Mercury Plastics Inc. expanding capacities
CITY OF INDUSTRY, CALIF. — Film extruder Mercury Plastics Inc. continues to expand converting and printing capacity.
The City of Industry firm bought Stretch-Vent Packaging Systems Inc., a former customer, early this year. Later in 2001 it will boost printing and film extrusion capacity at Mercury's facility in Salamanca, Mexico, Mercury President Benjamin Deutsch said in a telephone interview.
Stretch-Vent's sales were about $20 million a year, Deutsch said. It mainly makes grape and lettuce bags at its head office in Ontario, Calif., and in Santiago, Chile. Such vented packaging is a new market for Mercury, Deutsch said.
The Santiago operation also does film extrusion and might be expanded by the new owner, he said.
Stretch-Vent was owned by the Munzer family, which sold it to pursue other business interests. Deutsch did not disclose terms of the deal.
Mercury will become sole film supplier to Stretch-Vent, which mainly uses high-clarity, low density polyethylene to make its produce packaging. Stretch-Vent will broaden its product line to include Mercury's other packaging products.
Sister firms upgrade with government loan
NORTH SMITHFIELD, R.I. — Sister companies ATP Manufacturing LLC of North Smithfield and J-Von NA LLC of Leominster, Mass., are using a $1.65 million federally guaranteed loan to refinance debt and upgrade their facilities.
"It's a relatively unknown program," said John Carroll, chairman of both companies. "Both Leominster and North Smithfield qualify. We applied through the First International Bank [of Hartford, Conn.], and they packaged together the two communities into one loan."
The loan was obtained through the Department of Agriculture's National Rural Development Partnership. The program is designed to create jobs and stimulate the economy in areas where the population is less than 50,000.
Both companies operate out of about 75,000-square-foot facilities, Carroll said. ATP Manufacturing employs 140 and does polyurethane molding for the automotive and footwear industries. Its building previously was Tupperware Corp. headquarters.
J-Von compounds thermoplastic elastomers and employs about 50.
Carroll did not disclose details of his plans but said the money will be used for new machinery, equipment and general expansion.
SMI adds production with equipment buy
SAN DIEGO — Specialty Manufacturing Inc. of San Diego increased its heavy-gauge production capacity by buying a Maac Machinery Corp. single-oven, double-ended pressure former with platens of 3 feet by 5 feet.
The machine went into service in December and boosts the firm's heavy-gauge pressure-forming capacity by 30 percent, said Haydn Forward, vice president of sales.
The unit permits faster setups and a highly controlled manufacturing process, Forward said in a telephone interview. That benefits SMI customers with quick-to-market requirements.
"We customized the machine internally to run at higher speeds and use the advanced tools that we produce in our shop," he said.
SMI subsidiary Protogenesis Inc. makes the tools.
SMI operates five other heavy-gauge formers and two thin-gauge machines, including a high-speed inline unit and a shuttle. About 85 percent of the work involves industrial programs with the remainder in packaging jobs.
The firm employs 44 and has experienced a 20 percent increase in sales during the July-December period.
SMI reported sales of $5.3 million for the fiscal year ended June 30. It targets medical and telecommunications niche markets.
"Both are showing good growth and potential, with perhaps an edge toward medical" at this time, Forward said.
Fischer purchases Italian, German plants
SCHAFFHAUSEN, SWITZERLAND — Georg Fischer Ltd. has expanded its position in the European pipe market with an acquisition in Italy and a sales joint venture in Germany.
Schaffhausen-based Fischer bought Pipe Fittings Co. Italia srl of Peschiera del Garda, Italy. The family-owned company makes brass fittings. Terms were not disclosed.
The 19-year-old Italian company also adds an aluminum core to high density polyethylene pipe, which it purchases from an outside supplier. That work is done at the company's Hewing GmbH unit in Ochtrup, Germany.
The multilayer pipe is used for home drinking water and heating systems.
PFCI, now part of Fischer's building technology business, will be renamed Georg Fischer PFCI srl.
Fischer earlier announced that it would join forces with pipe company Frankische Rohrwerke GmbH & Co. KG of Konigsberg, Germany, to form a joint venture that will market their respective products in Germany.
The joint venture, Georg Fischer Frankische GmbH, is based in Konigsberg.