Federal-Mogul shutting Mich. seal plant
SOUTHFIELD, MICH. — Federal-Mogul Corp. will close a fluoropolymer seal plant near Ann Arbor, Mich., in the next 12-18 months, eliminating 90 jobs and transferring another 140.
Following its acquisition spree last year, the Southfield-based automotive supplier owns a number of U.S. sealing-system facilities with the capacity to absorb the 37-year-old Milan operations, a company spokeswoman said.
United Auto Workers Local No. 769, which represents the Milan operation, has yet to vote on an agreement it reached last week with Federal-Mogul on separation packages and retention bonuses, she said.
Production of automotive and industrial seals at the 81,000-square-foot plant will be transferred to other Federal-Mogul factories in Athens, Ala.; Summerton, S.C.; and Van Wert, Ohio.
Australian resin makers form venture
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA — Orica Ltd. and Kemcor Aust. Pty. Ltd. will combine in a Sydney-based joint venture beginning July 1.
Negotiations started in May 1998, but the deal was delayed by a Sept. 25 fire at a major natural gas supplier that disrupted resin manufacturing in the region. The venture also was put on hold when Kemcor's joint owners, Exxon Chemical Co. and Mobil Chemical Co., decided to merge.
Trish Symons, a spokeswoman for Sydney-based Orica, said the venture will generate US$456 million in annual sales, roughly the same total as the two companies produce separately.
Orica and Kemcor manufacture high and low density polyethylene, polypropylene, elastomers and engineering plastics. Orica also makes polyurethane.
Kemcor spokeswoman Maureen Short said organizational changes mainly will affect management, and sales and marketing.
EPC expands plant, will add machines
PHILADELPHIA — EPC Inc. has completed construction on a 20,000-square-foot expansion that will make room for more injection molding machines.
James Carroll, president of the Philadelphia molder, said the firm will add three new presses and 10 employees. The company now has a total of 25 molding machines and 45,000 square feet of space.
The Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority approved a $250,000 loan to aid EPC in its $500,000 construction project.
PIDA requires companies to hire a new employee within three years for every $15,000 loaned.
Carroll said the new machinery will cost $500,000.
Kentucky molder buys vertical press
BOWLING GREEN, KY. — Western Kentucky Plastics Inc. has purchased a vertical thermoset injection press for new industrial applications.
The Bowling Green-based molder will use the press to make plugs for an industrial pump, said co-owner Randy Baxter. The press has a clamping force of 75 tons.
The new Trueblood press is part of an ongoing expansion at the company. Within the next two years, the company plans to operate 20 thermoset and thermoplastics presses, Baxter said. The facility currently operates 11 75- to 210-ton machines.
In December, the company opened a 10,000-square-foot addition to its existing, 18,500-square-foot facility.
The company also has received the Governor's Health and Safety Award from Kentucky for its safety record. The plant has gone 266,000 hours, during four years, without an injury.
The molder expects to record sales of about $2.5 million this year, Baxter said, and hopes to increase that to more than $5 million in two years.
Vinyl Plastics changes name to VPI LLC
SHEBOYGAN, WIS. — Vinyl Plastics Inc. has changed its name to VPI LLC, said President R. Bruce Grover.
The Sheboygan-based company made the move ``to provide continuity of VPI operations over the long term,'' including its VPI Mirrex Corp. operations in Delaware City, Del., and Salisbury, Md.
In 1998 VPI had sales of about $200 million and has 900 total employees throughout its five divisions. In addition to the VPI Mirrex plants, VPI has operations in Sheboygan Falls, Sheboygan and Manitowoc, Wis.