Nilgata gears up press production for U.S.
ITASCA, ILL. — The U.S. market for all-electric injection molding machines has another new player: Japan's Niigata Engineering Co. Ltd.
Niigata plans to introduce a full line of all-electric machines in the United States this spring, said Robert Columbus, general manager of Niigata's U.S. headquarters in Itasca.
NPE 1997 marked Niigata's first U.S. showing of an electric machine — a 34-ton all-electric vertical press. But now Niigata's U.S. operation is preparing to roll out horizontal-clamp presses with as much as 385 tons of clamping force, Columbus said.
Columbus also confirmed a report in the Japanese newspaper Nihon Kogyo Shimbun that Niigata, Japan-based Niigata now is building much bigger all-electrics in Japan — as large as 935 tons — for the Asian market.
The Japanese report said Niigata is working to develop even larger electric machines.
Columbus said Niigata has been selling a full line of all-electric presses in Japan since 1995. The company began limited production of electric machines about 10 years ago, he said.
Late last year, Niigata moved its U.S. headquarters from a 12,000-square-foot facility in Elk Grove Village, Ill., to a 20,000-square-foot building in Itasca.
Toro and Grizzle & Hunter settle lawsuit
BLOOMINGTON, MINN. — Toro Co. and Grizzle & Hunter Plastics Inc. have settled a lawsuit related to irrigation products.
Toro, based in Bloomington, had brought suit against former Toro employee Glendale Grizzle and Grizzle & Hunter, a Temecula, Calif., company formed by Glendale Grizzle. Toro alleged that Grizzle and Grizzle & Hunter used Toro trade secrets and proprietary information in its line of irrigation products.
As part of the settlement, Grizzle and the company deny any use of Toro information, and the firm's insurer paid Toro an undisclosed sum. Also, Grizzle and Grizzle & Hunter agreed to ``maintain the confidentiality of information Toro claims is trade secret or proprietary,'' according to a Toro news release. The settlement does not require Grizzle & Hunter to cease the manufacture or sale of its conversion assembly. The case had been set for trial in March before a federal court in Los Angeles.
Kentucky bottle bill has strong supporter
FRANKFORT, KY. — Kentucky legislators are slated to consider a bottle bill that industry and environmental officials believe has a better chance of passing than other efforts because it has a powerful political supporter.
The bill is sponsored by the majority floor leader of the Kentucky House, Rep. Gregory Stumbo, D-Prestonsburg. It is scheduled for a hearing before a House committee Feb. 10, where it could be voted on, industry officials said.
Stumbo is telling the bill's opponents not to position it as a tax, but the state is projecting significant windfalls in unreturned deposits, said Rudy Underwood, director of government affairs for the Southern Regional Office of the joint state affairs unit of the Society of the Plastics Industry Inc. and the American Plastics Council, both in Washington. SRO is based in Greenville, S.C.
``I think you have a legislator who sincerely believes this would be good policy for the state,'' Underwood said.
Only about 11 percent of Kentucky homes have access to curbside recycling programs, so a deposit law would not run into the same political problems it can face in states with more widespread curbside programs, said Pat Franklin, director of the Container Recycling Institute in Washington. But the bill may not have very strong support in the state Senate, she said.
Geon names Thomas Waltermire president
AVON LAKE, OHIO—Thomas A. Waltermire has been promoted to president at Avon Lake-based Geon Co., a leading PVC producer.
The move, effective Feb. 5, marks the second time Waltermire has been promoted in nine months. He was named chief operating officer and executive vice president in May.
Waltermire also was nominated for membership on Geon's board of directors. The board will vote at its May 7 meeting.
Waltermire will continue to report to William Patient, Geon chairman and chief executive officer. Patient previously held the title of president.
Waltermire, 48, will retain responsibility for Geon's operating business units, as well as for health, safety, environmental affairs, human resources, quality and information technology.