Northern Pipe plans PE pipe plant in Iowa
FARGO, N.D. - Northern Pipe Products Inc. plans to establish a corrugated polyethylene pipe production plant in Hampton, Iowa.
The company and local officials, including the Franklin County Development Association,were to break ground and sign leases for the project Oct. 24 in Hampton, said Annette Renaud, executive director for the association. The agency will build a 45,000-square-foot plant with a railroad spur at a cost of about $1.6 million and lease it to Northern Pipe. Construction will be complete in February, Renaud said in a telephone interview.
Northern Pipe is based in Fargo. It employs about 100 to extrude PVC pipe used in water distribution, well casings, and drain, waste, vent, sewer and hot-air applications.
Renaud said Northern Pipe's Iowa plant initially will employ 11 and expand to a staff of 50 in five years. She estimates the firm will spend $3.5 million on equipment.
Northern Pipe is a subsidiary of Otter Tail Corp. of Fergus Falls, Minn. Otter Tail is a diverse, publicly traded firm with businesses in electric power generation, manufacturing, medical equipment and other industries. Its plastics subsidiaries include thermoformer T.O. Plastics Inc. of Bloomington, Minn., and PVC pipe producer Vinyltech Corp. of Phoenix. Otter Tail originally was established in 1907 as an electric utility.
Hanes Erie to boost coating capabilities
FAIRVIEW, PA. - Hanes Erie Inc., a family-owned company with a niche in decorating plastic bottles, is launching an expansion that will boost its coating capabilities.
The company is clearing ground at its facility to add 28,000 square feet of space, said Andrew Hanes, vice president of operations for the Fairview firm. The expansion will take Hanes Erie to about 100,000 square feet, Hanes said.
Specializing in graphics and coatings for cosmetic bottles, Hanes Erie will add three coating lines when the expansion is completed, Hanes said. The company currently has nine coating lines, he added.
Hanes Erie moved to the Fairview location 21/2 years ago, purchasing added acreage for potential growth. Recently, after an industry slowdown, work has bounced back at a level warranting expansion, Hanes said. Construction on the new site will be completed around March, he said.
``For awhile, the industry was on pins and needles,'' he said. ``But since May or June, we started getting a lot more orders. It has been going well.''
Growth in the market for plastic cosmetics bottles during the past decade has helped the company grow from a small operation to one with close to 120 workers, Hanes added. The company plans to add 10-20 people when the expansion is completed.
The work will focus primarily on two new areas for the company: ultraviolet coatings and coatings for glass bottles, Hanes said. Currently, about 95 percent of Hanes Erie's work is in plastic bottles, but low-temperature coatings for glass bottles are gaining ground in the industry, he said.
Polysort no longer exclusively online
AKRON, OHIO - Dot-com plastics pioneer Polysort LLC has shifted from strict online transactions to offer group purchasing of resins that can be done offline or on its Web site.
The Akron company is focusing on group buys of engineering and commodity resins, offering cost savings through volume purchasing via fax, telephone or the Internet, said President Angela Charles. The company will continue to offer a Web spot exchange, mainly to buy excess inventory and scrap resin.
Several dozen processors in eight states are using the service. Processors work out billing and shipping details directly with suppliers. Polysort is working with three suppliers: A. Schulman Inc. of Fairlawn, Ohio; Michael Day Enterprises Inc. of Wadsworth, Ohio; and Chase Plastics of Clarkston, Mich.
Charles said the fully automated e-business model adopted by many companies in the 1990s does not work as well in today's tighter economy.
``We started Polysort in 1995, long before this concept began,'' Charles said. ``With all the models that did not have the success that was intended, there wasn't much thought to offering a valid business proposition for processors. Our business model is intended to do that and help processors save money.''
Polysort also has redesigned its Web site to reflect the changes and offer new search features.