Visteon to produce VW Passat fuel tanks
DEARBORN, MICH. - Visteon Corp. is expanding its new thermoforming production for fuel tanks to Europe, with two new plants planned for Germany to make plastic tanks for Volkswagen AG.
Visteon will thermoform and assemble fuel tank systems for Volkswagen's Passat car in Emden and Mosel, Germany.
The company's first thermoforming tank program is set to launch in April in Chesapeake, Va., for Ford Motor Co. The Volks- wagen contract will allow Visteon to expand the system to Europe, which already uses plastic tanks, but relies on blow molding.
The Dearborn-based auto supplier has not released details on cost of the expansion, but said it will be operating by late 2004.
Visteon turned to thermoforming to produce a unit that encloses several fuel components inside the tank, reducing emissions so the system can meet tougher pollution standards.
The firm also is expanding elsewhere in Europe, with a 177,600-square-foot facility under construction in Noyal, France, to supply PSA Peugeot CitrÃ¶en Group. Visteon will spend an estimated 30 million euros ($32 million) and employ 400 at the site to make door trim modules, interior trim parts and heating and air conditioning components, according to the French Technology Press Office in Chicago.
Delphi on brink of $64 million expansion
TROY, MICH. - Delphi Corp. has bought a new large-ton injection press for its interior systems plant in Adrian, Mich., and is considering as much as $64 million in other equipment for the site, depending on new business.
Troy-based Delphi is not releasing details on the press installed in January, but said plans are in place for an overhaul of presses and additional equipment to make instrument panels and interior trim.
Delphi already has received promises of tax abatements worth more than $6 million if it moves ahead with the investment, but any decision is contingent on winning new contracts, said spokeswoman Luce Rubio.
China venture opens foam products facility
SHANGHAI, CHINA - Shanghai Vita Inoac Products Co. Ltd., the Chinese joint venture of British Vita plc and Inoac Corp. of Japan, has launched a $9.5 million foam products plant in China.
The Shanghai plant has capacity to make foam in 198-foot blocks and is equipped with a loop-slitter and flame-lamination unit.
Majority shareholder Inoac formed the venture with Vita, a foam and plastic materials group of Manchester, England, in 1997 to supply flame-laminated products to the automotive industry. Rising demand for the firm's foam products in the fast-growing Chinese marketplace prompted the partners to add capacity with the new facility, according to Vita.
Marley changes name to Royal Mouldings
MARION, VA. - Marley Mouldings Ltd. is now known as Royal Mouldings Ltd.
The new moniker reflects Royal Group Technologies Ltd.'s ownership of the Marion-based cellular PVC molding and millwork maker. Publicly held Royal Group, based in Woodbridge, Ontario, acquired the firm in late 2001.
``Marley's experienced management team will continue to operate the business going forward, with a stronger and larger sales force and corporate engineering support team,'' said Douglas Dunsmuir, Royal's president, in a news release.
Just a few weeks ago, officials announced plans to expand Royal Moulding's production capacity at plants in Coral Springs, Fla., and Toronto. Royal Mouldings also has production facilities in Bristol, Tenn., and Waco, Texas.
Milgard adding plants in Virginia and Oregon
TACOMA, WASH. - Window maker Milgard Manufacturing Inc. is expanding to the East Coast with a fabrication plant in northern Virginia.
Officials said Fredericksburg is the site for a greenfield expansion to serve the Atlantic region. Other details, such as the facility's size, were not available.
Tacoma-based Milgard has been expanding aggressively in fabrication. Officials will open another fabrication plant in Tualatin, Ore., next month. The firm had been privately owned by the Milgard family until 2001, when it was bought by building products firm Masco Corp. of Taylor, Mich.
Milgard operates a vinyl extrusion plant in Tacoma and reported $68 million in 2001 extrusion sales. It does fabrication in several states, including California, Arizona, Colorado and Illinois.
Lens maker invests in Class 100 clean room
MIRAMAR, FLA. - Advanced Lens Technology Inc. has invested about $8 million to equip and outfit a Miramar facility for Class 100 clean room injection molding of acrylic and polycarbonate lenses.
During February, ALTI conducted initial tests of an in-line Kurz foil feeder for in-mold lens decorating. Kurz-Hastings Inc. of Charlotte, N.C., oversees the project.
Specialty polarized glasses and cellular telephones provide the most promising markets for ALTI's hard-coated, scratch-resistant lenses, said Brad Weeks, the firm's national sales engineer in Greenville, S.C. Target markets include automotive, medical, electronics and marine.
The firm operates eight 200-ton Nisseis with Fanuc robotic systems. Downstream equipment deals with ultraviolet dip-coating and, unusual for the industry, ultrasonic welding. A chemical engineer developed a nonsilicone coating suitable for ultrasonic welding. Most lens coatings use silicone and cannot be welded.
ALTI has patents on its coating material and in-line application, low-birefringent lens molding processes and, with International Polarizer Inc. of Marlborough, Mass., for polarized lens molding.
The firm employs 15-20. In June it moved into a 25,000-square-foot plant operated by parent Magnivision Inc., a maker of over-the-counter reading glasses. ALTI and Magnivision share tooling, engineering and quality functions.
ALTI anticipates sales of $1.2 million for the fiscal year ended Feb. 28. Publicly traded American Greetings Corp. of Cleveland owns Magnivision.
British seal molder installs four presses
HAMPTON, ENGLAND - Hydraulic seal molder Hallite Seals International Ltd. is installing four new Demag Ergotech 55-ton injection presses as part of a plan to upgrade its Hampton headquarters plant, and it may add more machines later this year.
The century-old British firm makes valves for applications including mining, hydraulic cylinders, construction machinery, chemicals and food. It has other seal molding plants in Hamburg, Germany, and Fort Wayne, Ind.
Hallite runs nearly 40 presses at its U.K. site.