Restructuring Lear to shutter Ind. facility
SOUTHFIELD, MICH. - Lear Corp. is continuing its corporate restructuring, targeting an Indiana injection molding facility for closure by the end of this year.
The company told the 450 employees in Bourbon, Ind., on May 15 that the plant will close and the interior trim work there will be dispersed to other Lear operations.
Southfield-based Lear had announced earlier this year that it would close a total of 21 plants, cutting 6,500 employees worldwide. The auto supplier acquired the Bourbon facility in 1999 with its purchase of United Technologies Automotive.
Bourbon was targeted for consolidation because its components are shipped to a variety of customers, making it easier for other sites to absorb its production, said spokeswoman Andrea Puchalsky.
Lear is announcing which plants will close as it informs workers, she said. It has notified employees at nine locations so far, including plastics operations in Peru, Ind., and Bowling Green, Ohio.
Composites reps meeting on emissions
RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. - After taking their case to Capitol Hill, composites industry representatives have won a meeting with environmental regulators May 23 in Research Triangle Park to discuss the government's revised cost analysis for a controversial emissions proposal.
The composites industry has been battling to amend the proposal since it was published Aug. 2 by the Environmental Protection Agency. On May 8, a cadre of members from the Arlington, Va.-based Composites Fabricators Association pressed their points during meetings in 50 congressional offices in Washington.
The rule would require makers of reinforced plastic composites to capture and control 95 percent of polluting emissions. Fabricators would need to use maximum-achievable-control technology in limiting emissions of styrene, methyl methacrylate and methylene chloride.
In late April, eight senators and 13 representatives petitioned EPA Administrator Christine Todd Whitman to eliminate the proposal's above-the-floor requirement for add-on controls. Their letters said purchasing and installing the equipment could exceed $12 million per facility.
Ken Odette, CFA associate director of government affairs, said he will await the outcome of the May 23 meeting before determining if further action is warranted.
Molder Tapco acquires Vantage Products
PLYMOUTH, MICH. - Tapco International Corp. has acquired Vantage Products Corp. of Conyers, Ga., for an undisclosed amount.
Both firms injection mold polypropylene gables and shutters - Tapco's molding unit is Mid-America Building Products Inc. Jack Lawless, president and chief executive officer of Plymouth-based Tapco, said the companies reached agreement May 1.
Lawless would not disclose information about sales volume, business plans, number of employees or facilities. Vantage officials declined comment.
Inductotherm Industries Inc. of Rancocas, N.J., previously owned Vantage. Inductotherm also owns blow molding machinery maker Jomar Corp. in Pleasantville, N.J.
GE Plastics limits sales of pipe-grade ABS
PITTSFIELD, MASS. - A pair of recent incidents have led GE Plastics to declare force majeure on pipe-grade ABS resin.
A furnace explosion at a GE Plastics styrene acrylonitrile plant in Bay St. Louis, Miss., and a gearbox malfunction at an ABS plant in Ottawa, Ill., have limited supplies of 11 grades of pipe-grade ABS, GE Plastics spokesman Jay Pomeroy said.
No one was injured in either incident, both of which have occurred since mid-April. The causes are being investigated.
Customers will be limited to 90 percent of their average weekly purchases for an expected eight weeks, Pomeroy said. All other grades of GE Plastics ABS will be unaffected by the move.
Pittsfield-based GE Plastics ranks as North America's largest ABS maker.