Gammaflux taps Chudoba for Japan unit
CHICAGO — Gammaflux LP (Booth S606) has hired Victor Chudoba to run its new office in the city of Ube, Japan.
The company makes temperature controllers for hot-runner injection molding systems.
Gammaflux President David Huntting said the company needed to have a direct sales and service office in Japan to serve customers there.
Chudoba has 30 years of experience in the plastics industry. Most recently, he worked for 12 years for Ube Machinery Inc. in Ann Arbor, Mich., the U.S. headquarters of Japanese injection press builder Ube Industries Ltd., also based in Ube. His most recent title was senior electrical engineer.
Chudoba left Ube late last year to become a consultant, then moved to Japan.
Gammaflux already had a presence in Japan through its distributor, Tokyo-based Nippon S.T. Johnson. The new direct sales office will support Nippon by improving customer service and technical support.
At NPE, Gammaflux is showing the new Mercury series of software for its 9500 Series of hot-runner temperature controllers. The company is touting Mercury — not surprisingly — for its speed.
UAW members rejects Venture contract
FLINT, MICH. — United Auto Workers at Venture Industries have rejected a new contract with the automotive parts supplier.
Members rejected the contract by about 35 votes. Workers will continue to work under the terms of their current, pre-UAW handbook agreement with Venture. The UAW began representing workers at Venture in August.
The agreement will cover 550 workers at Venture facilities in Grand Blanc Township and Flint, Mich. More than 400 hourly workers voted on the new contract June 17.
Fraser, Mich.-based Venture, a subsidiary of Venture Holding Co., manufactures instrument-panel parts, air-bag covers, window moldings, body-side moldings and bumper fascia. Venture Holding, also of Fraser, reported sales of $1.37 billion in 1999, of which about $500 million was in injection molding sales.
American Renolit expands plant, capacity
LAPORTE, IND. — With its second tax abatement and second multimillion-dollar expansion in as many years, American Renolit Corp. plans to double the size of its 100,000-square-foot facility and add capacity.
The LaPorte-based company manufactures polypropylene roll stock film and PVC calendered film. Last week, the company was awarded a 10-year tax abatement by the LaPorte City Council on a proposed $10.7 million expansion. More than $9 million will be invested in a second calendering line with the balance being used to expand warehousing and office space, Don Dames, chief executive officer, said in a telephone interview.
Nearly 100,000-square-feet will be added in stages with a 30,000-square-foot section expected to begin this month. Completion is expected by the summer of 2001. The expansion is expected to add 25 new jobs to the current work force of 81. The plant's site is large enough to expand at least one more time, Dames said.
Last year, the company received a 10-year tax abatement on an $18 million expansion. American Renolit used the funds to purchase its first calendering line.
American Renolit also operates several PP lines at the facility.
The company, which began operating in LaPorte in 1986, was known as Solvay Industrial Films until 1998. It was sold that year to German-owned Renolit-Werke GmbH. American Renolit produces plastic sheets with protective inserts for baseball cards and photo albums as well as products for compact-disc holders and medical-related packages.
Renolit-Werke manufactures all kinds of PVC, PP and polyethylene sheeting and foils. Headquartered in Worms, Germany, the firm has sales of $393 million and employs 4,000 at other plants worldwide.
Atofina renames two chemical units
PARIS — Elf Atochem North America became Atofina Chemicals Inc. on June 19, and Fina Oil and Chemical Co. became Atofina Petrochemicals Inc.
Atofina Chemicals employs 4,000 and will keep its headquarters in Philadelphia. Atofina Petrochemicals, which employs 2,000, will move its headquarters from Dallas to Houston.
Atofina Chemicals produces high-performance chemicals and polymers and has sales of $1.8 billion. It is part of Atofina, the world's fifth-largest chemical company, with sales of $17 billion. Atofina, located in Paris, is the chemicals segment of TotalFina-Elf, the world's fourth-largest oil and gas company.