Small-manufacturers' coalition forming
WASHINGTON - A group of tool-and-die and mold-making companies and trade associations plans to meet near Washington in late August to discuss forming a coalition to promote concerns of small manufacturers.
The yet-to-be-named group is an outgrowth of the tooling industry's complaints about trade issues, but the effort is aiming for a much broader agenda than trade and much broader membership than tooling companies, said Dan Jepson, president of Jepson Precision Tool Inc. in Cranesville, Pa., and one of the organizers.
``The issues confronting the tool-and-die industry in fact apply to a host of small to medium-sized companies in a host of manufacturing sectors,'' said Sanford Ring, counsel for the Coalition for the Advancement of Michigan Tooling Industries and a lawyer at Dykema Gossett PLLC in Washington. ``It's the smaller piece of a big problem, which is the seeming lack of a manufacturing policy.''
For now, though, the effort largely is confined to the tooling industry. The meeting will include representatives from the American Mold Builders Association, the National Tooling and Machining Association, the Association of Manufacturing Technology, the Tooling and Manufacturing Association and CAMTI.
Some companies also will be involved, and Jepson said the group wants to reach out to the National Association of Manufacturers in Washington.
The group has yet to define its agenda in detail, but hopes to emerge from the meeting with a position paper, Jepson said. The meeting will take place Aug. 23 at AMT's offices in McLean, Va.
Receiver says Emu Plastics is bankrupt
TORONTO - Custom injection molder Emu Plastics Ltd. of Toronto went bankrupt July 19, according to its receiver, PricewaterhouseCoopers Inc. of Toronto.
The receiver announced it would hold its first meeting of creditors Aug. 9 in Toronto. Emu employed 65, had a QS 9000 quality rating and offered a variety of secondary services such as decorating and packaging, according to Canadian Plastics Directory & Buyers' Guide.
Solo Cup contests $114,000 in OSHA fines
ADA, OKLA. - Solo Cup Co. is contesting $114,000 in fines from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which said Solo told employees at a factory in Ada to reach between rotating chrome rollers and required them to crawl under an operating machine.
OSHA announced the proposed fines Aug. 5.
``They're contesting each of the items,'' said James Brown, area director of OSHA's Oklahoma City office. A spokesman was not available for comment at Solo Cup's headquarters in Highland Park, Ill.
Brown said OSHA launched an investigation early this year after getting complaints about worker injuries. OSHA inspected the plant, which employs about 465, on Feb. 5.
Each of the two most serious ``willful'' violations carries a fine of $55,000, Brown said.
OSHA fined Solo Cup another $4,000 for ``serious'' violations at Ada, including failure to install a safety guard over a grinding wheel and having no covers over rotating parts on three extruders.
Brown said Solo has contested the fines to the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. If the case is not settled it could come before an administrative law judge, who would schedule a hearing.
JCI buying Varta automotive business
GLENDALE, WIS. - Johnson Controls Inc. is boosting its battery operations with the 312.5 million euro ($308.6 million) purchase of Varta AG's automotive business.
The all-cash acquisition will make Glendale-based JCI a $1.8 billion global battery supplier and will build on its European capabilities.
Executives did not immediately discuss the extent of plastics operations within the Varta plants.
Varta automotive, based in Hamburg, Germany, had sales of 590 million euros ($582.7 million) in 2001 and operates six battery assembly plants in Austria, the Czech Republic, France, Germany and Spain. It claims 30 percent of the West European market, with sales to BMW AG, DaimlerChrysler AG, Ford Motor Co., Volkswagen AG and others.