Crown Cork closes Hungary bottle plant
PHILADELPHIA - Plastics and metal container manufacturer Crown Cork & Seal Co. Inc. has closed a PET bottle plant in Budapest, Hungary, as part of a larger streamlining. The Philadelphia company did not disclose the plant's size or number of employees.
The company will lay off 600 in a number of plastics and metal plant closings and temporary suspension of operations. An additional 100 U.S. jobs will be cut.
Crown Cork said it anticipates about $22 million in annual pretax savings.
Royal Group expanding housewares
WOODBRIDGE, ONTARIO - Royal Group Technologies Ltd. will expand its housewares capacity, officials revealed in a Feb. 5 conference call discussing the extrusion major's financial results.
Woodbridge-based Royal will add injection molding machinery at two undisclosed, existing plants.
Royal's housewares, patio furniture and pet products are part of its Gracious Living business, which it acquired in 1998. Officials did not disclose cost or timing of the housewares expansion.
The company reported that sales of its housewares and plastic furniture rose 45 percent in its first quarter, which ended Dec. 31.
Total sales, mainly comprising its range of extruded vinyl products, grew 8.7 percent compared with a year ago to C$384.2 million (US$238.2 million). Profit, at C$24.9 million (US$15.4 million), was 9.7 percent higher.
General Polymers opening S.C. facility
ANDERSON, S.C. - Resin distribution giant General Polymers is expanding service to the Southeast by opening a 125,000-square-foot center in Anderson.
The $7 million center officially opens Feb. 11 and will employ 15 by midyear.
The site has complete rail access and is near the Interstate 85 corridor, GP spokesman Jim Vitek said.
Vitek added that Dublin, Ohio-based GP is looking at the Anderson site as a hub that will allow it to expand in the region. Other GP sites in the Southeast will be unaffected by the Anderson opening, he said.
The addition of Anderson gives GP 22 district warehouses. The firm distributes a range of commodity and engineering resins for 26 resin makers and compounders.
General Polymers - a division of Ashland, Ky.-based chemical maker and refiner Ashland Inc. - ranks as one of North America's largest resin distributors, with annual sales estimated at $1 billion.
Boy and Milacron settle patent dispute
EXTON, PA. - German injection molding press manufacturer Dr. Boy GmbH and Milacron Inc. have settled their patent dispute over personal-computer-based machine controllers, according to a Feb. 1. announcement from Boy's U.S. unit, Boy Machines Inc.
Boy said the two companies have completed an agreement, settling their legal battle ``on a mutually acceptable basis.''
Mike Provini, president of Boy Machines in Exton, said the company would not provide any details of the settlement. Provini declined to say whether Boy has taken out a license from Milacron - a method used to settle some other PC-patent disputes between Milacron and competitors.
Contacted Feb. 1, a Milacron spokesman confirmed the settlement.
Boy fired the first shot in the skirmish last year. In June, Boy sued Cincinnati-based Milacron in U.S. District Court in New York. Boy claimed Milacron's patent covering PC-based machine controls was invalid because the technology predated the patent.
In July, Milacron filed a complaint against Boy and three other European machinery makers, asking the International Trade Commission to stop them from importing equipment into the United States.
Dr. Boy is based in Fernthal, Germany.
API executive director stepping down
ARLINGTON, VA. - Fran Lichtenberg will step down as executive director of the Alliance for the Polyurethanes Industry. API's steering committee will pick her successor, though it did not say when. Until then, Lichtenberg will remain at the helm of the organization.
Lichtenberg has been part of the trade association since 1980, and has led API and its predecessor, the Washington-based Society of the Plastics Industry Inc.'s Polyurethane Division, since 1985.
Lichtenberg said she plans to set up a consulting service after she leaves the Arlington-based association.