Drumtech to sell Polygran affiliate
ST. LOUIS — Drumtech plans to sell its 2-year-old plastics recycling affiliate, Polygran LLC.
"Investment priority is a deciding factor for the sale," said Drumtech Vice President John Shocklee. "It appears that we are ahead of demand in the Midwest, and we are not interested in waiting for this to mature."
The Polygran system can clean as much as 4,000 pounds of plastics per hour.
Drumtech, a St. Louis-based plastic and steel drum and intermediate bulk container reconditioning company, is focusing on its IBC business, Shocklee said.
"Our IBC reconditioning business is strong and is expected to grow at a robust rate," he said.
Polygran's washing system is in a wing of the Drumtech plant that the parent firm added to accommodate the operations. According to Drumtech, Polygran cleans plastic drums, jugs and pails made from high and low density polyethylene, including ink, oil and agricultural chemical containers.
Shocklee said the company already has potential buyers in Canada, Trinidad and the U.S. East Coast.
He would not disclose the asking price.
Drumtech will absorb Polygran's entire staff, bringing Drumtech's total employment to 50, Shocklee said.
The company would not disclose 1999 sales.
Pacifica plans to put focus on technology
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA — Major plastics manufacturer Pacifica Group Ltd. is reviewing its business with plans to focus more on specialization and technology.
Barry Jackson, managing director, said Melbourne-based Pacifica would move away from its traditional commodity-based plastics manufacturing because "the margins are too low and do not justify the investment. We want to specialize.
"We have been strengthening and reshaping the plastics business for the last four to five years. We now do less injection molding and less commodity work. We do more work where we have a competitive advantage. We have grown our packaging and are less focused on the automotive business. That will continue."
Pacifica's plastics division, which trades as Viscount Plastics, manufactures and markets rigid packaging, materials-handling products and automotive and industrial products mainly from high density polyethylene.
Jackson said the review would ensure the company is focused on more competitive and growing markets and would enable Pacifica to be more asset and capital intensive.
The review was announced in December, at the same time Jackson announced his resignation. "I think 61/2 years is long enough. The company needs someone with different views and a new set of eyes."
An internal and external search for a successor is expected to be finalized by midyear.
Sailing teams seek limits in The Race
BARCELONA, SPAIN — Several sailing teams aim to push the limits of large, composite-laden catamarans in The Race, a globe-circumnavigating event that started Dec. 31 in Barcelona.
Each catamaran can reach speeds of 40 knots and may complete the nonstop event in about 65 days.
Polymer-matrix composites form the bulk of the structural members. The maxi-catamarans' survival through the treacherous southern waters of the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific oceans is open to conjecture. The teams seek to beat a 1997 record of 71 days, 14 hours, 18 minutes and 8 seconds.
Already, one entrant is sidelined.
The Pete Goss-skippered Team Philips entry was abandoned early Dec. 10 about 720 miles west of Ireland in the Atlantic Ocean. A major storm caused serious damage, and most steering was lost.
The German cargo ship Hoescht Express responded to a mayday signal and rescued seven crew members. Team Philips was evaluating ways to salvage the catamaran.
Meanwhile, six other entrants were going through final preparations, in some cases battling their own material and mechanical challenges.
Multiplast Composite Yachts of Vannes, France, built four boats: the Grant Dalton-skippered Club Med of New Zealand; LoÃck Peyron's Innovation Explorer of France; Cam Lewis' Team Adventure of the United States; and Roman Paszke's Polpharma-Warta of Poland.
The Cookson Boats shop in Auckland, New Zealand, built PlayStation for Steve Fossett of Chicago in 1997-98, giving PlayStation an edge on experience. Green Marine in Southampton, England, extended PlayStation's bows and transoms to 125 feet from 105 feet beginning in September.
Tony Bullimore's Team Legato of Bristol, England, is racing an older sailboat that Bullimore extended and improved.
Successful ocean sailor Bruno Peyron developed the concept for a millennium-themed race in 1993.
Thogus Products buys eight machines
AVON LAKE, OHIO — Thogus Products Co. has made a nearly $1 million investment in eight new machines as part of its goal of doubling sales within the next two years.
The Avon Lake-based custom injection molder also is looking closely at adding subassembly operations and automating more for value-added cost reductions, said Matt Hlavin, a sales and marketing representative.
"We're actively seeking new growth," Hlavin said. "And we're replacing older equipment for higher-tolerance and higher-volume jobs."
The new machines have clamping forces of 50-150 tons. The company has also added its first electric press, a Toshiba unit with a clamping force of 110 tons.
"We added that for [research and development] purposes," Hlavin said, adding that the company will compare performance of the electric press with its hydraulic counterparts.
The additions bring the total number of machines to 39 for the privately owned company, ranging from 25-400 tons.
Thogus serves automotive, lawn and garden, recreational and medical customers. The 75-employee company operates one plant and had 1999 sales of $7 million to $10 million, Hlavin said.
Barlo title sponsor for Admiral's Cup
GEEL, BELGIUM — Plastic sheet extruder Barlo Plastics Europe NV of Geel agreed to become the title sponsor of the British team for the 2001 Admiral's Cup. The Royal Ocean Racing Club is organizing the biannual offshore racing regatta for three-yacht teams, to be held July 16-28 at Cowes on England's Isle of Wight.
Also, Barlo Plastics will sponsor Robert Condon's IC 45, which was selected for the British Admiral's Cup Team 2001. British sailor Adrian Stead will skipper, and Olympic gold medalist Ben Ainslie will helm the yacht, now with the Barlo Plastics identity instead of its former name, Indulgence.
In addition, Barlo Plastics will be the title sponsor of the Admiral's Cup selection trials for the Farr 40 class.
Under earlier Barlo Plastics sponsorships, Stead's Mumm 36 took top honors in the 1999 Champagne Mumm Admiral's Cup, and Stead's Mumm 30 became the first British team to win the Tour Voile 2000.
Barlo Plastics is a unit of Barlo Group plc of Dublin, Ireland.
Unimark Plastics orders 1,000 tonner
REEDSVILLE, PA. — Unimark Plastics Co. has ordered its largest injection molding press — a 1,000-ton Engel — for installation in February at its Reedsville plant.
Engel is building the press in York, Pa., and will provide auxiliary robotic and automation systems.
"This project shows our willingness to invest capital into our customer base, engineering group and expanded capabilities and offerings," Joe Pack said in a telephone interview. Pack joined Unimark on Nov. 27 as vice president of marketing and sales.
Unimark will use the press for a new consumer-market program that is scheduled for full production beginning in April.
An automated process will pick the component from the press, apply two labels, attach a non-molded component and stack the completed product on a conveyor.
Another component of the program involves in-mold embossing of the customer's logo.
With the addition, Unimark will have 98 presses with clamping forces of 50-1,000 tons at its plants in Reedsville; Springfield, Mo.; and Greenville, S.C. Some older presses were retired.
Greer, S.C.-based Unimark is an operating division of Alltrista Corp.'s engineered plastics group.