DuPont expanding sites, PVB capacity
WILMINGTON, DEL. — DuPont has begun a series of technology and facility upgrades for its Butacite-brand polyvinyl butyral sheet business, starting with a plant expansion in Hamm-Uentrop, Germany.
The expansion adds 30 percent more PVB sheeting capacity in Hamm-Uentrop, including new capability to supply jumbo-size PVB interlayer sheet for architectural laminated glass.
"Additional capacity improvements are planned for DuPont's U.S. and [South] Korean plants during the next five years," Jack Welch, vice president of the Vinyls Enterprise in DuPont's Packaging and Industrial Polymers business unit, said in a news release.
The debottlenecking projects will net an estimated 33 percent boost in manufacturing capacity, he said. DuPont is based in Wilmington.
PPI moving toward gas-assist technology
CORONA, CALIF. — Preproduction Plastics Inc. is embracing gas-assist technology and completing the installation of two Battenfeld 1,100-ton injection molding machines.
"We have significantly changed our way of doing business in the last year, and we are exploring new opportunities," Kevin Rafferty, general manager, said in a telephone interview.
The Corona firm operates seven Battenfeld structural foam machines of 170-350 tons and has emphasized that process since its 1980 founding.
"New parts being designed have been getting smaller over time and are shifting out of structural foam," Rafferty said. "Customers are looking to reduce costs and parts by eliminating painting and finishing operations, but they still need a structural part."
PPI also designs and makes molds.
PPI licensed a Battenfeld nitrogen-generating pressure system for portable use on the two large Battenfelds or other equipment as needed. The firm has two more injection molding presses, a 1,100-ton HPM and a 100-ton Battenfeld.
An IQMS production system started operating in February 2000. Results include easier financial reporting, visible production scheduling, better job-performance tracking and real-time machine monitoring, he said.
PPI employs 72, including temporary seasonal workers. The company occupies 45,000 square feet and had sales of $8.2 million for the fiscal year ended July 31.
Rafferty projected $9 million in sales for the current fiscal year. End markets include medical, electronic/industrial equipment, and business and office machines.
Airtech Europe SA doubling plant size
DIFFERDANGE, LUXEMBOURG — Airtech Europe SA, part of the Airtech Advanced Materials Group of Huntington Beach, Calif., is doubling in size.
The Differdange firm needed more manufacturing and inventory space because of growth in its aircraft and industrial composites business. Airtech Europe, established in 1991, will expand from 35,000 square feet to 75,000 square feet. Completion is scheduled for March.
FRP composites support Ohio bridges
KETTERING, OHIO — Bridge No. B-0171 on Five Mile Road in Hamilton County, Ohio, became the first bridge in the nation to receive an advanced fiber-reinforced polymer composite deck on precast concrete beams.
The bridge, along with two others slated to receive FRP composite decks, is part of Project 100, a statewide initiative by the Kettering-based National Composite Center to replace 100 conventional bridge decks across the state of Ohio with composite materials during the next six years.
Though strong, FRP decks do not contribute to structural rigidity the way concrete decks do. Consulting engineering firm LJB Inc. designed a thicker top flange on the concrete I-beams to increase stiffness. The second challenge tasked engineers to marry new FRP deck technology with old concrete beams to create a structure with a life span of at least 50 years.
The University of Cincinnati will monitor the bridge performance.
Paramount Plastics, a custom vacuum forming company headquartered in Elkhart, Ind., has received ISO 9001 certification. ... Mack Plastics Corp., a custom manufacturer of aircraft engine friction-wear plastic parts, has become Tri-Mack Plastics Manufacturing Corp. The name change reflects the evolution of the company in three distinct areas: custom parts manufacturing, rapid prototyping and tooling, and proprietary products. In addition, the Bristol, R.I.-based firm received the Best in Class award from GE Aircraft Engines.