Auto molder Modern Industrial may close
BROOKVILLE, OHIO — Modern Industrial Plastics Inc., an injection molder specializing in fluoropolymer seals and gaskets for the automotive industry, may be closing its doors in March.
According to a Nov. 6 story in the Dayton (Ohio) Daily News, the Brookville company sent letters to 100 customers announcing the pending closure.
MIP's parent company, Riken Corp. of Tokyo, has chosen not to invest the capital needed to make MIP profitable, the newspaper reported.
MIP officials could not be reached for comment by press time. Officials of Riken of America's office in Skokie, Ill., declined to comment.
MIP customers include General Motors Corp., Ford Motor Co., Chrysler Corp. and Honda Motor Co., the Dayton newspaper reported.
Recent sales figures for MIP were not available. But one online business directory reported the firm had $13 million in sales in 1994. Riken Corp. reported worldwide sales of $712 million for fiscal 1997, which ended in March.
Feds intervene in Union Pacific's plight
WASHINGTON — Federal rail regulators have declared a ``transportation emergency'' on the Union Pacific rail system and ordered parts of its network around Houston opened to another carrier for at least 30 days. But some plastics companies and observers question whether that will be enough.
The Surface Transportation Board took the unusual step Oct. 31 of saying the problems are having a ``substantial effect'' on rail service. On Oct. 31, STB ordered that Texas Mexican Railway, a regional carrier, could begin taking whatever traffic it wants out of the petrochemical hub of Houston.
But the agency apparently rejected more radical proposals pushed by the Washington-based Society of the Plastics Industry Inc. and the Chemical Manufacturers Association, including allowing other railroads to have widespread access to Union Pacific lines and letting shippers out of their contracts with the railroad.
The Railroad Commission of Texas, which said its proposal for neutral-switching in Houston, and possibly Dallas, would bring competition, panned the federal decision and said the crisis is costing the state $100 million a month.
LaFrance building Pa. molding facility
PHILADELPHIA — LaFrance Corp., a Philadelphia-based manufacturer of injection molded license-plate frames and enclosures for the electronics industry, is building a new office and adding 55 workers.
The $687,000 project includes a 50,000-square-foot building on 6 acres at a business park in Concord Township, near Philadelphia, according to the Department of Community and Economic Development in Harrisburg.
The company received a $150,000 grant Oct. 23 as part of a new program to attract and retain companies in the state, said department spokesman Steve Morgan.
Morgan said LaFrance, which declined to comment, now employs 250.
Blessings closes Nepsa acquisition
NEWPORT NEWS, VA. — Medical and agricultural film maker Blessings Corp. is spending $18.5 million to buy the 40 percent of Mexican film maker Nacional de Envases Plasticos SA de CV it does not already own.
Newport News-based Blessings said Nepsa has weathered the financial crisis in Mexico and will add to its parent's profit. Blessings spent $41 million and issued 200,000 shares in 1994 to buy a 60 percent stake in Nepsa.
Nepsa President and Chief Executive Officer Manuel Villarreal G. will remain as head of the operation, Blessings said in an Oct. 24 news release.
Nepsa is based in the Mexico City area.
New magazine to cover mold makers
NEW BRITAIN, PA. — Next year, the plastic molds industry will get a new magazine: MoldMaking Technology.
The magazine is scheduled to launch its first issue in April, according to a publicity letter obtained by Plastics News. The letter is signed by Christina Fuges, editorial director of the new publication, which is based in New Britain. Company officials did not return telephone calls.
MoldMaking Technology will concentrate on mold makers and will cover the engineering, building and repair of molds. According to a copy of its editorial guidelines, the magazine will accept submitted articles, news and new-product information.
MoldMaking Technology will compete against several existing metalworking trade magazines that already cover mold making, at least in part, including American Machinist; Tooling & Production; and Modern Machine Shop.