Alpha buys up Owens' stake in resin venture
Alpha Corp. decided to keep its unsaturated polyester business all in the family, announcing March 30 it has purchased the Owens Corning half of Alpha/Owens Corning.
Alpha and Owens Corning formed A/OC in 1994 as a 50-50 joint venture, combining both companies' existing resin businesses. But Owens Corning Chief Executive Officer Glen Hiner in January made public his company's intentions to sell its half of the operation.
The company saw the A/OC joint venture as the ``first step'' in divesting the resin business, Owens Corning spokeswoman Tricia Ingraham said in an April 1 telephone interview.
The new company, AOC LLC, will maintain its current leadership team and business approach, Gerald Griffith, president and chief executive officer, said in a news release.
``Other than ownership and the legal name, the only change will be a more streamlined decision-making process under a single, more focused organization,'' he said.
AOC retains its North American leadership in the production of unsaturated polyester and vinyl ester resins for the composites industry. Five plants in the United States and Canada and a joint venture in Mexico will combine to give AOC 630 million pounds of capacity in North America by 1999.
Owens Corning reported 1997 sales of $4.37 billion. The company still supplies the composites industry with glass-fiber reinforcements. Owens Corning also is a leading supplier of glass-fiber insulation and vinyl siding for the construction industry.
Neither Owens Corning nor Alpha disclosed terms of the AOC deal.
Alpha and AOC both are based in Collierville, Tenn. Owens Corning is headquartered in Toledo, Ohio.
BASF, DuPont pick site for nylon plant
MOUNT OLIVE, N.J. — BASF AG and DuPont Co. have selected Dongfang, China, as the manufacturing site for their joint venture to produce and sell nylon intermediates in Asia.
The companies are equal partners in Integrated Nylon Technology, a venture announced in April 1996. Total investment in the venture is expected to be about $900 million. It will serve Asia-Pacific markets, but mainly China, and will establish its own sales staff.
Construction of the Dongfang facility, which will produce about 660 million pounds of adiponitrile annually from butadiene, is to begin in early 1999. The plant will convert adiponitrile to caprolactam for nylon 6 production and hexamethylenediamine for nylon 6/6 production at a significant cost advantage, the firms said.
Caprolactam capacity will be 330 million pounds annually. This will be the first time caprolactam has been produced commercially from adiponitrile, they said.
``This joint venture reflects our strategy to establish a nylon value chain in China,'' Werner Burgert, executive vice president of Mount Olive, N.J.-based BASF Corp. and president of the company's fiber products division, said in a news release. ``The first step in this commitment is the construction now under way of a plant in Shanghai for the production of nylon carpet fibers.''
BASF Corp. is a Mount Olive-based unit of BASF AG of Ludwigshafen, Germany. DuPont is in Wilmington, Del.
ECOssais buys assets of bankrupt Novon
ECOssais LLC is the new owner of the assets of pioneering degradable plastic manufacturer Novon International Inc. of Tonawanda, N.Y.
``We purchased the assets out of Chapter 11,'' said Robert Downie, now president of ECOssais, and former Novon president. ``This is a new entity with new management to move forward in the biodegradable industry,'' he said in a telephone interview.
Novon and its parent company, Churchill Technology Inc., had filed voluntary petitions seeking protection under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code in 1996. Churchill Downie formed ECOssais to take over Novon operations.
ECOssais is headquartered in Novon's facility in Tonawanda and employs 32. The acquisition has been structured to be a seamless takeover of the sales and manufacturing operations, ECOssais said. Terms were not disclosed. The company will continue to operate under the Novon name.
Last month, Milan, Italy-based Novamont SpA purchased several starch-based thermoplastic patents from Novon as part of Novon's bankruptcy proceedings.
Novon focuses on the manufacture and sale of biodegradable and photodegradable polymers based on cornstarch. It operates three extrusion lines and is initiating licensing programs overseas, Downie said.
Gunther Hot Runner opens Illinois plant
Gunther Hot Runner Systems Inc., the U.S. unit of the German hot-runner supplier, has started U.S. manufacturing at its new facility in Buffalo Grove, Ill.
Gunther has invested $300,000 in the leased Buffalo Grove building since the company moved last summer from Park Ridge, Ill., according to spokeswoman Antoinette Vander Noot. Production started in the fall, she said.
The parent company, Gunther-Heisskanaltechnik GmbH of Frankenberg, Germany, opened the U.S. operation in 1992, she said.
The Illinois facility houses the parent's first manufacturing outside of Germany, Vander Noot said in a telephone interview.
Gunther picked the United States because of the strong economy and to cut turnaround time to North American customers.
Gunther employs 10 in Buffalo Grove. Initially, the facility is making 230-volt hot runners. Gunther also provides hot-runner systems in 5 and 24 volts, and repairs old hot-runner systems.
Vander Noot said the building is fairly small, but she added that the company may expand in the next few years, possibly by buying a larger building.
Vander Noot said the biggest chunk of the $300,000 investment went to purchase a $100,000 Hurco milling machine, which the company uses to mill manifolds.
Heating elements for the 230-volt nozzles are cast in brass to prevent moisture in the mold from shorting them out. Under a new design, all parts in the system can be replaced on-site.
All three voltages can be run from one controller.
Arburg Inc. announced a permanent 25 percent price reduction of its screws and barrels sold in North America. The price cut is in honor of the 75th anniversary of the Newington, Conn., company's German parent, Arburg GmbH + Co. ... Gas Injection Ltd., a gas-assisted injection molding technology supplier in Cheshire, England, has formed a U.S. subsidiary, Advanced Injection Solutions Inc. of Clinton Township, Mich.