Chinese firm seeks AAMA certification
SCHAUMBURG, ILL. - Chinese pipe and profile extruder Dalian Shide Plastic Industry Co. Ltd. officially has applied for certification under the American Architectural Manufacturers Association to have window lineals certified for sale into the United States.
In addition, South Korea's LG Chemicals Ltd. also has officially applied for certification, said Carl Wagus, AAMA's technical director.
Under Schaumburg-based AAMA's procedures, that means each company could have its facilities and products certified in about one year, officials said. Dalian in May announced its intent to build a string of 11 plants across China to extrude window lineals. In September it announced a historic order to Krauss-Maffei Kunststofftechnik GmbH and Cincinnati Extrusion GmbH for a total of 405 extruders.
The applications signal the intent of overseas manufacturers to meet quality standards in order to sell product in the U.S. building and construction market, officials said. Most building codes in the United States require product that is certified under AAMA. Under the standards, producers cannot use lead-based stabilizers, for instance.
AAMA had certified one other producer, ATN Window and Door Corp., based near Shanghai. That firm operates one extrusion facility and one fabrication site in China.
Hasbro to close Spain site, move work
VALENCIA, SPAIN - Toy giant Hasbro Inc. plans to close its MB EspaÃ±a plant in Valencia and shift plastic molding to China and to a Hasbro operation in Ireland.
The move will cut up to 515 manufacturing jobs, 289 of them full time and 226 part timers. But Hasbro intends to retain a 100-strong sales and marketing team in Valencia to support activities in Spain and Portugal, it said.
The Spanish plant has 48 injection presses, six blow molding machines, and vacuum forming capabilities.
``Hasbro reluctantly took the decision to cease operations in Valencia because of the excess capacity at the plant vs. the current demand in the marketplace for the type of products in which the plant is competitive,'' said a spokesman at Hasbro's Pawtucket, R.I., headquarters.
Local authorities in the Valencia region are fighting to keep the plant open.
Apart from producing its own toy range, MB EspaÃ±a diversified into contract molding for customers in and outside the toy sector. Hasbro promised a ``seamless transfer of [these] activities'' for its customers to the company's plant in Waterford, Ireland.
The company expects to move 80 percent of the work from Spain to China, and the rest to Waterford.
The Spanish plant uses integrated robotic cells and is capable of carrying out advanced molding techniques including two-component and gas-injection molding, Hasbro said.
Rubbermaid cutting 100 jobs in Kansas
WOOSTER, OHIO - Rubbermaid Home Products Group has announced a new round of layoffs, this time in Winfield, Kan.
The Wooster company is cutting 100 of 750 jobs in Winfield and consolidating manufacturing into one of its two manufacturing plants there, spokeswoman Keri Butler said. The second Winfield site now will be used for distribution.
Rubbermaid, a major molder of plastic storage products, makes insulated products and garage organizers in Winfield.
The Winfield moves, which Butler described as ``extended layoffs,'' will be completed in early 2004. Rubbermaid has invested $30 million in Winfield in the past three years.
The news follows Rubbermaid announcements in late November that it would close a 292-employee plant in Cleburne, Texas, and cut 85 jobs in Wooster.
Home Products is one of six business groups at Rubbermaid, which is a unit of Atlanta-based Newell Rubbermaid Inc. Through the first nine months of 2003, Rubbermaid was the largest of Newell Rubbermaid's four units, with sales of more than $2.2 billion.
Rubbermaid's nine-month sales total was 42 percent of Newell Rubbermaid's core sales and was more than 1 percent higher than in the same period in 2002. But its profit dropped more than 15 percent to $168 million in the same comparison.