PolyOne sells large stake in compounder
CLEVELAND - PolyOne Corp. has sold its majority interest in So.F.teR SpA of Forli, Italy, a thermoplastic elastomer compounder, while retaining the license for certain key technologies.
Under the agreement, announced Dec. 4, Cleveland-based PolyOne sold its 70 percent share to an Italian company administered by Italo Carfagnini, who is managing director of So.F.teR. Purchase price was not disclosed. PolyOne will continue to have exclusive technology and trademark license for production and sale of So.F.teR's Forprene-brand thermoplastic vulcanizate technology in North America and Asia, and will continue to distribute the company's products to PolyOne customers in Europe.
PolyOne and So.F.teR's relationship started in 1998 when M.A. Hanna Co. entered a joint venture with Bifan SA, a holding company that controlled So.F.teR.
Investment Tooling closing 3 U.K. plants
KIRKBY-IN-ASHFIELD, ENGLAND - Increasingly fierce international competition has prompted Investment Tooling International Ltd. to opt out of larger-tool production, leading it to close one of its three U.K. plants.
ITI of Kirkby-in-Ashfield will concentrate on injection molds mainly for automotive and building products. The shift led the company to close its Corsham, England, plant in November, with a loss of 30 jobs. Some of the Corsham work is being absorbed by ITI plants in Kirkby and Manchester, said Managing Director David Stringfellow.
About half of the firm's business comes from automotive work, but ITI is moving into more profitable areas in new market segments, said sales director Ron Seiles. ITI, which runs an in-house design center, is investing about £500,000 ($780,000) to install new automated equipment.
Much of the company's output is aimed at the injection molding sector, but it also has experience in production of thermoform, structural foam, rubber and blow mold tooling. ITI formed in 1999 when London-based British engineering group Delta plc merged its three English toolmaking units: Investment Engineering Ltd., Plastools Ltd. and Altus Engineering (Corsham) Ltd.
At the time the company also included Delta Werkzeugbau GmbH of Giessen, Germany, but Delta sold that business last year.
Negri Bossi seeking N. America comeback
MISSISSAUGA, ONTARIO - Injection molding machinery supplier Negri Bossi Inc. is accelerating its efforts in North America in a two-pronged attack.
After a 10-year absence in North America, Negri Bossi's comeback, begun last year, now includes plans to open a distribution and service facility this year in Newark, Del., a company representative said at the official opening of Negri Bossi's new Canadian headquarters in Mississauga.
Negri Bossi inaugurated a 10,000-square-foot service center Dec. 4 in Mississauga that replaces a former center opened in Concord, Ontario, in early 2001. The new Mississauga service center represents stepped-up efforts to sell presses on the continent after Negri Bossi closed its Ohio service center in 1991.
The Delaware center will help sales in the United States, Cliff Walters, manager of customer support and technical services for the Mississauga operation, said at the inauguration.
Negri Bossi is well-armed to return to North America's market. Its parent company, Negri Bossi SpA of Milan, Italy, has swelled its product line through recent acquisitions of press makers in Italy, extending its clamping forces to about 2,900 tons, Walters said.
Featured at the Mississauga open house were Amico wireless press-monitoring and control technology, all-digital Canbus control technology, and Twinshot, a two-material molding technique based on a single-screw press setup, offered by Spirex Corp. of Youngstown, Ohio.
Walters said press markets currently are soft, but he expects Negri Bossi's pricing and options structure to help the company gain market share among major suppliers in North America.
Former Van Dorn exec now selling Milacron
MEDINA, OHIO - Manufacturers' representative Quest Plastics Equipment, which used to sell injection presses made by Van Dorn Demag Corp. and includes former Van Dorn executive Sid Rains, has started selling Milacron machinery.
Milacron Inc. announced the news Oct. 30.
Quest is led by Steve Snowball, and includes Sid and Scott Rains. The Medina-based firm will handle designated Milacron accounts in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana.
Rains, in a news release, called the switch ``a difficult, yet compelling decision.''
``Having competed with Milacron for decades, we've been well-aware of the company's leadership in an ever-growing range of technologies, such as PC-based controls,'' he said.
Bob Strickley, Milacron's vice president of sales, said Quest will not overlap with the coverage of the Cincinnati-based company's direct sales force in the region.
Other companies represented by Quest Plastics Equipment include Wittmann Inc. and Tecnomagnete Inc.
Ulrich ReifenhÃ¤user to head up Euromap
FRANKFURT, GERMANY - Ulrich ReifenhÃ¤user, managing director of Reifenhauser GmbH & Co. in Troisdorf, Germany, is the new chairman of Euromap, which represents European makers of plastics and rubber processing machinery.
ReifenhÃ¤user takes over the chairmanship from Peter Neumann, managing director of injection press builder Engel Vertriebsgesellschaft mbH of Schwertberg, Austria.
Euromap's new vice president is Luciano Anceschi, managing director of Tria SpA of Milan, Italy, which makes granulators and in-line recycling systems. Anceschi also is president of the Italian machinery trade association Assocomaplast. On the Euromap board, he replaces Marco Biraghi, of injection press maker BM Biraghi SpA of Monza, Italy.
The leaders serve from 2003 to 2005.
As Euromap president, ReifenhÃ¤user, who is 46, also holds the post as vice chairman of the VDMA, the Association of German Plastics and Rubber Machinery Manufacturers.
Bernd KnÃ¶rr continues as Euromap's secretary general. He also is executive director of VDMA.
Euromap is based in Frankfurt.
SIG to introduce plasma-coating unit
HAMBURG, GERMANY - SIG Corpoplast GmbH & Co. KG, the blow molding machine maker in Hamburg, is readying its plasma-coating system for PET bottles.
Coating the bottles improves their barrier performance. Three SIG competitors in PET blow molding machines are Sidel SA, Krones AG and Sipa SpA.
SIG Corpoplast officially will launch the technology, along with a machine to coat the bottles, in mid-2003 under the name Plasmax.
Called Plasma Impulse Chemical Vapor Deposition (PICVD), the system was developed by Schott HiCotec of Mainz, Germany. PICVD already has been used for 15 years to coat glass and plastic parts, but the new Plasmax will be the first machine using the technique to coat PET bottles, SIG said.
A pulsed ``cold'' plasma is used to deposit a very thin glasslike layer, with excellent homogeneity and adhesion to the inside of the bottle, SIG said. A special adhesive layer is applied at the beginning of the coating cycle.
The plasma deposition is applied with the bottles in neck-down position.
The coated bottles can be recycled. SIG also said he knows of no barriers to approval by the Food and Drug Administration.
SIG said the first series of plasma coating machines will handle 10,000 bottles per hour. The carousel-type machines can be easily integrated into a wide range of filling lines.
SIG Corpoplast is a unit of SIG Plastics International GmbH of Neuhausen Rhine Falls, Switzerland.