Plastics News correspondent Roger Renstrom gathered these items at Medical Design and Manufacturing West, held Jan. 18-20 in Anaheim, Calif. Ivex's Calif. plant boosting packaging
Ivex Packaging Corp. aims to boost West Coast medical packaging work at a Lompoc, Calif., plant that specializes in electronic packaging.
"Doing custom thermoforming for electronics is every bit as challenging as health care," said Dick Simmons, vice president of medical marketing with the Ivex technical packaging division. The Lompoc site has the necessary processing technology, but the two markets require different documentation forms and certifications.
In April, Ivex purchased Pactuco Inc.'s electronic packaging division including the Lompoc facility and others in Malaysia and Hong Kong. The technical packaging division operates nine plants.
In making a major push for health-care business, Ivex views the California location as a way to get closer to customers in the West.
Advantage opens Calif. sales office
Advantage Engineering Inc. of Greenwood, Ind., has established a West Coast sales and engineering office in Temecula, Calif.
Lee Follansbee relocated from Indiana last year to manage the region covering six Western states and Mexico. Follansbee joined the firm in 1992.
Advantage, established in 1977, supplies plastics processors and other manufacturers with industrial heat transfer equipment including central and portable chillers, cooling tower systems and water and oil temperature control units.
Piper acquires more space for N.Y. plant
Dip molder and coater Piper Plastics Corp. acquired an additional 10,000 square feet and a vacant half-acre lot across the street from its 6,000-square-foot facility in Copiague, N.Y.
Piper uses PVC plastisol for medical applications but is moving toward silicones and urethanes because some customers are concerned about PVC and the use of phthalates.
Piper began in 1962, employs 30-35 and had 1999 sales exceeding $2.5 million, up from the previous year's $2 million. Piper also supplies nylon fluid-bed coatings and PVC rotational moldings, said President Andrew Weiss.
Brevet Industries installing clean room
Brevet Industries is installing a 1,500-square-foot clean room that should be operational by early March. Initially it will house a new, all-electric 90-ton Toshiba injection press.
Brevet designed the room for a Class 100,000 rating with space for five or six presses. The company's Irvine, Calif., facility occupies 64,000 square feet and has used positive-air-pressure molding machine enclosures as needed.
"We are looking at expanding our abilities in medical molding, and we have the business base to justify the cost of expanding the clean room," said Richard Manning, director of sales and marketing with the custom injection molder and mold maker.
Medical molding accounted for about one-third of 1999 sales totaling $7.5 million. Electronic and packaging were the next largest market segments.
Brevet employs 90 and has 20 other Toshiba, Van Dorn, Milacron, Nissei and Newbury presses with clamping forces of 75-500 tons. The firm had 23 machines but sold off several older units.
Sister company Brevet Inc. markets proprietary rigid polycarbonate and flexible PVC connectors for medical applications. Brevet Industries molds the connectors.
Eastern Plastics expands Conn. plant
Precision plastic machining company Eastern Plastics Inc. added 10,000 square feet to its Bristol, Conn., plant, bringing its total to 45,000 square feet.
In December the firm completed a consolidation of operations in Bristol, said Larry Dawson, vice president of marketing. Eastern Plastics previously had another site in Plainville, Conn.
The company has developed a way to make intricate multiple-layer manifolds using diffusion-bonded polyetherimide Ultem from GE Plastics. The commercial advance was announced in November.
Eastern often uses acrylic, PVC or polycarbonate in its proprietary diffusion bonding process, which avoids use of adhesives, solvents, ultrasound or vibration.
"We were driven by a particular application used in DNA analysis," Dawson said. The customer "needed a manifold with internal features that couldn't be molded. Previously, all the materials would fail because they didn't have the chemical or heat resistance."
The multilayer units can replace ones made with metal or other materials and eliminate most gaskets, fittings and leak points that exist in other manifolds. Eastern can incorporate metal contacts, diaphragms, sensors, mixers and substrates in the manifolds.
Eastern has 150 employees.