Vitec expanding to supply GM fuel tanks
DETROIT - Blow molder Vitec LLC will invest $6 million in new equipment to back production of another 200,000 fuel tanks annually for General Motors Corp.
The Detroit company expects the $100 million contract with GM to help it hit annual sales of $200 million by 2008, up from $145 million for 2002. The new business also allows the site to invest in a third blow molding machine, President Bob Huebner said Nov. 7.
Vitec is a joint venture backed by TI Automotive and Greenwood Holdings, an investor group that includes Bill Pickard, the chairman of Regal Plastics Co. Inc.
The contract to supply tanks for the Cadillac DeVille and Buick LeSabre is an important step, GM executives told Vitec employees, but they must do more to continue to compete.
``You need to take this up to the next level,'' said Bo Andersson, GM vice president of worldwide purchasing.
Vitec has good production and quality numbers, but has not broken into the top ranks of suppliers, he said. Company leaders have launched an employee attendance incentive program as part of that effort to combat a persistent problem, Huebner said. Any of the 300 employees with perfect attendance will be entered in a drawing for a new car.
Xaloy buys barrel maker from Spirex
PULASKI, VA. - Xaloy Inc. has purchased Progressive Alloys, a company that makes bimetallic barrels for parallel twin-screw extruders, from an Xaloy rival, Spirex Corp.
Xaloy will move Progressive Alloys from its plant in Lynchburg, Va., to Pulaski, the site of Xaloy's main U.S. screw and barrel factory. Progressive Alloys employs six, said Gunther Hoyt, Xaloy vice president of sales and marketing.
Terms were not disclosed for the deal, announced Nov. 5. The deal effectively splits the expertise of Bimetalix and Progressive Alloys between the two rival companies.
``The twin-cylinder assets we are acquiring mesh perfectly with our own components business in twin extrusion,'' Hoyt said in a news release.
Youngstown, Ohio-based Spirex picked up Progressive Alloys at the end of 2001, when Spirex announced it was merging with Bimetalix Ltd. of Sullivan, Wis. Bimetalix had purchased Progressive Alloys in January 2001.
Poly-Tainer adds one-stage production
SIMI VALLEY, CALIF. - Poly-Tainer Inc. is expanding its PET container production services to include one-stage technology.
The Simi Valley-based company wants to offer more color flexibility to customers in the personal-care industry and other niche markets, said sales manager Frank Cowles. Poly-Tainer has begun to run two custom molds and is doing trials for its own stock bottle as it ramps up one-stage PET production.
Cowles said in a telephone interview that his company is running two Nissei ASB blow molding machines and has two more on order for the one-stage program. Poly-Tainer has offered two-stage PET bottles for three years using Electroform machinery.
Poly-Tainer logged blow molding sales of about $14.6 million last year. Bottles are its biggest business, but it also counts industrial molding in its portfolio. In addition to polyolefins and PET it blow molds PVC. Key markets include personal care, medical, household chemicals, industrial packaging and toys. Its two plants in Simi Valley employ about 225.
Noveon purchases France's Gemoplast
BRECKSVILLE, OHIO - Specialty resins maker Noveon Inc. of Brecksville has acquired Gemoplast SA, a thermoplastic polyurethane maker in Frontonas, France.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Julian Steinberg, Noveon TPU general manager, said in a news release the acquisition will increase Noveon's range of specialty products.
The deal includes Gemoplast's TPU compounding technology and a small compounding plant with less than 10 employees in Frontonas, according to Noveon spokesman Rob Jewell.
``The point here is technology - that's the key to this deal,'' Jewell said in a telephone interview.
Noveon is a major maker of TPUs and other thermoplastic elastomers. The firm employs 2,800 and posted sales of $1.1 billion in 2001. Noveon ranks among North America's 30 largest compounders, with a market share estimated at 1-2 percent.
Step2 opening two seasonal stores
STREETSBORO, OHIO - Two Step2 Playland stores are to open by Nov. 5 at two Ohio malls. The stores, which will sell only Step2 toys, will be open through the holiday season in Fairview Park and Boardman, said Brian McDonald, vice president of international sales at Step2 Corp. in Streetsboro.
The stores are a private venture involving McDonald and some of his family and friends, he said. Step2 operates only one retail store, which is in front of its headquarters in Streetsboro. Its other retail store in Mayfield Heights closed a year ago, said Dotti Foltz, Step2 director of marketing communications.