F&D makes upgrades to Leominster facility
LEOMINSTER, MASS. - Custom color concentrate maker F&D Plastics Inc. is spending $250,000 to add a 31/2-inch extrusion line and three resin silos in the next three months.
``Our mind-set has always been that we don't want to be at maximum capacity. We need to have reaction time to re-energize ourselves so we can service our customers,'' said Darren Rosbury, executive vice president.
He said the line will be installed Aug. 1. It is targeted for orders of 250-2,000 pounds. Three 120,000-pound-capacity silos are slated to be put up June 17.
``Everything we took in was in boxes and bags, but this will free up significant space in the building and help us get better resin pricing,'' said Rosbury.
The company, which operates out of a 27,000-square-foot facility in Leominster, is taking steps to upgrade its laboratory area. Last year it added a spectrometer along with a new color-formation software package. By mid-June, Rosbury said, the company will add an injection molding machine with 28 tons of clamping force to make color chips.
``Business really seems to be coming back'' since the Sept. 11 attacks, said Rosbury, adding that F&D is hoping for $8 million in sales this year.
The company had about $7.5 million in sales last year. It employs 50, including 10 in the laboratory area.
Rosbury said F&D also is looking to bolster its sales force with a fifth sales representative.
Sunrise giving site $2 million expansion
TEMPERANCE, MICH. - Sunrise Windows Ltd. is investing nearly $2 million as it expands its facility.
The vinyl window fabricator in Temperance has added 36,000 square feet to its 66,500-square-foot location, where it has been for seven years.
``Our company continues to see growing demand for all of our products, and this expansion was necessary not only to meet that demand, but also to allow us to continue to improve every aspect of the company's performance,'' President Gary Delman said. ``We've been very fortunate to experience rapid growth over the last few years, and it's imperative that we reinvest in our business.''
In addition to expanding existing production lines, Sunrise will add a line to make premium sliding patio doors, Delman said in a June 6 telephone interview.
Delman would not disclose sales. Once the new facility is fully staffed, employment will reach 250, up from 185.
Efficiency-minded Stull adding all-electric
SOMERSET, N.J. - Stull Technologies is adding all-electric injection presses to boost power efficiency at its Somerset plant.
Stull is taking delivery this month of three new, 330-ton Powerline presses made by Milacron Inc. and expects to buy more within a year, according to Stull marketing manager Jason Stull. Officials did not disclose the cost of the injection molding machines.
The molder of packaging components will get a $20,000 rebate from its electric utility, Public Service Electric & Gas, by choosing the energy-efficient presses. Stull said energy savings are part of the overall efficiency and upgrading program at the 125-employee, 180,000-square-foot Somerset facility.
All-electric presses typically are three times more efficient than conventional hydraulic machines, according to a Milacron news release. Other environmental benefits include elimination of hydraulic oil, reduced noise and lower plant air-conditioning requirements, the company said.
Stull said his company's 40 presses have clamping forces of 100-500 tons. The firm specializes in proprietary closures and caps for health and beauty aids, household chemicals, food, medical and specialty applications.
Nampak closing plant, eliminating 55 jobs
YATE, ENGLAND - Nampak plc is shutting down another milk-bottle blow molding plant, cutting 55 jobs.
The plant in Yate will close at the end of July. It has been a major supplier of high density polyethylene bottles to Dairy Crest plc, the top British dairy, which opened its Severnside, England, ``super dairy'' nearby. Last year Nampak was awarded the contract to install in-house bottle-making operations at the dairy site.
Dairy Crest also contracted Nampak to expand the dairy's in-house bottle-making plant in Chadwell Heath, England, which opened in 1995. Nampak is investing a total of £17 million ($25 million) in the bottle units at Severnside and Chadwell Heath.
The Severnside bottle unit is Nampak's fourth in-plant operation in Britain. Late last year, Nampak reported that it was operating a total of 75 Uniloy container blow molding machines in Britain.
The Yate facility is the third Nampak milk-bottle plant in Britain to close because of dairy industry consolidation and the growing trend among customers to mold bottles in-house.
In 2000, Milton Keynes, England-based Nampak closed the former Plysu bottle plant at Darnley, Scotland, after Robert Wiseman Dairies Ltd. opened a bottle-blowing plant at its Bellshill dairy in Glasgow, Scotland. About 50 jobs were lost.
Then the packaging firm announced it was shutting down the former BlowMocan Kiln Farm plant in Milton Keynes, in September 2001, cutting 90 jobs.
Nampak plc is an offshoot of packaging group Nampak Ltd., headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa.
GenPak may expand thermoforming site
GLENS FALLS, N.Y. - GenPak Corp. may expand its thermoforming facility in Lancaster, S.C., but won't undertake the project this year, said spokesman Walt Harfmann.
The plant makes polyester foam containers for single-serve and disposable food-service packaging. A story in the Charlotte Business Journal indicated GenPak would spend $2 million this year to boost capacity in Lancaster. Harfmann said the figure is wrong but he did not provide a more accurate number.
Glens Falls-based GenPak moved its thermoforming operation to Lancaster from Rock Hill, S.C., in the summer of 2000, partly to take advantage of the 24,000-square-foot building's bigger area. GenPak is a subsidiary of Great Pacific Enterprises Inc. of Vancouver, British Columbia.
Visteon turning quarry into $300 million HQ
ROMULUS, MICH. - Visteon Corp. is transforming a former gravel quarry into a $300 million global headquarters as part of a geographic break with its former parent company.
The new ``Visteon Village'' will cover 265 acres in Van Buren Township, just west of Romulus and about 16 miles from its current offices in Dearborn, Mich., adjacent to Ford Motor Co.
Ford spun off its parts maker two years ago, and Visteon has labored to create its own identity and business contracts. The new site will further that independent stance, said Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Peter Pestillo during a June 19 groundbreaking.
``We're finding our own way,'' he said. ``This is the next step we have to take.''
The property will house a complex of buildings covering as much as 1 million square feet, bringing together 4,000 employees who now are scattered through 15 sites throughout metropolitan Detroit. The complex will include offices, laboratories and product showrooms.
The company plans to turn the gravel pit into a landscaped lake, build nature trails through the surrounding trees and develop a ``Main Street,'' complete with a post office, to wind between the individual buildings.
The first tenants of the complex probably will move in late in 2003 or early 2004.
Molding Co. acquires Absolute Products
FARMINGTON, MO. - Custom rotational molder Molding Co. of Farmington has expanded with an acquisition in Broomfield, Colo.
Molding Co. bought Absolute Products Inc. in November from Alan DeVoe. Molding Co. is operating the business as a subsidiary, Absolute Plastics LLC, with DeVoe as president. The unit employs 14 and has two four-arm independent carousel machines.
``We kept his team and the vast majority of customers and have added new [volume] to both businesses,'' Carl Dobrzeniecki, Molding Co. president, said by telephone.
In Missouri, Molding Co. began operating a third four-arm independent carousel machine in May; it also has one carousel fixed-turret machine. The Farmington site employs 65 and had 2001 sales of $4.2 million.