Thatcher Tubes expands Illinois plant
WOODSTOCK, ILL. - Thatcher Tubes LLC is expanding plastic tube production capacity at its plant in Woodstock.
Thatcher will build a 30,000-square-foot addition that will house more extrusion lines and boost warehouse space. The firm expects to complete the project by first-quarter 2002.
Marketing and sales director Kyle Vlasak said Thatcher is undertaking the expansion to keep up with customers' growth. It supplies tubes to pharmaceutical and personal-care markets.
Thatcher broke ground on the plant addition in late June, about 21/2 years after a management buyout from Courtaulds plc. The buyout occurred after Akzo Nobel NV bought Courtaulds and sold its packaging businesses.
Thatcher employs about 250. Vlasak declined to reveal sales figures or how much his firm is investing in the expansion.
Tupperware items on Target shelves
ORLANDO, FLA. - Tupperware Corp. for the first time in its history will have a presence in a national retail chain.
The housewares major has partnered with Target Stores to set up sales stands in all 62 SuperTarget stores in the United States beginning in October. Tupperware sales consultants, who usually sell through Tupperware home parties, will staff the stands and offer advice. The stores will offer about 40-50 of Tupperware's most popular items for food preparation and storage.
The agreement does not stop SuperTarget from stocking its shelves with competitors' housewares, a spokeswoman said.
The program is not a pilot project but is a strategic part of the Orlando-based firm's thrust into distribution channels other than its traditional home-based parties, said Tupperware spokesman Mark Shamley. The firm lately has been marketing through the Internet, television shopping and shopping-mall kiosks in the United States to offset slow sales through home parties.
Weir set to unload mold businesses
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - British mold maker Tooling Products Ltd. and sister firm G Perry & Sons Ltd. will close soon unless parent company Weir Group plc can find a buyer.
Weir of Glasgow wants to dispose of the businesses because they do not fit into its core industrial pump and valve operations.
Tooling Products and Perry specialize in molds for the automotive sector and employ a total of 185. In a July 5 statement, Weir said it has been unable to find buyers for the two mold makers, along with a third company that supplies materials-handling equipment to the nuclear power industry. On July 12, however, a Weir spokeswoman said that several unnamed parties had expressed an interest in Tooling Products.
The businesses for sale posted a loss last year of £1.3 million ($1.8 million) on sales of £28 million ($39 million).
Tooling Products of Langrish, England, makes large complex molds. Managing Director Ralph Davies declined comment.
Perry of Leicester, England, employs 65, is equipped with eight computer numerically controlled milling machines and handles smaller molds.
Weir's other operations include injection molder EnviroTech Molded Products Inc. of Salt Lake City, which makes big plastic components used in heavy industry for filtration, pipe fittings, pulp and paper production, pumps and valves, industrial batteries and military applications.
Xaloy, Inductametals settle lawsuit
PULASKI, VA. - Rival barrel makers Xaloy Inc. of Pulaski and Inductametals Corp. of Chicago have settled the patent-infringement lawsuit over bimetallic barrels.
Xaloy sued Inductametals in January 2000 in U.S. District Court in Roanoke, Va., claiming that Inductametals violated its patent by using a microalloyed backing steel as the outer barrel layer, in combination with a tungsten carbide inlay for the inner layer.
In a statement issued July 13, the two companies said they have reached a settlement. Inductametals agreed to recognize the validity of the patent and to license the technology covered by Xaloy's patent, according to the statement. Inductametals has agreed to mark its bimetallic cylinders that fall within the Xaloy patent with Xaloy's U.S. patent number, 5,565,277.
No other details of the license agreement were disclosed.
Xaloy also had sued barrel maker Wexco Inc. of Lynchburg, Va., over the same patent issue. Late last year, Wexco and Xaloy announced a settlement in which Wexco also agreed to mark its barrels with the patent number.