Horizon Plastics adds equipment, space
COBOURG, ONTARIO - Structural foam injection molder Horizon Plastics Co. Ltd. has added 60,000 square feet to its operation in Cobourg and added four machines at a cost of about US$6.5 million to $7 million.
Horizon added three 1,000-ton and one 300-ton Springfield machines at the site, which now has 300,000 square feet of space. Sales manager Mike Springer said the expansion was necessary to deal with growing business, and the larger machines were needed because customers are demanding larger parts.
Two of the machines are in operation, with one of the 1,000-ton machines going into operation by the end of the month, followed by the 300-ton, he said.
The plant currently employs more than 300 and will be hiring an undetermined number of workers as the machines go into operation, he said.
Fire claims 2 more from Feb. explosion
CORBIN, KY. - Two more employees of CTA Acoustics Inc. injured in a Feb. 20 explosion have died, bringing the total number of fatalities to six.
Employee Paul Newman died March 5 and Michael Reeves died March 8, the company reported.
The Corbin plant produces fiberglass-based acoustics for the auto industry. Dozens of people were injured when fire ripped through the plant. Investigators determined the cause of the fire was an accident, sparked near a furnace used to combine glass fiber and other raw materials.
The company has restarted production, both at the damaged facility and at a nearby rented building. Nearly all uninjured workers are now back on the job, Chief Executive Officer James Pike noted in a March 13 written statement thanking rescue workers, employees and customers for their support.
``In particular, no words can express the debt of gratitude all of us at CTA owe to the maintenance staff and other support personnel who returned to the plant within days of the explosion and who worked literally around the clock to clean up, move, restart and run our molding department and other vital operations,'' he said.
Sarna starting Czech Republic production
SARNEN, SWITZERLAND - Switzerland's Sarna Group is expanding its automotive unit into Eastern Europe to supply functional plastics for Volkswagen AG Golf vehicles.
Sarna will launch production with 60 employees in the Liberec region of the Czech Republic and seek contracts with other automakers and suppliers in the area, Chief Executive Officer Matti Paasila said.
``We have been thinking about entering Eastern Europe for quite a while,'' he said in a news release announcing the plans March 14. ``The fact that we are able to do this together with a customer and in conjunction with fixed orders has greatly facilitated our decision-making process.''
The company will produce center armrests and trunk hatches for VW's Tier 1 suppliers operating in the country, he said.
Sarna, based in Sarnen, currently has three plants in Western Europe through its auto group Sarnamotive, which also includes Marysville, Mich.-based Sarnamotive Blue Water Inc.
Berry hopes to buy property next to HQ
EVANSVILLE, IND. - Berry Plastics Corp. is in the preliminary stages of purchasing 160,000 square feet of land adjacent to its headquarters site in Evansville.
If Berry moves ahead with the plan, the company will invest about $2.5 million in the property, said President and Chief Executive Officer Ira Boots. He said increased customer demand for its deep-draw thermoformed polypropylene products is the reason the firm is contemplating the expansion.
If all goes smoothly, work at the site could begin within two years, he said.
The existing, 543,000-square-foot Evansville site currently operates 54 injection presses, with clamping forces of 300-880 tons, Boots said.
Meantime, Boots said Berry Plastics shuttered its facility in Fort Worth, Texas, last fall. The plant, which manufactured drinking cups, was part of the 2001 acquisition of Pescor Plastics Inc.
Work previously done in Fort Worth has been integrated into Berry's 500,000-square-foot operation in Lawrence, Kan.