Battenfeld introduces 7-layer cast film line
GLOUCESTER, MASS. - Battenfeld Gloucester Engineering Co. Inc. is running a seven-layer cast film line at its technical center in Gloucester.
The production-scale line features four Contracool extruders, one each with screw diameters of 41/2 inches and 31/2 inches, and two, 21/2-inch screws. A three-component AcuraBlend feed throat blending and loading system feeds the extruders.
Battenfeld Gloucester also operates a five-layer sheet line and a seven-layer blown film line at its technical center.
RKC buys unit from Syscon International
SOUTH BEND, IND. - RKC Instrument Inc. has purchased the Syscon-RKC division of Syscon International, including all assets and accounts receivable.
Terms were not disclosed.
RKC, a Japanese firm, makes temperature and process controllers, sensors and auxiliary equipment. The new owners moved all staff of the Syscon-RKC division to a new location in South Bend.
Teru Hochi, the new president, said the company made the move to improve direct service to customers.
Paulson announces alliance with SPI, PLN
CHESTER, CONN. - Paulson Training Programs Inc. announced an alliance with the Society of the Plastics Industry Inc. and the Plastics Learning Network to present Paulson's seminar, Injection Molding Troubleshooting and Simulation, through SPI-PLN's satellite systems.
Molding companies can access the seminar through a satellite hookup, right in their factories.
Paulson, based in Chester, also announced its spring seminar series. Upcoming seminars include Purchasing and Quoting of Plastic Parts, June 26-27 in Hartford, Conn., and Train-the-Trainer, June 26-27 in Hartford.
PTLI doubles testing volume for auto PPAP
PITTSFIELD, MASS. - Plastics Technology Laboratories Inc. has recently doubled its plastics and elastomers testing volume for the automotive production part approval process, or PPAP.
Parts for Ford Motor Co., General Motors Corp. and DaimlerChrysler all must be evaluated as part of QS 9000 requirements, and PTLI specializes in the testing required for material submissions related to PPAP.
To accommodate the testing requirements, the labs have established a series of personnel and equipment additions, including capabilities for dynamic mechanical analysis, fogging by ASTM, ISO and DIN standards and thermomechanical analysis.
The additions round out current capabilities for analytical, mechanical, electrical, rheological, thermal and optical tests of plastics and elastomers in automotive PPAP submissions.
Pittsfield-based PTLI serves the plastics and elastomers industries.
MCP Systems opens tech center in Mich.
FAIRFIELD, CONN. - MCP Systems has opened a technology and demonstration center in Farmington Hills, Mich.
The Detroit-area facility will serve to introduce and demonstrate MCP's latest plastic and metal rapid prototyping systems for the automotive markets.
The center will feature the newly redesigned MCP 4/01, MCP 4/04 PLC VaCast system and the MCP 006 PLC VaCast system for polyurethane protoypes, wax masters for metal parts castings and injection mold inserts for rapid prototype tooling inserts.
The MCP 006 can cast parts weighing up to 24 pounds and measuring 2 meters in length, such as bumpers and fascias.
The Farmington Hills facility marks the 14th worldwide demonstration center and joins MCP's Fairfield headquarters as the second such center in the United States.
Orica closing plants, rearranging board
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - Melbourne-based Orica Ltd. is cutting costs to reduce debt in its plastics divisions, said James Brookes, investor relations manager.
Orica has two plastics divisions, both joint ventures. Australian Vinyl Corp. is a venture with Cleveland-based PolyOne Corp., and Qenos Pty. Ltd., is a venture with Exxon Mobil Corp.'s Melbourne-based Kemcor Australia Pty. Ltd.
Brookes said Orica is ``working on reducing costs'' and has started to close plants and improve plant efficiency. He would not provide details or say whether there will be more plant closures.
Qenos closed its styrene butadiene rubber and low density polyethylene plants at Altona, Australia, in January to focus on growing markets.
Orica also has reshuffled its board.
The company appointed Don Mercer as chairman and Peter Duncan as nonexecutive director. Mercer was appointed May 2, replacing Ben Lochtenberg, who retired. Mercer joined Orica in 1997 as a nonexecutive director. Duncan is Shell Group Australia Ltd. chairman.
Orica has four business units: chemicals (including plastics), mining services, agricultural products and consumer products.
PolyPacific increases capacity at two plants
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - Melbourne-based PolyPacific Pty. Ltd. will increase capacity at its film and compounds plants in Dandenong, Australia, and Point Klang, Malaysia, to keep up with demand.
PolyPacific, a joint venture between Melbourne-based Mirlex Pty. Ltd. and Sydney-based Basell Australia Pty. Ltd., produces polypropylene compounds and films.
The compounds and films mainly are used in the automotive industry, electrical appliances and industrial applications.
PolyPacific export sales manager Peter James said his company decided to boost capacity significantly at both plants because of increased demand, ``especially in the automotive and appliance sectors, coupled with the increased requirements of shorter lead times.''
High-output machinery will be installed at both plants, by August in Dandenong and by mid-2002 in Point Klang. The upgrades will increase PolyPacific's overall PP output to 143.3 million pounds per year.
James would not comment on the cost of the upgrades.
PT Solutions products help control corrosion
CRYSTAL LAKE, ILL. - PT Solutions Inc. of Crystal Lake, doing business as PT Fluid Solutions, has developed products to deal with recurrent scale and corrosion buildup in extruder barrel cooling water systems.
Under ideal operating conditions, either of PT's two coolant-anti-corrosion-deposit-inhibiting products can remain effective for a year, Tom Whitaker, vice president of sales and marketing, said by telephone. Actual durability depends on maintenance procedures.
