The following items were gathered by senior reporters Bill Bregar and Joseph Pryweller and correspondent Roger Renstrom at Plastics Encounter Indianapolis, held Sept. 17-19.
OK sees benefits of machinery purchase
Resin recycler OK Industries Inc. of Findlay, Ohio, has improved productivity and efficiency, but the results took longer to achieve than expected.
``We didn't see the benefits until this spring'' because of the Sept. 11, 2001, fallout, President Jim Kenyon said at the firm's Plastics Encounter exhibit.
OK Industries invested about $150,000 for washing, grinding and drying equipment in late 2000. After the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, daily volume of scrap dropped from 12-15 truckloads to two, and the company laid off three-quarters of its work force, Kenyon said.
Efficiency improvements are dramatic. On a monthly basis the company recycles more than 3 million pounds of material, vs. 2.5 million pounds in mid-2001, Kenyon said. The business operates with 35 employees instead of 45 and achieves the greater volume with two work shifts instead of three.
Putting a larger grinder behind one of the shredders improved throughput, Kenyon said.
``Now we directly feed the material into the wash line. It is all done in one step instead of two or three steps to get the material from part form to regrind form to washed form.''
OK Industries, which celebrated its 10th anniversary Sept. 14, aims for 2002 sales of $3.3 million to $3.4 million, compared with $2.9 million last year.
The main plant is 60,000 square feet.
E-Z Color touting pre-colored olefins
E-Z Color Corp. of Fremont, Ohio, is marketing virgin pre-colored Spin Bond olefins and elastomers without a heat or compounding history.
An outside coating with ultraviolet-light stabilizers, antioxidants and color pigments, as needed, is applied onto a polymer, unlike regular compounded color systems, Larry Findley, president and chief executive officer, said at Plastics Encounter in Indianapolis.
``We have not altered any properties of the natural resin,'' Findley said. The coating covers the polymer similar to an M&M candy. He said the process does not extrude the material, and costs about one-half traditional color compounding.
E-Z Color is willing to establish a Spin Bond production source near a major customer or license a compounder to use process in-house on modified equipment, Findley said. E-Z Color applied in January for an international patent on the process.
IWT doubles space with move to suburbs
Innovative Water Technology Inc., which makes equipment to treat mold-cooling and processing water, moved in late July from Grand Rapids, Mich., to a 3,000-square-foot plant in Comstock Park, Mich., a Grand Rapids suburb. The move doubled IWT's space.
The company makes TowerKlean and ChillerKlean systems. The chemical-free treatment equipment controls bacteria and algae, stops the formation of scale and provides corrosion control.
IWT, which exhibited at Plastics Encounter Indianapolis, also announced agreements with two manufacturers' representatives. Premier Plastics Group of Columbus, Ind., will handle IWT lines in Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky. Process Solutions Group of Roselle, Ill., is selling the equipment in northern Illinois, Wisconsin and northern Indiana.
Plastics Encounter attendance at 2,124
Plastics Encounter Indianapolis drew 2,124 people to the Indiana Convention Center Sept. 17-19. The trade show and conference sessions, sponsored by Plastics News, attracted 1,402 attendees and 722 exhibitor personnel.
Twenty-six of the 200-plus exhibiting companies were processors, many of them members of the Indianapolis-based Mid-America Plastics Partners Inc. trade association.
``The overall attendance figure was less than we'd hoped for,'' said Linda Whelan, director of trade shows and marketing for Plastics News. ``However, we were very pleased to hear the many favorable comments from exhibitors.''
A number of companies reported closing deals or making quality contacts at the show.
Whelan said show officials also heard positive feedback from attendees of both the trade show and the business-management and industrial-design conferences.
Because of the NPE 2003 show in Chicago, there will be no 2003 Plastics Encounter trade show.
``We're looking for a more robust economy for our next show in Charlotte [N.C.] in March of 2004,'' Whelan said. The regional event returns to Cleveland in June 2004.
Plastics News will hold its 2003 Executive Forum in Phoenix, Jan. 26-29.
B&B looking for site to build another plant
Mold and die maker B&B Tool and Die Co. wants to expand its capabilities in injection molding and may open a separate molding facility.
The Muncie, Ind., company currently samples parts and performs short-term molding for customers. But more customers are looking for full-service suppliers, President Kurt Jones said at Plastics Encounter Indianapolis.
The company is looking for a site to open a second facility to mold parts, Jones said. A decision could be reached by early next year, he added.
B&B recently purchased a 400-ton injection press for limited production runs, Jones said. The company now has four presses with clamping forces of 85-400 tons.
The maker of injection molds is not forgoing its tooling operation. The company recently installed a larger electric discharge machining center using computer-aided-design technology. But it would like to supplement its tooling work with more molding, Jones said.
The company is an affiliate of Muncie-based Delaware Machinery and Tool Co. Inc., a builder of dies and molds. Together, Delaware Machinery and B&B recorded more than $40 million in sales last year, according to the company Web site.