Weidmann building N. American plant
AUBURN, ALA. - Swiss injection molder Weidmann Plastics Technology AG has launched construction of its first North American production facility.
The $10 million, 45,000-square-foot operation in Auburn will produce components for DaimlerChrysler AG's Mercedes-Benz assembly plant in Vance, Ala., and seek out work with other automakers in the region, company officials said.
Weidmann, based in Rapperswil, Switzerland, already has four plants - in Switzerland, Spain and Brazil - and 640 employees worldwide. The Alabama operation, set to begin production in December 2004, will launch with 30 employees.
In addition to molding a variety of functional components for the auto industry, the company also is a supplier to the medical, plumbing and electronics industries.
Raytheon looks into outsourcing work
WICHITA, KAN. - Raytheon Co.'s aircraft segment may outsource thermoforming, fiberglass hand lay-up and injection molding being done at its Salina, Kan., plant. The business is discussing the potential outsourcing with three undisclosed domestic suppliers.
Plastics-related aircraft operations in Salina employ 60-70 and make interior components, environmental ducts, window moldings, cockpit glare shields and nose radomes. The facility employs 350.
In recent months, Wichita-based Raytheon Aircraft has explored numerous areas for outsourcing, and may relocate wire harness production from Wichita to a company in Mexico.
The business designs, manufactures, markets and supports business jets, turboprops and piston-powered units for the commercial, regional airline, fractional ownership and military aircraft markets. Raytheon Aircraft employs about 10,000 worldwide, with 7,000 in Wichita.
Raytheon Co. of Lexington, Mass., had 2002 sales of $16.8 billion, including the aircraft segment's $2.16 billion.
PET water-bottle use outpaces recycling
SACRAMENTO, CALIF. - Only about 16 percent of PET water bottles are recycled in California, compared with almost 70 percent of carbonated soft drinks, according to a May 29 report from the state's Department of Conservation.
DOC officials said they hope the report and media coverage in California papers will spur recycling of the increasingly popular containers. But DOC spokesman Mark Oldfield said the state does not plan to spend any extra money for such a campaign.
The report noted bottled-water sales have grown dramatically - 15 percent in 2001 - but it said recycling for the containers has not kept pace. The state added bottled water and other noncarbonated drinks to its container deposit program in 2001. Overall, 36 percent of PET containers covered by the state's bottle bill were recycled in 2002.
``It's addressing what we see as a growing trend, which is the sales and consumption of water in single-serve plastic bottles,'' Oldfield said. About 1 billion of the 3 billion plastic bottles landfilled each year in the state are water bottles, he said.
Bottled water accounted for about 31 percent of all PET containers sold, but made up only about 14 percent of returns, the report said.
California officials are debating whether to double the deposit on single-serve containers to a nickel, as a way to raise recycling rates. A University of California study recently claimed that such an increase would boost recycling rates 25 percent.
Windsor Mold finally expanding unit
BELLEVUE, OHIO - Windsor Mold Inc. finally is launching an expansion of its Precision Automotive Plastics unit in Bellevue, three years after first announcing the project.
The firm first received loans and approval for the $7.2 million plan in early 2000, which called for adding 32,000 square feet and more than $1 million in new equipment.
But before the expansion could begin, local government officials had to improve water pressure at the site, and simultaneously launched work on an adjoining industrial park, said Gary Stair, economic development director for Bellevue.
The injection molding unit of Windsor, Ontario-based Windsor Mold expects to add 20 jobs at Bellevue. The company produces bumper fascia and a variety of other interior and exterior auto components.