Guide to purchase four Engel presses
ANDERSON, IND. - North America's largest automotive lighting manufacturer will invest $15 million in new equipment at its Anderson plant to upgrade quality and volume potential.
Guide Corp. is buying four 2,200-ton injection molding presses from Engel Vertriebsgesellschaft mbH along with robotics and state-of-the-art electronic controls to produce multicolored lenses.
The presses are capable of four-color molding, allowing Pendleton, Ind.-based Guide to produce a rear lighting lens containing red, amber and white, for instance, in one piece. The firm has multicolor machines already in place. The new equipment will supplement those capabilities.
Keith Merrill, executive vice president of worldwide operations, said the additional equipment will help the firm meet demand.
Guide received a five-year tax abatement from the Anderson City Council, and told officials there it expects to create another 70 jobs through the improvements.
Delivery and installation of the new equipment is slated for late this year and early in 2003.
PEC expanding, to add 60 workers
WAUKON, IOWA - PEC Inc. is expanding, targeting new markets with its plastic board that gains impact strength when cooled.
The Waukon composite extruder received a $2.4 million loan guarantee from the U.S. Department of Agriculture under the Business and Industry Program, which will allow it to enter the marine industry, officials said. The company also will take on projects for the Department of Transportation and make playground equipment and pallets.
PEC will add three lines by January at its facility in Waukon and hire nearly 60 employees during the next six months, President Paul Schmitt said recently by telephone. The firm kicked off production at that facility in September with two lines and 20 employees.
``Everything should be up and running by Jan. 1, which is going to allow us to free up the [research and development] line,'' Schmitt said. That specialized line came from NFM Welding Engineers Inc. of Massillon, Ohio.
PEC's blend of 80 percent recycled plastic and 20 percent mineral fill also is being used as an additive to improve properties in other products such as siding or other lumber, Schmitt said. The firm is working in partnership with lumber companies, he said, but Schmitt would not identify the companies.
The firm also is seeking a partnership with a larger company because ``it's just going to be too large for us,'' Schmitt said of the impending business.
Plasti-Line relocating, changing name
KNOXVILLE, TENN. - Signage producer Plasti-Line Inc. will change its name to reflect its range of value-added services.
Separately, the company announced it will relocate its headquarters within Knoxville and move some production to soak up excess capacity.
Plasti-Line said Oct. 28 it will become ImagePoint Inc., effective March 1.
In addition to thermoformed signs, Plasti-Line offers installation, maintenance and program management. Its work includes upgrading retail facilities and helping in brand-name changeovers. Clients include General Motors Corp., McDonald's, Pizza Hut and BankOne. Besides signs, Plasti-Line produces awnings, ATM surrounds, Kiosks and building facades and interiors.
``We recognize that a sign is just a part of our clients' images,'' said Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jim Martin. About half the company's annual sales of more than $150 million are generated by plastic sign manufacturing, Martin said in a telephone interview. It processes acrylics, polycarbonate and ABS from purchased sheet.
Plasti-Line will close its current Knoxville plant and head office by the end of the year, relocating the 300 office staff members to a historic building in downtown Knoxville that has been renovated by local government agencies. However, 200 workers will lose their jobs as production is moved to other Plasti-Line plants in Florence, Ky.; Columbia, S.C.; and Fontana, Calif.
Plasti-Line employs about 1,000. Management bought the formerly public company in 1998. The firm's installation and maintenance network comprises more than 850 subcontractors.