Tooling Molds West building own facility
TEMPE, ARIZ. — The Drawert family's Tooling Molds West Inc. is constructing a 9,000-square-foot-facility on a half-acre lot next to its leased site in Tempe.
Groundbreaking was June 28, and the project should be complete in October, President Fred Drawert said in a telephone interview. The land and construction cost about $750,000.
Drawert and Vice President Josephine Drawert, his wife, established the business in late 1988. Their son, Dave, is general manager, and their daughter, Linda Thomas, is office manager.
The firm employs 20, occupies 7,000 square feet and makes injection molds, tools and dies and machined robotic system hardware. A 150-ton Van Dorn injection molding machine is used mostly for sampling.
The company uses Surf Cam software to program jobs on four plunge electric discharge machines, one wire EDM, three computer numerically controlled milling centers and eight conventional milling centers.
``We will probably look at more CNC, wire EDM and a new CNC EDM sinker,'' Drawert said.
In one recent application, the firm builds dies to shear cold tab-gate runners for plastic lenses on cellular telephones.
Tooling Molds West had 1998 sales of about $2 million.
Solvay, Elf Atochem forming PVC venture
Solvay SA and Elf Atochem SA are combining their PVC operations in Spain to form a 507 million-pound-per-year joint venture.
The partners already work together to produce vinyl chloride monomer in Spain through the Madrid-based joint venture company Viniclor SA.
The agreement is the latest phase of restructuring within the European plastics industry. It follows Solvay's plan to create a VCM-PVC production venture with BASF AG of Ludwigshafen, Germany. That deal excluded operations in the Iberian Peninsula.
Taking into account Solvay's PVC operations in Thailand, planned capacity in South America and the BASF venture, Brussels, Belgium-based Solvay will control a worldwide annual PVC capacity of 4 billion pounds annually. About 2.64 billion pounds of the total will be in Europe.
Paris-based Elf Atochem is the third-largest European PVC producer and has global annual capacity of 1.63 billion pounds.
Solvay also plans a PVC compounding venture with Shanghai Chlor Alkali Chemical. Solvay would own 60 percent of the venture, which would be based initially on SCAC's 66 million-pound-per-year compounding facility near Shanghai, China. Operations are expected to begin next year.
Students get training in 3-D solid modeling
PITTSFIELD, MASS. — Students at six Pittsfield-area high schools will get an opportunity to use three-dimensional solid-modeling software because of training instituted by the newly formed Berkshire County Technical Education Consortium.
The schools bought 76 licenses for Solidworks software. The faculty will receive free training and the software will be installed in time for fall classes.
The consortium receives support from the Pittsfield-based Berkshire Plastics Network, a group of independent companies in Western Massachusetts.