Textron plans center near DaimlerChrysler
AUBURN HILLS, MICH. — Textron Automotive Co. plans to open an 87,000-square-foot plastic-trim technology center to serve its largest customer, DaimlerChrysler Corp.
The center, slated to open in March, will be close to DaimlerChrysler's U.S. headquarters in Auburn Hills, said Textron spokesman Craig Miner. The location will concentrate other Michigan product-design facilities in one location, he said.
The site, to be called the DaimlerChrysler Integration and Advanced Technology Center, will be staffed by officials from Textron's interior and exterior Trim Division. Textron suppliers and Chrysler engineers also will work from the facility in product-development teams, Miner said.
The facility will include a design studio and a mock-up area for product development. About 250 employees at Troy, Mich.-based Textron will relocate to the Auburn Hills center, Miner said.
Dimco-Gray turns up capacity for knobs
CENTERVILLE, OHIO — Custom and proprietary injection molder Dimco-Gray Co. is expanding to meet anticipated sales growth.
The Centerville firm is boosting plant space by about 12 percent to 53,000 square feet and eventually will add more thermoplastic molding presses. Marketing manager Donald Eadie said cost and other details are being worked out, but he expects the company to order presses as large as 500 tons. The building addition will be done next March.
Dimco-Gray specializes in soft-touch knobs, handles and insert molding for lawn and garden, recreational, automotive, medical and furniture industries. It also runs thermoset injection and compression molds, Eadie said in a telephone interview.
The employee-owned firm has a staff of about 140.
Nashville ordering 6 new Husky presses
NASHVILLE, ILL. — Nashville Interior Systems, a division of Magna Interior Systems, plans to expand its injection molding operations dramatically next year.
The company will add six Husky injection presses with clamping forces of 3,000 tons at its Nashville plant, said Nashville Interior Systems General Manager Larry Ernst. The first press will arrive in January, with the others to be installed during the year.
The company, owned by Magna International Inc. of Aurora, Ontario, will invest about $13 million in the presses and auxiliary equipment, Ernst said.
The 157,000-square-foot plant recently picked up a contract to make plastic interior parts for a new sport utility vehicle to be launched in the spring by Ford Motor Co., Ernst said. The plant will use the presses mainly to make plastic interior parts for the vehicle.
The plant also will injection mold interior quarter panels for new Accord models from Honda of America Manufacturing Inc., Ernst said.
Cleveland Tubing moving to new plant
CLEVELAND, TENN. — Cleveland Tubing Inc. expects to complete its move into a new, 68,000-square-foot plant by the end of the year.
The private, Cleveland-based firm is spending about $3 million on the new facility, also in Cleveland, and two new extrusion lines. It now has six extrusion lines made by sister company Cullom Machine Tool & Die Inc. and will source the new ones from the same company. Cleveland Tubing first revealed its expansion plan about a year ago.
Quality assurance manager Bud Clarkson said his firm focuses on corrugated tubing as large as 5 inches in diameter for consumer nondurable, medical and containment applications and drinking straws.
All its products are corrugated or contain corrugated sections. It extrudes polyethylene, polypropylene and nylon. Cullom sells corrugating systems to outside extruders.
Cullom Machine and Cleveland Tubing were founded by Heinrich Dickhut, who developed the vacuum corrugation technology used by his firms. Clarkson said Cleveland Tubing has been growing rapidly in its 10 years of existence, but he declined to give sales figures.
Ferriot Inc. building Ohio office, factory
AKRON, OHIO — Ferriot Inc., a maker of plastic injection molds and a supplier of plastic parts, has begun construction of a $9.2 million manufacturing plant and office complex in Akron.
President Gordon F. Keeler Jr. said the project will enable the company to implement an ambitious, long-term growth strategy. The company is building a 180,000-square-foot plant; all but 15,000 square feet will be used for manufacturing. Keeler said Ferriot's five-year plan calls for doubling the new building's manufacturing space.
Keeler said Ferriot needs a larger building with increased production capacity in order to keep pace with expected sales growth. He said the new building will be ready for occupancy in the second half of 1999.
The company currently is based in Akron.
Ferriot expects to add 30 jobs to its current total of 222. The state's Job Creation Tax Credit Authority recently approved an income tax abatement for Ferriot that will save the company $57,000 over the life of the eight-year credit.
Sonoco expanding S.C. film operations
HARTSVILLE, S.C. — Sonoco is investing $6 million to boost its high density polyethylene film operations in Hartsville, S.C.
The Polysack South facility will complete a 14,000-square-foot expansion by year's end. Sonoco officials would not reveal the current plant's size or how many extrusion and bag-making lines it will gain. The plant will add about 25 employees to its staff of 100.
``We have the space here to do it from a facility perspective and it made the most sense,'' Allan Cecil, vice president of Sonoco, said in a telephone interview.
Not only did the Hartsville company need additional capacity to accommodate the expansion, it will make room for the production of a new plastic bag for the produce market.
``We invested in the research and development to create a new product. Now we are investing in the facilities to bring this product to market,'' Sonoco President Peter Browning said in a news release
The Sonoco High Density Film Products Division operates six plants in North America and had estimated film sales of $250 million last year, placing it at No. 20 in Plastics News' 1998 North American ranking of film and sheet manufacturers.