Rexam units sell plant, close another
LONDON - Two subsidiaries of London-based Rexam plc have sold a plant and closed another.
Rexam Closures and Containers Ltd. has sold its plant in Portsmouth, England, in a management buyout for an undisclosed sum. Managing Director John Sidnell led the five-member team that bought the business. The firm makes child-resistant and tamper-evident closures for the pharmaceutical, health-care, chemicals and beverage markets.
The business, with annual sales of about £15 million ($22 million) and 145 employees, will use the name it had before it was purchased in 1992 by Rexam: Cope Allman Plastic Packaging Ltd.
The plant, which has room for expansion, has 28 injection molding presses with clamping forces of 25-600 tons, including Husky, Sandretto and Negri Bossi models. The plant also has 21 blow molding machines, including Uniloy and Jomar models, according to operations director Peter Darlington.
Cope Allman recently took delivery of two new Husky presses that it will use to make twist-off closures for fruit-juice cartons, Darlington said. It also added a new Uniloy blow molding machine, and will invest in another within the next year.
The company has signed £6 million ($9 million) in new business in the past three years. One promising market is pharmaceutical/health care, which represents about 70 percent of the company's annual sales. Exports outside of England account for about 40 percent, Darlington said.
The management buyout team includes Darlington, finance director Ian Winkfield, technical director Alan Moulton and information technology director Peter Teague.
Meanwhile, Rexam Plastic Packaging said it will close a plastic container plant in Corby, England, at the end of November, eliminating as many as 120 jobs. The company blames overcapacity in the market for thin-wall food containers.
The company will begin phasing out production during the next few months. The plant thermoforms and prints thin-wall containers, such as margarine tubs. It is one of four Rexam plastic container plants in Britain.
SME forms media partnership with PT
DEARBORN, MICH. - The Society of Manufacturing Engineers has named Plastics Technology magazine its media partner, linking PT with SME's Plastics Molders & Manufacturers Association.
Dearborn-based SME used to publish its own plastics magazine, but has discontinued it.
Plastics Technology, a monthly trade magazine, will be the endorsing sponsor of all PMMA/ SME events. PMMA members also will receive a subscription to the magazine as part of their membership.
Plastics Technology is owned by Gardner Publications Inc. of Cincinnati, which bought it from Bill Communications Inc. two years ago.
SME began its foray into self-published plastics trade magazines in 1997, the same year it founded PMMA, when SME bought the former Plastics World and renamed it Molding Systems. SME ceased publication in 2000. Later that year, SME started Automotive Plastics magazine, but that was folded after four issues, according to an SME spokeswoman.
SME said it has started an electronic newsletter for PMMA, called Plastics Insights.
Sarna Polymer to shed two blown film units
SARNEN, SWITZERLAND - Sarna Polymer Holding Inc. is selling two blown film and adhesive coating subsidiaries to concentrate on its automotive parts and construction products businesses.
Collano AG of Sempach-Station, Switzerland, is buying Sarna Xiro AG of Schmitten, Switzerland, and Sarna Xiro GmbH of Buxtehude, Germany.
Terms were not disclosed. The acquired companies employ about 80. Sarnen-based Sarna said Collano will retain the work force and management of the companies.
Sarna's remaining businesses include Sarnamotive, which makes injection molded auto parts.
Diversified Plastics buys two Van Dorns
BROOKLYN PARK, MINN. - Custom injection molder Diversified Plastics Inc. is acquiring two new Van Dorn presses, bringing the firm's total to 15 machines, with clamping forces of 50-300 tons.
A 170-ton HT Van Dorn with a Pathfinder 3000 process controller arrived in April, adding about 10 percent to Diversified's capacity. A 120-ton HT will arrive in June as a replacement for an existing press, according to Mark Gremmels, production manager.
Founded in 1977, Diversified molds small and medium-size, close-tolerance parts. The firm employs 52 and shares a 33,000-square-foot structure in Brooklyn Park with tooling subsidiary Design Tool & Engineering Inc.
General-Tower debuts new polymer blend
CAMBRIDGE, ONTARIO - Canadian General-Tower Ltd. plans to introduce a polymer blend as a leather replacement or supplement in mid- and high-priced autos.
The Cambridge-based supplier of automotive interior cover stock has an exclusive license to market and manufacture the material, created by Idemitsu Technofine Co. Ltd. of Tokyo and already in production in Asia.
The proprietary blend uses an organic material that can be used with PVC, thermoplastic olefin or thermoplastic polyurethane to create a leatherlike cover skin, said Richard Chaplin, vice president of corporate affairs for Canadian General-Tower.
Production of the PVC version should begin this summer; TPO production is set to begin by the end of the year. The company has not settled yet on a name for the blend in North America. It is sold under the name Protein Leather in Asia, he said.
The material can be used in parts of seats, center consoles and other places where passengers will not notice, such as the back of a headrest. It also could be used as a leather substitute in door panels or low-traffic areas, such as the third row of seats in a sport utility vehicle.
The polymer blend is two times the price of a traditional PVC or TPO, Chaplin said, but is a quarter of the cost of leather. The combination of an aesthetic appeal and a savings break compared with leather gives interior specialists a wider design palette, he said.
``We've had a tremendous surge from people looking at upping the options they can offer,'' he said.
Canadian General-Tower can launch production with existing capacity, Chaplin said.
The company also is seeking other users for the polymer. Asian manufacturers have used it for pen grips, golf clubs and furniture.