PT recommends CF-825 for most enclosed cooling systems. CF-830 is useful for those extruder systems such as temperature control units with operating temperatures of less than 100Ã¸ F. In addition, PT's nontoxic industrial cleaner, CH-754, can restore existing cooling systems with water-related problems.
Peter Greenlimb, vice president of technology, developed the PT formulas. A chemical processor in Rockford, Ill., blends the products.
Incorporated in February, PT plans to market through distributors and original equipment manufacturers.
Demag Ergotech GmbH of Schwaig, Germany, has sold its first injection molding machine via the Internet - to Gebhard u. Wagner GmbH, a molder in Nurnberg, Germany. Demag sells on www.portax.com. ... St. Louis-based Watlow Electric Manufacturing Co. said its Series F4 temperature controllers are now available in German, French, Spanish and English. ... AGR International Inc. has merged its plastics products division with the recently acquired operations of TopWave Industries to create a wholly owned unit called Agr-Top Wave LLC. The company in Butler, Pa., makes laboratory and inspection equipment and provides on-line measuring for the container manufacturing and filling industries. ... Van Dorn Demag Corp., an injection press maker in Strongsville, Ohio, announced two new sales agencies: Ruplinger Corp., which handles Colorado, Utah and parts of Idaho, and Chicago-based Process Solutions for the Chicago area. Van Dorn Demag also announced new sales agents: Mike Duesenberg, who has joined A/B Associates in Minnesota, and Jerry Belrose who will represent Van Dorn Demag in Montana.
Husky cuts about 100 in its Index-press unit
BOLTON, ONTARIO - Husky Injection Molding Systems Ltd. has joined the plastics machinery layoff parade - but the Canadian injection press maker is characterizing its cuts as small and targeted.
Husky disclosed the job cuts, which impacted its Index press operation, in its third-quarter financial report, issued June 14. The Index operation includes both Hylectric and Index press operations, since the two units were combined in the second quarter.
Husky said that by consolidating the units and focusing on productivity gains, it has reduced employment in the Index unit by about 15 percent during the past year. A Husky spokesman said about 100 people were laid off from the Index business.
In its third-quarter news release, Husky said: ``Although many of our competitors have taken an approach of broad layoffs at this time, we have chosen to lower costs by selectively reducing head count.''
The company cited ongoing weakness in North America and softer business in Europe as a reason for the layoffs.
In February, Bolton-based Husky announced it might not turn a profit in fiscal-year 2001, which ends July 31. Husky estimated that earnings for the year would range from a small loss to a break-even level.
For the nine months ended April 30, Husky lost US$10.7 million on sales of US$446.8 million. Orders were down 9 percent from the nine-month period of a year earlier.
Plast-Control moving to larger, nearby plant
NEWBURYPORT, MASS. - Adding space for offices, warehousing, training and testing, Plast-Control Inc. is moving to a 2,400-square-foot facility a few miles from its previous site in Newburyport.
The supplier of extrusion process control equipment and technology will complete its move by June 1, according to General Manager Matt Bangert. The training and testing area should be complete by late summer.
``This gives the customer a chance to come up and work on the system and not have the pressure of production to worry about,'' said Bangert.
Plast-Control manufactures its equipment in Remscheid, Germany, for blown film, sheet, pipe and tubing markets.
Composites One gets assets of Plast-tex
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, ILL. - Material distributor and service provider Composites One of Arlington Heights acquired the assets of Plas-tex Ltd. of Fort Worth, Texas, from the Smith family May 31. Terms were not disclosed.
Plas-tex employs 53 and had 2000 sales of more than $50 million. The firm has polymer-composite distribution operations in Fort Worth, Houston and Tulsa, Okla.
Plas-tex Chairman Terry Smith will remain with the business in an advisory role. Plas-tex was founded in 1953.
``We needed to complete our national coverage,'' Steve Dehmlow, Composites One chief executive officer, said by telephone. The distributor now has 35 stocking locations in North America.
Composites One was serving Texas from an Arkansas site until it opened a distribution center in Irving, Texas, in late 2000. Over time, Composites One intends to consolidate the smaller Irving center with Plas-tex operations, Dehmlow said.
GLS Corp. and Total SA's Cook Composites & Polymers Co. unit formed Composites One as a joint venture in 1999.
Plas-tex is Composites One's second acquisition. The first involved Lake Erie Fiber Glass Supply Inc. of Ashtabula, Ohio, in April 2000.
Firm's first reactor shipping out in July
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA — The first PET reactor built by Melbourne-based Petrecycle Pty. Ltd. will be shipped to the United States by mid-July.
The reactor uses Petrecycle's Renew technology, which it claims enables post-consumer PET to be recycled back to virgin-equivalent PET.
The first reactor will have the capacity to process more than 22 million pounds of post-consumer PET a year. It is part of a joint venture with Milan, Italy-based M&G Finanzaria Industriale SpA.
Steven Korman, chief executive officer with Melbourne-based Vital Capital Ltd., which owns 30 percent of Petrecycle, said the reactor is complete and now will be dismantled and reassembled at M&G's PET plant in Point Pleasant, W.Va. He anticipates it will be in commercial production by late October or early November.
``We do have several others interested, including PET producers, which are looking at the plant and the technology,'' he said.
Korman would not disclose potential buyers but said they are global PET producers, including Asian producers.
``At this stage, we expect 10 units to be up and running [globally] in the next 18 months. It will be very quick because it is always the first which takes the longest to produce,'' he said.