Pittsfield Plastics expanding facility
PITTSFIELD, MASS. - Pittsfield Plastics Engineering Inc. is boosting its operations by nearly 40 percent, building a 20,000-square-foot addition to its 48,000-square-foot site in Pittsfield.
The custom mold builder and injection molder is spending $1.8 million: one-third for the addition and two-thirds for new machinery, said Duncan Cooper, president and chief executive officer.
The company has applied for relief under the state's tax increment finance plan, which would reduce taxes on the building for five years. The cost savings is estimated at $53,000.
Pittsfield Plastics broke ground in November and recently opened the addition. Cooper said the investment is being spent over three years, and that at least three new presses will be added by 2003. The firm presses have clamping forces of 75-500 tons. It has 55 employees and expects to add 10 in next three years.
The company started 30 years ago as an injection mold-making business. Now, it offers design, prototyping, tooling and custom molding, as well as decorating, assembly and packaging. The firm also makes precision spools, both standard and customized, for the insulated wire, cable, filament and textile markets.
Cooper said the expansion is because of customer demand across all industries.
Fleck Co. appoints new chief executive
AUBURN, WASH. - Precision injection molder Fleck Co. Inc. of Auburn named Dale Meyer president and chief executive officer effective June 11. Meyer succeeds Richard Carlson, who had held the job since September 1998.
Until August, Meyer was CEO of DeKalb, Ill.-based thermoformer Alloyd Co., he said in a telephone interview.
Principally, Fleck molds precision parts for electronics and medical applications. Its Auburn plant has 15 presses, with clamping forces of 55-330 tons, including eight closed-loop, all-electric Milacrons. Its plant in Guadalajara, Mexico, opened in 1999, and has 33 presses of 40-250 tons.
Private equity investor Alistar Capital Group of Bellevue, Wash., acquired a controlling interest in Fleck in 1997. Members of the Fleck family had owned and operated the business.
Dart Container Corp. gets OK on expansion
MASON, MICH. - Dart Container Corp. received local approval earlier this month for a $4 million expansion at its East Lampeter Township, Pa., warehouse.
James Lammers, Dart's vice president of administration and general counsel, said construction of the 176,000-square-foot addition to its 462,000-square-foot warehouse was to begin by June 15
Lammers said the facility may add 20-30 employees to its current 10. Mason-based Dart makes polystyrene food and beverage containers and cutlery. With estimated corporate sales of $1.2 billion, the privately held firm was fifth in Plastics News last ranking of North American thermoformers.
A story on Page 11 of this issue should have specified that the settlement reached between Ball Corp. and Plastics Solutions of Texas was a post-arbitration settlement.
PST and Ball settle dispute over license
DALLAS - Plastic Solutions of Texas and Ball Corp. of Broomfield, Colo., have settled a dispute regarding Ball's right to use and license PST's cryogenics-assisted PET container technology for hot-fill applications.
The matter was settled in arbitration the week of June 11 in Dallas. Kurt Ruppman, president and chief executive officer at PST, gave Ball exclusive rights to use and license the technology in 1996. PST says Ball failed to secure licensees for the technology.
``Ruppman did not feel Ball was pursuing their exclusive license, so he entered into a lawsuit with them about their failure to perform,'' said Peter Weggeman, a PET consultant and spokesman for PST. ``Ball is no longer in the picture for this technology; Ruppman will pursue licensees on their own.''
The matter was brought into arbitration in November 1997.
The technology allows shorter filling times and at higher temperatures for products like applesauce and pasta sauces.
A Ball spokesman offered no comment on the settlement.
Horn Plastics building C$6 million factory
WHITBY, ONTARIO - Horn Plastics Inc. is spending C$6 million (US$3.9 million) to build a facility for its injection molding and tool-building operations.
The Whitby firm broke ground for the building June 4. Marketing manager Ron Irani said the plant will replace two facilities it is leasing in Whitby. He expects construction to be done by early December and Horn will relocate there by the end of January.
Horn, established in 1968, molds thermoplastic parts and silicone rubber components. Its main markets include business machines, automotive, medical and electronics. Some of its large customers are Xerox Corp., Toyota, and Makita. It runs about 40 injection presses and had sales last year of about US$28 million.
The building will have about 90,000 square feet of space. Although that is less space than the 110,000 square feet now occupied by Horn and its tool-building subsidiary D&E Precision Tooling Inc., the layout will be more efficient, according to Irani.
Horn is owned by J.H. Rayner, a Zurich, Switzerland-based conglomerate.