Phaze starts running foaming agent lines
WATERBURY, CONN. - A trio of plastics industry veterans have launched Phaze II LLC, a specialty compounder based in Waterbury.
Phaze II is producing concentrates with a proprietary chemical foaming agent at a 20,000-square-foot leased site. Production began in early October on a pair of pilot lines, with full-scale extruders set to be up and running by the end of the year, said Robert Lapierre, one of the firm's three managing partners.
Lapierre, a 35-year sales and consulting veteran in the additives field, is joined in Phaze II by formulations expert Dave Valenzky and Tom Lacey, who is handling the manufacturing side of the seven-employee operation.
Phaze II's first concentrates will be based on polyethylene, polypropylene and polystyrene, with the possibility of ABS and polyphenylene oxide added to the mix in the near future.
When the full-scale extruders are installed, Phaze II will have annual capacities of 4 million pounds per year.
Lapierre, who also has operated compounds and additives reseller AVP Sales since 1991, expects packaging to be the biggest market for Phaze II's compounds. Major areas of use will include PS profiles, structural foam molding, business machine housings and utility boxes, he said.
Cutbacks paying off for British PVC maker
LYNDHURST, ENGLAND - EVC International NV has slashed its work force by 300 in the first half of this year and plans to cut out another 300 jobs during the next year.
The cutbacks, which will curtail the PVC resin supplier's work force by 18 percent, are part of a major restructuring designed to correct EVC's financial crisis. In 2001 the company reported a pretax loss of more than 82 million euros ($79 million).
According to the Lyndhurst company, the changes already are bearing fruit. EVC recently reported a profit of 4.4 million euros ($4.2 million) through the six months ended June 30. In the same period a year ago the company lost 25 million euros ($24 million).
``Having got the head counts down, the real challenge is holding them down there and, where possible, continuing to reduce, but there are no more big initiatives in terms of driving those down at the moment,'' said John Hudson, chief financial officer.
Ineos Group plc bought EVC in 2001. In the past year the new owner has closed EVC's former headquarters in Brussels, Belgium. The new head office employs 15.
EVC is a top supplier of PVC resin in Europe. The company, which has plants in Italy, Germany, England and Switzerland, also makes PVC compounds and film.