Power outages slow production for Qenos
ALTONA, AUSTRALIA - Struggling Australian polyethylene manufacturer Qenos Pty. Ltd. has lost a month of production from power outages.
Qenos is a 50-50 joint venture between Orica Ltd. and Exxon Mobil Chemical. Qenos has PE plants in Botany and Altona, and an engineered plastics plant at Laverton.
Bush fires in New South Wales caused power outages at Qenos' Botany plant in early December, closing operations until early January when it returned to production at reduced rates.
Stewart Murrihy, Orica's corporate affairs manager, said Qenos' loss of production cost A$8 million (US$4.8 million) after tax, excluding insurance recoveries. The power outages damaged the plant and repairs still are in progress, he said. Operations currently are at 60 percent of capacity.
Hot-runner maker HRS opens N. America site
WINDSOR, ONTARIO - Italian hot-runner specialist HRS has launched its first North American office and is looking to expand even further beyond its European base.
HRS opened an office in Windsor late last year, with a full-time staff of four and additional assistance from the home office at San Polo di Piave, Italy, to work with molders and mold makers in the region.
The company makes nozzles and manifold systems that carry two heaters and two thermocouplers to serve as a fail-safe system, and cut the potential for downtime during production, said Diano Bontorin, sales manager-North America, during a Feb. 27 open house at the Windsor office.
The company also produces hot runners for coinjection systems, he said.
HRS, part of Industria Construzione Stampi SpA, has extensive exposure in Europe, with offices in Italy, Portugal, France, Germany, Slovenia and Austria. With many of its customers operating in the automotive industry working both there and in North America, the firm had a growing business base in North America, prompting the move to Windsor, Bontorin said.
HRS also has an office in Brazil and is considering expanding to China, he said.
Granulator company to make NPE debut
HOFFMAN ESTATES, ILL. - There will be a new granulator company gracing the floor of NPE this year.
Summit-Plastek Inc. of Hoffman Estates went into business Jan. 1 and is operating out of a 5,000-square-foot facility that currently employs 10.
President Don Kirchner said he felt this year was the time to open the firm's doors because he sees an opening in the low-rpm segment.
``As a representative organization, we had been successful at selling grinders in the past,'' he said. ``We thought that there was an opportunity for it now.''
The screenless granulators, operating at 29 rpm, will feature horsepower of one-half to 30 and are suitable for blow and injection molders. The company's inlet hoppers are equipped with ferrite plate magnets that catch ferrous metal particles that may be dropped into the granulator.
Kirchner said the firm's models are designed to minimize dust and fines that are produced by higher-rpm granulators while providing consistently sized pellets.
Kirchner said the firm hopes to sell 200 of the two-stage opening granulators a year, though he acknowledged this year the firm may sell half that because of the economy.
The starting price for the machines will be $5,000.
Rheometric sells off its instruments unit
PISCATAWAY, N.J. - The former Rheometric Scientific Inc. announced Jan. 16 it has sold its rheology instruments and services business to the TA Instruments Division of Waters Corp. for $17 million in cash and the assumption of $6 million in liabilities.
Rheometric, which changed its name to Proterion Corp. at a stockholder's meeting before the sale, will use proceeds from the sale to retire all of its bank debt, buy out the company's lease in Piscataway and discharge other obligations. The firm will retain its life sciences business.
``The global capital equipment recession of the past two years has placed a significant strain on our ability to adequately fund both our core rheology and new life sciences business,'' Robert M. Castello, chairman and chief executive officer, said in a news release.