Guide purchases 34 Conair beam robots
PITTSBURGH - Conair Group landed one of the biggest orders for robots in recent years, selling 34 Conair beam robots to automotive lighting supplier Guide Corp.
Conair said 29 of the robots are being shipped to the Guide Lighting Technologies factory in Monterrey, Mexico. The remaining five go to Guide's plant in Monroe, La.
Guide, based in Pendleton, Ind., is buying the robots as part a $34.5 million investment to improve the metallic coating applied to the rear of a headlamp to give a reflective surface for the bulb. The equipment will help Guide make clear-lens headlamps currently preferred by automakers.
Guide also is upgrading and rebuilding injection presses used to mold lenses, housings, reflectors and bezels, Conair said.
Conair, a Pittsburgh-based auxiliary equipment manufacturer, announced the sale July 23. Terms were not disclosed.
ASAP to start production by January
SPOKANE, WASH. - Plastic skid fabricator ASAP Inc. is moving into production.
The 6-year-old firm, based in Spokane, will begin production by January in a leased 18,000- square-foot facility. President Keith Adkins would not disclose the location of the facility, except to say it will be in the western part of Washington. ASAP will begin production with one extrusion line and 12 employees, Adkins said by telephone July 25.
``We're carving a niche in heavy-materials movement,'' he said. ``At first, we're going to extrude, but we're also going to do compression molding for different applications, including drum handling.''
ASAP is on the verge of signing steady contracts for its 100 percent recycled polyethylene skids, which have passed 100,000-pound compression tests. The firm is developing another product for the metals industry right now, but Adkins was not ready to disclose the details.
Adkins would not disclose sales but he said the firm has been doubling in sales volume every year since its start. ASAP's customers include companies in the defense and energy sectors.
Manner Plastics expanding capacity
MCKINNEY, TEXAS - Manner Plastics LP is spending about $1 million to expand compounding capacity in McKinney.
The private firm will install a third compounding line by early September at the Dallas-area plant, said Manner President Raj Bhargava. The line's capacity of 18 million pounds per year will boost the plant's total by about 50 percent.
Sales growth is prompting the expansion. Bhargava did not disclose the company's sales total but indicated it will grow about 25 percent this year. Manner compounds flexible vinyl for shoe soles, wire, cable and other applications.
Bhargava is co-owner of Manner Plastics LP and co-owner with a different partner of compounder Manner Plastics Materials Inc. of Rancho Dominguez, Calif. He helped establish the McKinney operation in 2000 to supply the Southeast and Mexico.
McKinney Economic Development Corp. is providing a $50,000 loan to assist Manner's expansion. Manner will not need to repay the loan if it completes the expansion and pays local taxes on it for five years.
Battenfeld Gloucester names new chief
GLOUCESTER, MASS. - Equipment supplier Battenfeld Gloucester Engineering Co. Inc. has named a new president and chief executive officer - Brian Marvelley.
Marvelley, a 17-year veteran of the firm, will be promoted from vice president of finance, controller and treasurer of the Gloucester-based company. He moves into the top spot Aug. 1.
Marvelley replaces Phil Murphree, who joined Battenfeld as the top executive in 2000. Before he took the Battenfeld post, Murphree was president of film extruder QPF LLC, and he had 30 years of experience in the film converting business.
Contacted July 25, Murphree said he is leaving the machinery manufacturer to return to the flexible packaging industry. He declined to give any more details.
Marvelley, 55, was born in England, where he graduated from Rochdale Technical College and the University of Manchester Faculty of Commerce. He is now a U.S. citizen, having lived there since 1978. He joined Battenfeld in 1985.
Battenfeld Gloucester, which makes machinery that produces film, sheet and foam, is owned by SMS AG of Dusseldorf, Germany.