Alltrista closing thermoforming plant
INDIANAPOLIS — Alltrista Corp., based in Indianapolis, plans to close its South Whitley, Ind., plant and move those thermoforming operations to a recently acquired Triangle Plastics Inc. facility.
The company cited several factors in making the decision, including a lease that expires in November and a small, poorly configured facility. The thermoformed recreational vehicle components will be made at the former Triangle plant in Oelwein, Iowa, and other locations.
Alltrista became North America's largest industrial thermoformer with its $148 million acquisition of Triangle. The company then followed up by divesting its plastic packaging division, with sales of $28 million. Alltrista had 1998 sales of $244 million and employs 2,000 at 16 locations.
Alltrista officials did not return telephone calls by press time.
Philippine order won't thwart imports
MANILA, PHILIPPINES — The Philippine government has amended a controversial administrative order that would have imposed controls on imported plastic products and raw materials.
The amendment creates a new body to replace the controversial Petrochemical and Plastics Mobilization Force. That group was created by a March 4 government order. But local and U.S. plastics trade associations complained about that group, which had been given the power to withhold the release of any shipment of petrochemical or plastic products.
The new body, the Petrochemical Industry and Competitiveness Board primarily will monitor the importation of resins, polymers and petrochemicals to detect dumping, undervaluation, misdeclaration and smuggling.
Secretary Jose T. Pardo of the Department of Trade and Industry said the Philippines will explore ways to make the local petrochemical industry competitive in the Southeast Asia region.
The Manila-based Association of Petrochemical Manufacturers of the Philippines, which supported the creation of the task force, said the new order is intended to monitor imports and is not in any way a form of import control.
APMP has claimed that smuggling of petrochemical products into the Philippines was becoming difficult to detect because of loopholes in tariff laws.
Phillips launches new K-Resin capacity
BARTLESVILLE, OKLA. — Phillips Petroleum Co. has added 100 million pounds of K-Resin styrene-butadiene copolymer capacity in Pasadena, Texas.
A new, 100 million-pound-per-year line will begin production May 31, boosting K-Resin production to 370 million pounds per year, a 40 percent increase. The new line is designed to add an additional 100 million pounds, if needed.
``New types of K-Resin we introduced last year for sheet and film applications and for injection molding have had excellent acceptance in the marketplace,'' K-Resin manager David Morgan said in a news release. ``The film resins will take advantage of the new technologies designed into our new unit.''
K-Resin, developed by Bartlesville-based Phillips in 1967, is used in medical components, toys, candy wrap, food packaging, cups, clothes hangers and other applications.
EGR adding sheet extrusion in Australia
BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA — EGR Inc. is adding a US$10 million extrusion plant in Brisbane to supply the company's thermoformed automotive parts operation.
EGR officials say the equipment will mean a drastic cut in Australian imports of rigid plastic sheet.
EGR claimed to be Australia's largest importer of plastic sheet. The new plant will produce about 14 million pounds per year of ABS, polycarbonate, impact-modified and general-purpose acrylic sheeting in thicknesses of 0.05-0.8 inch.
Ontario, Calif.-based EGR is a major thermoformer of automotive accessories, including fender flares, rear-wheel covers, acrylic bonnet protection, headlight covers and dust deflectors.
The company has annual sales of US$100 million and employs about 600 worldwide, most of them in Brisbane. It supplies more than 50 auto manufacturers in 32 countries.
In March, EGR signed a US$390,000 contract with London Taxis International plc to supply rain and wind deflectors for the British capital's fleet of 15,000 black taxicabs. The deflectors overcome a design flaw in the newly introduced TX1 model — drivers could not open windows in rainy weather without getting wet.