FP International buys Novus Packaging
REDWOOD CITY, CALIF. - Free-Flow Packaging International Inc. of Redwood City has acquired Novus Packaging Corp. of Richmond, Calif., gaining another line of equipment for production of on-demand cushioning. Terms of the May 16 deal were not disclosed.
FP International's broader reach will extend the market for the innovative Novus machine, which uses flat, preconfigured low density polyethylene film in on-site production of a variety of air cushions, including bubble material. The system helps customers avoid storing bulky bubble rolls.
Novus was started in 1999 and employed more than 20 at its 18,000-square-foot facility. Some employees will join FP.
FP plans to maintain a Novus customer service office in Richmond. FP, which had 2000 sales of $77 million, has nine manufacturing and sales facilities in the United States, four plants in Europe and a licensee in Australia.
Sheffield Plastics faced with layoffs
SHEFFIELD, MASS. - Sheffield Plastics Inc. is planning to lay off about 10 percent of its 177 employees.
The cuts will be temporary and are due to a protracted slowdown in the economy and continued cost increases in utilities, manufacturing, supplies and freight, according to a news release from President Dennis Duff.
Duff said employees were notified the week of May 21. No time frame for the layoffs and possible recalls was made known.
The company operates two plants in Sheffield making polycarbonate and copolyester sheet. It is a division of Bayer AG of Leverkusen, Germany.
``This is a single event from one of our subsidiaries. In no way does this signal anything else [for the industry],'' said Bryan Iams, a spokesman for Pittsburgh-based Bayer Corp.
Power outage shuts Wellman facility
SHREWSBURY, N.J. - A power outage at Wellman Inc.'s plant in Darlington, N.C., will cut its PET resin production by as much as 30 million pounds in the next three weeks.
The entire plant, which produces both PET resins and fibers, has been shut down, according to a May 21 news release. Lost PET resin production is expected to total 20 million to 30 million pounds, with lost fiber production at the same level. Company officials estimated they would be able to restore production within 21 days.
No cause for the power failure was identified in the release. Wellman officials could not be reached for comment.
Shrewsbury-based Wellman ranks as North America's fourth-largest PET maker, with a market share of about 14.5 percent.
BASF building Styrolux plant in Mexico
MOUNT OLIVE, N.J. - BASF Corp. is building a styrenic block copolymer plant with annual capacity of 100 million pounds in Altam¡ra, Mexico.
The plant will begin production of Styrolux resin in 2003 and serve markets throughout the Americas, officials with Mount Olive-based BASF said. The company is targeting food-packaging markets such as film wrap and drinking cups, as well as a number of injection molding applications. Since 1996, BASF has added polystyrene, ABS and specialty styrenic production in Altam¡ra.
BASF's parent, BASF AG of Ludwigshafen, Germany, recently completed a 33 million-pound SBC expansion in Antwerp, Belgium, and plans to open a 66 million-pound plant there next year as well. Additionally, BASF's Ludwigshafen SBC plant will be expanded by 11 million pounds later this year.
Graham, Constar settle container suit
YORK, PA. - Graham Packaging Co. LP and Constar Inc. announced May 22 that they have reached a final settlement in litigation involving hot-fill PET containers.
In October, York-based Graham had filed suit in U.S. District Court in Harrisburg, Pa., against Constar, an Atlanta-based division of Philadelphia's Crown Cork and Seal Co. Inc. The suit alleged patent infringement and misappropriation of proprietary information and trade secrets related to the manufacture and sale of the containers.
Constar denied Graham's allegations. Terms of the settlement remain confidential under the agreement, and neither party would comment on the case.
Both companies supply PET bottles to food, beverage and personal-care product companies.