Hewi closing Pennsylvania plant in fall
LANCASTER, PA. - Handle and railing molder Hewi Inc. plans to close its Lancaster plant at the end of September.
The firm, a subsidiary of Hewi Heinrich Wilke Gmbh of Bad Arolsen, Germany, uses nylon to injection mold a range of lever door handles, bathroom accessories, cabinet knobs and railings for commercial, institutional and residential uses.
Philip Scheuchenzuber, vice president and treasurer, confirmed the closing, but company officials did not comment further. The Lancaster Sunday News reported that the closing reflects the parent company's focus on European markets. The report said employment at the plant is down to 30 in anticipation of the shutdown.
The U.S. operation started business in 1981 as Hewi Heinrich's first foreign subsidiary. Initially founded in Allendale, N.J., Hewi moved to Lancaster in 1989 and now runs a 100,000-square-foot facility there to serve North and Central America. During the 1980s, the German parent opened subsidiaries in Italy, Great Britain and France.
Hewi Heinrich claims to be a pioneer in developing nylon handles. The privately held firm, founded in 1929, entered plastics molding in 1936. Its product line includes items aimed at improving the mobility of handicapped people.
Moog buys Tokyo Precision Instruments
EAST AURORA, N.Y. - Moog Inc. has bought a Japanese supplier of servo valves and hydraulic and pneumatic systems, as the East Aurora company continues to expand into components for plastics machinery and other industrial applications.
Moog announced April 1 that it acquired 81 percent of the stock of Tokyo Precision Instruments Co. Ltd. from Mitsubishi Electric Corp. and other shareholders. The deal for TSS of Nagoya, Japan, marks Moog's first acquisition in Japan.
TSS generates annual sales of about $8 million. Most of the sales go to customers in Japan, but the company also exports to the United States and other countries.
Sean Garland, general manager of Moog Pacific, said TSS has earned a reputation for quality products because it invests in research and development.
``Their addition not only strengthens our existing portfolio, particularly in direct-drive valves and pneumatic actuators, but brings with it strong aftermarket potential,'' he said.
Moog makes precision control components, serving a range of markets. For the plastics machinery industry, Moog already was making servo valves for injection molding machines. In 2000, Moog bought the radial piston pump business from Germany's Robert Bosch GmbH, beefing up its ability to supply systems combining servo valves and the pumps.
Also in 2000, Moog bought a Vickers plant in Italy that makes electric drives. Moog did not disclose terms of the TSS deal.
Rexam exiting flexible food packaging
LONDON - Rexam plc is pulling out of the flexible food-packaging business in England with the sale of two plants to Amcor Flexibles UK Ltd. for £11.2 million ($16 million).
The converting plants included in the sale are Rexam Metallising Ltd. of Thetford, and Rexam Flexibles Viking Ltd. in Ledbury. Their disposal allows London-based Rexam to focus on its core health-care market, said Chief Executive Officer Rolf BÃ¶rjesson.
Rexam claims to be the largest global medical films maker.
``The disposal sharpens the focus on our global medical-packaging customers and on related pharmaceutical and personal-care areas where we can leverage our technology in sterilizable barrier packaging,'' he said.
The plants generated 2001 sales of £42 million ($60.5 million). The Thetford unit will be renamed Amcor Flexibles Camvac and the other business Amcor Flexibles Ledbury.
The deal gives Amcor 40 plants in 14 European countries. The Amcor Flexibles Europe unit, based in Gloucester, England, generated 2001 sales of about 1 billion euros ($877 million).
AFE already had nine flexibles plants in England and Scotland. The Thetford plant strengthens its presence in packaging for fresh food, beverages and confections, while the Ledbury unit complements its produce and bakery sectors.
``We are confident both businesses will exceed our target of 15 percent return on average funds employed,'' AFE CEO Graham James said in a news release.
AFE stepped toward the top in European flexibles last year when it combined its regional packaging operations with Danisco A/S of Copenhagen, Denmark, and Ahlstrom Corp. of Helsinki, Finland. AFE is a subsidiary of Amcor Ltd. of Melbourne, Australia.