Wittmann purchases chiller supplier
TORRINGTON, CONN. - Wittmann Robot & Automation Systems Inc. has purchased Capitol Temptrol Inc., adding water chillers to its growing stable of auxiliary equipment.
The purchase price was not disclosed. The company becomes the Wittmann Capitol Temptrol Division.
Temptrol employed about 10 in Centerbrook, Conn., making portable and central chillers. Wittmann has moved the entire operation to its U.S. headquarters in Torrington. Michael Wittmann, chief executive officer, said Wittmann has hired two Temptrol employees.
For Wittmann, adding chillers for water to cool molds - paired with its existing line of Tempro water-flow controllers and other products - gives the company a complete range of auxiliary equipment. Other Wittmann products include robots, end-of-arm tooling, Nucon materials-handling systems, including dryers and vacuum pumps, and CMB granulators.
Wittmann has extended beyond its core business of robots for plastics manufacturing via acquisitions in recent years. The Vienna, Austria-based parent - Wittmann Robot Systems GmbH - also has expanded with sites throughout the world.
Exide files for Chapter 11 protection
PRINCETON, N.J. - Battery maker Exide Technologies Inc. has joined the ranks of automotive suppliers operating in Chapter 11, filing April 15 in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Del.
Exide already had announced the cost-cutting closures of two of its three U.S. plastics facilities a month ago. Now Exide has said it cannot undertake its restructuring outside of court protection.
``Over the past several months, we have made a number of difficult yet necessary operational changes that have exhibited positive results,'' President and Chief Executive Officer Craig Muhlhauser said in a news release. ``We are now taking the next step to resolve our financial challenges and focus on addressing our balance-sheet issues.''
Exide of Princeton blames its heavy debt burden on acquisitions and the cost of integrating those purchases. It has $2.5 billion in long-term debt and had a $15 million bond payment due April 15. It listed $1.9 billion in sales for the nine months ended Dec. 31, and posted a $230.1 million loss for the period.
In March, Exide announced it would close injection molding operations in Jackson, Miss., and Vicksburg, Miss. The plants employ 236. North American molding is shifting to Exide's Lampeter, Pa., plant, which will continue making battery cases and covers.
Court allows delay of TRW takeover
CLEVELAND - The battle for ownership of TRW Inc. is on hold.
Shareholders were slated to vote April 22 on a takeover attempt by fellow defense contractor Northrop Grumman Corp., but the U.S. District Court in Cleveland ruled TRW could postpone that meeting until May 3 to give stock owners more time to review the offer.
Northrop Grumman, a Los Angeles provider of electronic systems, airplanes, ships and other systems and components for the military, launched its takeover attempt Feb. 22 with an offer of $47 worth of Northrop stock for every share of TRW.
It upped that bid April 15 to $53 worth of stock. TRW calls the offer ``financially inadequate'' and recommends shareholders reject it. Regardless of the outcome, the automotive unit of Cleveland-based TRW will separate from the rest of the firm.
Both TRW and Northrop Grumman have announced plans to sell or spin off the auto division, which includes plastics processing for steering wheels, seat belts, air bags and heating and air-conditioning systems. Both the defense contractors would retain extensive composites processing technologies within their defense units.
Advanced Molding moving into new digs
ONTARIO, ORE. - By October, custom injection molder Advanced Molding expects to move into a 15,000-square-foot building now under construction.
Clair Havens, owner of Advanced Molding, said he acquired 18 acres to develop an Ontario industrial park that will include the new molding facility and other tenant-occupied structures. Development work began in June.
Advanced Molding is expanding to accommodate additional manufacturing of gasoline containers and nozzles. The company said it may retain its 7,000-square-foot Ontario facility.
The firm operates 12 presses of 60-230 tons. It employs 14 and had sales of $1.8 million for the fiscal year ended June 30.