite materials and engineered parts and structures.
Fyfe's principal supplier of reinforced fabrics is Owens Corning's Knytex operation in New Braunfels, Texas. Owens Corning and Hexcel jointly owned Knytex Co. LLC until December, when Owens Corning acquired Hexcel's 50 percent equity interest.
Distrupol expands, reorganizes sales
LONDON — Leading United Kingdom polymer distributor Distrupol Ltd. has reorganized and expanded its sales operations to handle rapidly growing business.
The firm, part of British chemical distribution group Ellis & Everard plc of Bradford, England, has expanded offices at its Chertsey, England, headquarters and opened a new regional Midlands sales center at Wolverhampton, England.
Distrupol, which is composed of the companies formerly known as KD Thermoplastics Ltd., Horneman (UK) Ltd. and Giltrain Plastics Ltd., is integrating the Horneman and KD sales teams into a single unit, to occupy a newly acquired floor at its Chertsey offices.
The combined sales force of KD Thermoplastics, color compounder KD Ronmar Compounds and Giltrain Plastics now is based at the new Wolverhampton offices.
The firm said it has been experiencing a rush of new sales following some recent acquisitions and the extension of sales agreements, in particular to market PVC compound lines for Brussels, Belgium-based EVC International.
Distrupol Ltd. is the United Kingdom and Ireland distribution arm of E&E's Pan-European organization formed by Horneman Distrupol BV, recently acquired Scandinavian distributor Waldenstrom and Krogh, and Distrupol UK. Sales have reached about $134.5 million.