SPI's PU unit relocating to Washington
WASHINGTON — The Polyurethane Division of the Society of the Plastics Industry Inc. plans to move Nov. 1 from New York to Washington, marking the departure of the last SPI unit from New York.
The division decided to move after SPI's other New York-based unit, the Composites Institute, said it would move its offices to Washington, where most of SPI is located, said Fran Lichtenberg, executive director of the Polyurethane Division. The divisions had shared office space.
Until 1985, SPI was headquartered in New York.
Lichtenberg said she and the other six staff members have not decided if they are moving to Washington, but SPI management and division members have made it clear they want to retain them, Lichtenberg said.
CI is moving to Washington partially to save money, after an SPI financial restructuring left the group with a deficit and CI's former officers threw the group into some turmoil earlier this year by voting to leave the organization.
CI members will chose a new chairman May 13, and plan an industrywide meeting May 20 in Cleveland. The group has not decided when it will move, said spokeswoman Tara Miller.
Essel bids on Courtaulds packaging unit
LONDON — Essel Packaging Ltd., a leading Indian manufacturer of laminated plastic tubes, was among early bidders — in what has become a crowded field of candidates — vying to buy the international packaging business of Courtaulds plc.
Bombay-based Essel Packaging, which competes with Courtaulds' joint venture making laminated collapsible tubes in Goa, India, was one of a large number of potential buyers showing interest, according to Credit Suisse First Boston Bank of London, which is handling the disposal.
``Essel was one of a number of potential purchasers who spoke to us pretty early on, following Courtaulds' [February] announcement of the sale,'' said Justin Crookenden, the bank director responsible for the sale.
Essel recently announced expansion plans outside of India, including establishing plants making collapsible tubes in China and Nepal.
Courtaulds' London-based packaging arm produces tamper-evident, child-resistant and other closures for the food, beverage and toiletry sectors; and plastic, metal and laminate collapsible tubes for toothpaste, cosmetics and pharmaceutical uses.
LucasVarity unit opens facility in China
LONDON — A business unit of London-based LucasVarity plc has opened a plant in Tianjin, China, to make metal and plastic dome switches for cellular telephone and pager applications.
Lucas (Tianjin) Control Systems Co. Ltd. hired 20 workers and began making the metal dome switches in April. Plastics production will follow. David Johnson was named general manager at the 6,000-square-foot plant. Employment should double within 12 months.
Lucas uses Brown Machine thermoformers to process PET in sheets that are laser cut for the plastic domes. LucasVarity invested $1.9 million to equip the operation.
The domes are part of the Man-Machine Interface product line at the firm's Hampton, Va.-based Lucas Control Systems unit in its electrical and electronic systems division.
Numatech moves operations into 1 site
PUSLINCH, ONTARIO — Numatech Canada Inc., an assembler of corrugated plastic packaging products, has moved to a 60,000-square-foot plant near Toronto.
The firm gradually shifted its operations to a single facility from three buildings in Milton, Ontario, last fall. It restored an old warehouse and plant in Puslinch to house manufacturing and administration, said John Campbell, vice president of sales.
The plant includes new die-cutting, ultrasonic welding and hot-melt welding equipment to make plastic containers and dunnage. Numatech buys extruded and vacuum formed sheets, made from high density polyethylene, from outside suppliers.
The expansion triples Numatech's space and will help it grow, Campbell said. The 6-year-old business also is expanding its work as a container and pallet repair depot, and has become a leading producer of triple-wall sleeve containers, he said.
Campbell called Numatech, with sales approaching $10 million, Canada's largest converter of corrugated plastic containers.