Three more resin companies leave APC
ARLINGTON, VA. - Three more resin firms have left the American Plastics Council, bringing to six the number of large companies that have resigned in recent months from the Arlington-based trade group.
APC President Rod Lowman said GE Plastics, Noveon Inc. and PolyOne Corp. all have left APC and its parent organization, the American Chemistry Council. The trio joins Huntsman Corp., Lyondell Chemical Co. and Chevron Phillips Chemical Co., which all announced last year they were leaving both groups.
PolyOne said it supported APC and ACC's programs, but left for budgetary reasons. GE declined to talk about its reasons, and Noveon did not respond to telephone calls.
The tight economy has taken a toll on industry trade groups, forcing companies to re-evaluate participation and spending. At times the reasons for the departures have extended beyond pure economics, however. Both Huntsman and Lyondell said they were unhappy with the ACC/APC merger, for example.
The six departures leave APC with 17 dues-paying member companies, and its Vinyl Institute unit, which also pays dues.
As a result, APC officials have said the group faces significant reductions in spending in its $37 million budget, including in its $19 million advertising program. Lowman said the group still is working out the details, including the size of the cuts.
Arrk buys injection molder/toolmaker
SAN DIEGO - Arrk Product Development Corp. of San Diego has bought injection molder and mold maker Aar-Kel Enterprises Inc. of Wallaceburg, Ontario.
Aar-Kel Enterprises employs about 200, including 165 at Aar-Kel Moulds Ltd., which primarily makes tooling for North American Tier 1 automotive suppliers. The tooling includes plastic injection molds and aluminum-magnesium dies.
Aar-Kel has four Wallaceburg facilities. One injection molding site, Otron Tech, has five presses with clamping forces of 350-1,000 tons, primarily for mold testing and short production runs. The company also offers management services, product and mold design, computer numerically controlled machines and electric discharge machining. The company's North American Tooling Co. unit near Monterrey, Mexico, does mold building and repair work. That site employs 25.
Otto Kjeldsen continues as president of Aar-Kel Moulds.
Arrk Product Development is a unit of Arrk Corp., a prototype and tooling manufacturer based in Osaka, Japan. Terms of the Jan. 1 deal were not disclosed.
Avon expects to expand if it wins deal
CADILLAC, MICH. - Avon Rubber plc is laying the groundwork to expand its Cadillac operations if it receives a contract to produce gas masks for the U.S. military.
The British rubber and plastics molder already has won the first two parts of the contract, including the design, development and testing of the protective gear, said Jayne Hunt, spokeswoman for the Bradford on Avon, England-based firm. The third phase of the contract will be awarded in May 2005.
The Cadillac site does rubber and plastics molding, mostly for the auto industry. The firm has cleared room from the auto product development center for its technical products group and for pilot manufacturing of 5,000 masks for test purposes.
The masks are lighter and more comfortable than the current generation, Hunt said.
Avon is seeking tax abatements from the city and the state of Michigan to help cover eventual start-up costs.
Nexpak closes Tucson, Ariz., factory
UNIONTOWN, OHIO - Media packaging maker Nexpak Inc. has closed its Tucson, Ariz., manufacturing facility, idling about 140 employees.
Nexpak of Uniontown intends to relocate the Tucson equipment to other sites making standard and custom packaging for optical media and other formats.
``We have made some adjustments to take advantage of locations we can strategically enhance,'' Shelli Kaiser, director of marketing communications, said by phone. ``The company is doing well and continuing to make inroads in product developments.''
Other Nexpak operations employ about 800 and are in Canton, Ohio; Duluth, Ga.; South Hackensack, N.J.; and Helmond, the Netherlands. Previously, Nexpak closed sites in El Dorado Hills and Camarillo, Calif.; and Rockaway, N.J.