LNP closing Calif. compounding plant
EXTON, PA. - An eroding West Coast sales base is leading LNP Engineering Plastics to close its compounding plant in Santa Ana, Calif., by the end of April.
LNP, based in Exton, has operated the site since 1967. The plant employs 70 and produced a wide range of engineering resin compounds, primarily for the information technology market.
``Many [original equipment manufacturers], especially those in the information technology market, have taken their manufacturing out of the country, primarily to Asia Pacific,'' LNP Americas President Richard Burns said in a Feb. 20 news release. ``This was a difficult decision, but one that promotes the long-term viability and competitiveness of LNP.''
Burns pointed out that LNP competitors RTP Co. and PolyOne Corp. each also have closed plants in the region since 1999.
Production from Santa Ana will be transferred to LNP plants in Thorndale, Pa.; Columbus, Ind.; and San Luis Potosi, Mexico.
The closing will not impact GE Plastics' planned acquisition of LNP, which is set to close in late March. The Santa Ana decision was approved by officials with LNP parent Kawasaki Steel Corp. of Tokyo in September, well before the deal was reached with GE, LNP spokeswoman Jaine Lucas said.
Gossen increasing capacity in Georgia
ATLANTA - Gossen Corp. is adding extrusion capacity at its Cartersville, Ga., plant.
The Milwaukee-based producer of PVC millwork and windows announced the activity Feb. 9 at the International Builders' Show in Atlanta.
The move will increase the company's production capacity by about 8 percent, said Executive Vice President Bob Simon. The company added five lines late last year and have followed up with three more lines this year.
``We're projecting about 20 percent growth this year in cellular PVC,'' Simon said. Gossen originally performed laminating operations at the 90,000-square-foot plant until two years ago.
For now, Simon said the company still has room to grow.
``We have enough room to increase capacity for the next two years, but then we'll have to make a decision either to add more space or move to another facility,'' he said.
Gossen operates one other extrusion facility in Milwaukee and had a total of 40 lines between the two locations. In Plastics News' 2001 ranking, the firm reported $30 million in profile sales with 22 million pounds of annual resin throughput.
Plastival seeks site for U.S. facility
ATLANTA - Canada's Plastival Inc. is searching for its first stateside manufacturing location in Chicago.
The Laval, Quebec-based fence and decking extruder will invest US$3 million to US$5 million to build a 100,000-square-foot facility, according to Alan Townsend, marketing supervisor.
``It's still ongoing,'' Townsend said in a Feb. 11 interview at the International Builders' Show in Atlanta. ``We're still looking.''
The plant will support production at the firm's Canadian site, he said. Plastival currently operates a warehouse in Chicago.
Lighthouse Plastics gets new investor
ST. LOUIS - Molded plastics supplier Lighthouse Plastics LLC of St. Louis expects to diversify with the infusion of new equity capital.
Lighthouse said a new investor, Tom DiCarlo, acquired a 50 percent interest in the firm for an undisclosed investment. DiCarlo also becomes vice president of sales and marketing. He formerly was an executive with charter aircraft firm Thunder Aviation Inc. of St. Louis.
Lighthouse President Scott Metz said DiCarlo and his investment will help the firm enter undisclosed, niche markets. The company currently focuses on supplying containers, trays and bins for agricultural, livestock, nursery and industrial markets.
Metz said Lighthouse relies on outside molders, many of which currently have unused capacity and offer attractive molding prices. Molders are located close to customers to keep shipping costs down. Lighthouse eventually will do its own molding, Metz predicted. Lighthouse had sales of $3.5 million last year. It has a line of proprietary products and also represents other manufacturers.
Lighthouse was founded in 1998 by two former executives with proprietary molder Contico International Inc. of St. Louis. Metz and Craig Dickens were the original founders.