Visteon plant to thermoform fuel tanks
DEARBORN, MICH. - Visteon Corp.'s thermoforming process for plastic fuel tanks will make its debut at a new multimillion-dollar plant in Chesapeake, Va.
The plant, set to open in April, will produce tanks thermoformed around some of the other fuel-system components in a move to reduce emissions that otherwise can escape through seals and connections. The process is a departure for Visteon, which already has extensive blow molding capabilities, but will swap processes to meet increasing emissions standards required in California by 2004.
The Dearborn auto supplier is not listing the investment cost or customer, but state officials in Virginia said Aug. 13 that the company will spend about $17 million on the project to provide tanks for Ford Motor Co.'s truck assembly plant in nearby Norfolk.
Visteon is taking over a 70,000-square-foot building in Chesapeake and will employ about 60, spokeswoman Tammera Hallums said.
Visteon introduced the thermoforming concept in 2000 and already had contracts with unspecified automakers at that time for the 2004 models.
IMI acquires Milwaukee displays firm
BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - IMI plc, a manufacturer of plastic pipe, profiles and retail displays, has acquired point-of-purchase design and product-development company DCI Marketing Inc. of Milwaukee for $66 million in cash.
Birmingham-based IMI already owns New York-based Display Technologies Inc., which makes plastics displays for the beverage, food and cosmetics sectors, and metal display maker Cannon Equipment Co. of Rosemount, Minn.
DCI has regional offices in five U.S. cities plus a 162,000-square-foot assembly and warehouse facility near its Milwaukee base. The company employs 300 and recorded a $7 million operating profit on 2001 sales of $90 million, according to IMI.
DCI has comprehensive prototyping facilities and performs decorating, secondary finishing and assembly of displays. The business mainly serves the automotive, technology and packaged-goods markets, and big-name customers include General Motors Corp., Microsoft Corp., Harley Davidson Motor Co., Motorola Inc. and the Frito-Lay Division of Pepsico Inc.
IMI said it plans to retain all key DCI management. The acquisition will boost annual sales for IMI merchandising systems businesses to about $250 million.
Pa. group to promote area plastics firms
EDINBORO, PA. - Hoping to make its members more competitive in the global economy, a northwest Pennsylvania group of mold builders, machining companies and molders has developed a marketing program to tout the region's companies.
The Edinboro-based northwestern Pennsylvania chapter of the National Tooling and Machining Association has developed an 80-page book that describes its 60 member companies, and it plans to do joint marketing at trade shows. The effort is a change in how the region's companies see themselves, said Mark Hanaway, marketing director with Tech Tool & Mold Inc. in Meadville, Pa.
``Over the years we've grown from competitors to cooperative businesses,'' Hanaway said. ``We have to use suppliers and resources within our region to be competitive globally.''
The chapter offices will collect sales leads and distribute them to all its members. The group plans to go to half a dozen trade shows next year, and it recently mailed its guide to 10,000 contacts.
CertainTeed opening vinyl window plant
VALLEY FORGE, PA. - CertainTeed Corp. will open a 210,000-square-foot vinyl window fabrication facility by early next year in Lebanon, Ind.
The Valley Forge extruder broke ground Aug. 15, said Katie Culp, executive director of Boone County Economic Development Corp. in Lebanon.
In a news release, CertainTeed officials said the new facility will support extrusion operations in Hagerstown, Md., bringing much-needed production capacity to the Midwest. The plant will start with nearly 120 employees, with a goal to expand to 350 in five years.
CertainTeed received a 10-year tax abatement from the city, plus training grants and tax credits from the state, Culp said.
The firm, owned by Paris-based Cie. Saint-Gobain, reported $734 million in 2001 extrusion sales, with 10 North American extrusion plants and nearly 3,000 employees.