ITC releases new system for imports
WASHINGTON — The International Trade Commission has released a new classification system for importing injection molding machines, following pressure from the Society of the Plastics Industry Inc. and Cincinnati Milacron Inc., the largest U.S.-owned maker of plastics machinery.
The new system may prompt SPI to resume releasing its statistical data on plastics machinery shipments, Walt Bishop, executive director of Washington-based SPI's Machinery Division, said in a news release. The division will discuss releasing figures at its April meeting.
As expected, the ITC system now creates four categories for reporting machines, based on metric clamping forces. The categories are for machines with clamping forces of less than 50 tons, 50-299 tons, 300-749 tons, and 750 tons or more.
Machines entering the United States after Jan. 1 will have to use the new system.
Canadian molder opens first U.S. plant
WIXOM, MICH. — Canadian molder Hematite Manufacturing Inc. has opened its first U.S. plant, a small facility outside Detroit that will injection mold recycled PVC insulation plugs for General Motors Corp.
The 20,000-square-foot plant in Wixom opened with one 725-ton Cincinnati Milacron machine, but the operation plans to expand to eight machines in a year or two, said Jerry Jean, director of corporate development for Pavaco Plastics Inc., the parent of Hematite.
The privately held Guelph, Ontario, firm declined to disclose how much it has invested in the plant. The facility is the company's first solo stab at injection molding, but it has been making sound plugs for two years in a partnership with an undisclosed Toronto injection molder, Jean said. The Wixom plant will be operated entirely by Hematite, though the Toronto partnership also will continue, he said.
Hematite has been recycling PVC since 1978, when it began as a development project with Ford Motor Co.
Armstrong motion against Domco denied
TORONTO — Ontario Court General Division has handed a setback to Armstrong World Industries Inc. in its attempt to buy a Canadian vinyl flooring competitor.
Justice Susan E. Greer in Toronto dismissed a preliminary injunction motion Armstrong filed against the board of directors of Domco Inc. and its parent company, Sommer Allibert SA of Nanterre, France.
Armstrong had hoped to block Sommer Allibert from selling its 69 percent ownership in Domco to Tarkett AG of Frankenthal, Germany — which is merging its flooring businesses with Sommer Allibert's.
Lancaster, Pa.-based Armstrong also wanted to force Domco to reconsider its refusal to issue Armstrong enough new shares to overcome Sommer Allibert's majority-shareholder status.
A Nov. 11 Armstrong news release indicated that the $2 billion company is not giving up its fight for Domco.
``Armstrong intends to proceed to a full trial on the issues, including its Ontario suit for C$50 million against Sommer Allibert and against the board of directors of Domco for breaching their duties to Domco's shareholders,'' the release said. Armstrong also extended its offer to buy Domco to Dec. 5.
Sommer Allibert has called a board meeting for Nov. 28 to complete the Tarkett deal.
Nova Corp. to split into two companies
CALGARY, ALBERTA — Nova Corp. plans to split the company into two separate firms, one focusing on its plastics and chemicals business, the Calgary firm announced Nov. 11.
Its current Nova Chemicals Inc. subsidiary is the sixth-largest polyethylene producer and third-largest polystyrene manufacturer in North America, the company estimates. It also is a major producer of ethylene and styrene.
Nova Chemicals had sales of C$1.7 billion (US$1.2 billion) and profit of C$128 million (US$90.9 million) for the six months ended June 30. Nova Corp.'s total sales were C$2.5 billion (US$1.8 billion). The new chemicals business also will include Nova's 26 percent interest in natural gas marketer NGC Corp. of Houston.
Nova's other new firm will comprise its energy services, including its Alberta gas transmission business and international pipeline businesses.