Plastek moving M&E operations to Pa. ERIE, PA. — M&E Manufacturing plans to move its injection and blow molding operations to Erie from Laconia, N.H.
The firm will move to a plant run by the Engineered Plastics Division of parent company Plastek Industries Inc., a spokesperson confirmed. It will begin the move in late April. About 55 employees at Laconia will be offered jobs in Erie, severence packages and job counseling. Plastek is headquartered in Erie.
M&E is making the move to cut costs, according to the spokesperson.
The company molds cosmetic packaging such as mascara tubes and makes brushes for cosmetic and medical uses. It will relocate four injection blow molding machines to Erie, as well as assembly and decorating equipment. Six injection molding presses at Laconia probably will be sold since there is enough press capacity in Erie to handle the extra work.
M&E will continue with existing customers and programs after the move. It mainly processes vinyl, polypropylene, acetal and styrene acrylonitrile resins.
Plastek recently said it will open a new plant in Caracas, Venezuela. The facility will be its third offshore, following operations it opened last year in Indaiatuba, Brazil, and Mansfield, England. The Caracas packaging facility is due to begin production in early 2001.
IARC removes DEHP fro health-risk list
LYON, FRANCE — The International Agency for Research on Cancer has downgraded its evaluation of the health risk from di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, a move cheered by the phthalates manufacturing industry.
IARC, based in Lyon, decided Feb. 22 to remove DEHP from a list of chemicals labeled possibly carcinogenic to people, and declare it not classifiable. DEHP is a common plasticizer in vinyl medical devices, and some health-care activists have called for its removal.
DEHP causes cancer in lab rats through a process called peroxisome proliferation, but IARC said there is a large body of evidence that humans do not process the chemical that way.
"IARC's decision echoes what public health agencies and independent scientists have said," said Marian Stanley, director of the Phthalate Esters Panel of the Chemical Manufacturers Association.
Ashley increasing compounding capacity
CRANFORD, N.J. — Ashley Polymers Inc. is spending more than $5 million to expand compounding capacity.
The New York firm recently moved production to a building it bought in Cranford, and has begun adding more processing equipment there. It also built a new laboratory at the Cranford facility, said Ashley President Barry Gottehrer. The 250,000-square-foot Cranford plant includes railroad-car access.
"We wanted a site where we could increase capacity rapidly without disruption," Gottehrer said in a telephone interview. Ashley will rent out freed-up space in the New York operation through short-term leases until it needs that space again.
Ashley specializes in engineering compounds, such as nylon, polycarbonate, polyesters and acetals, mainly for injection molding and extrusion.
The Cranford operation, about 15 miles west of the coast, has become Ashley's international headquarters.
Mobil Plastics Europe to expand OPP plant
BRINDISI, ITALY — Mobil Plastics Europe Inc. plans a major expansion of its oriented polypropylene film plant in Brindisi.
The firm said it will install a 33-foot-wide line with more than 44 million pounds per year of capacity. The line will start operating in mid-2001, reaching full capacity the following year. Mobil Plastics Europe did not disclose the cost of the project.
The firm, a subsidiary of recently formed ExxonMobil Chemical Co., said the new output will be aimed at flexible packaging markets in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. Mobil Plastics Europe will shut down an older, 10-foot-wide OPP line to make room for the new one.
Mobil Plastics Europe President Carlo Ranucci said in a news release that ExxonMobil is the major OPP film supplier in Europe, with existing capacity of about 264 million pounds per year.
Mobil Plastics Europe started a new OPP film line early this year in Kerkrade, the Netherlands. It also runs an OPP film plant in Virton, Belgium.
An ExxonMobil OPP plant in Belleville, Ontario, plans to start a new metalizing line this year.