Red Cedar expects to double its sales
MENOMONIE, WIS. - Injection molder Red Cedar Plastics LLC aims to boost last year's sales of $197,000 to more than double that amount in 2004.
``We are doing a lot of quoting and want to get up to a continual level of running machines 24 hours a day,'' said Kelly Kadinger, owner and president.
Kadinger opened the business in July 2001, leasing 5,500 square feet in the Applied Arts Building at the University of Wisconsin-Stout in Menomonie through a cooperative program for business technology acceleration. Red Cedar's end markets include electronics and consumer products. It does rapid prototyping, production runs and design services.
About 15-20 percent of Red Cedar's business time supports UW-Stout instruction involving engineering, software, manufacturing, business and the school's plastics laboratory. Kadinger and sales engineer Len Vetsch serve as UW-Stout adjunct professors.
The firm gets help, too. Students created a logo and are assisting in photography and design for a new Web site.
Red Cedar Plastics employs five, operates two Netstals - a 60-ton N Series machine and a 100-ton SynErgy - and uses IQMS Enterprise and Pro/Engineer computer-aided-design software.
DuPont purchases Czech film maker
WILMINGTON, DEL. - DuPont Co. has purchased a Czech maker of safety-glass interlayer films for an undisclosed price, boosting its presence in Eastern Europe and picking up a proprietary recycling system.
Retrim, based in Zlin, has a technology allowing for the re-use of polyvinyl butyral from post-industrial scrap both within its own plant and at customers' glass production facilities.
``This acquisition is consistent with the company's stated goal of increasing its presence in growing markets and it helps DuPont offer improved efficiency and value-adding services,'' said Craig Binetti, vice president and general manager of DuPont packaging and industrial polymers, in a Feb. 18 news release.
PVB is used as an inner layer between two sheets of glass for windshields and architectural safety glass. Wilmington-based DuPont had supplied its customers in Eastern Europe from plants in Germany and South Korea. The Retrim plant gives it access to the expanding sales in the region, said spokesman Chip Fogg.
DuPont hired Retrim's 50 employees. It will continue supplying the firm's customers and retain the company's Czechtrim brand name.
Uniforce Plastics opening Ark. facility
CONWAY, ARK. - Uniforce Plastics LLC plans to set up an operation in Conway to vacuum form custom parts for a variety of vehicles, boats and machinery, according to local news reports.
The operation will occupy 36,000 square feet of a 400,000-square-foot building formerly run by Carrier Refrigeration. The Carrier facility has been renovated into a multi-tenant building. Uniforce expects to hire as many as 50 employees during the next several months.
Uniforce manager Ken Burks told the Log Cabin Democrat newspaper that the firm chose Conway partly because of good electricity rates and an excellent business climate. The company also operates a 70-employee plant in North Little Rock, Ark., that makes custom dashboards and other interior parts for boats and vehicles, according to the Arkansas News Bureau. Uniforce Plastics is a sister company of Uniforce Technologies Inc. of North Little Rock.
Dutchland installs rotomold machine
OOSTBURG, WIS. - Dutchland Plastics Corp. is installing a new rotational molding machine at its newest facility.
The Ferry RotoSpeed RS4-4600 independent-arm machine will start operating in this month at the Oostburg plant. The machine, with a 181-inch swing, will boost Dutchland's large-part capability, said Ferry President Harry Covington.
The 80,000-square-foot Oostburg operation opened last year and now contains four blow molding machines and two five-axis, computer numerically controlled Ferry Quintax routers to trim blow molded parts. Nine other Ferry rotomolding machines are housed in Dutchland's 150,000-square-foot headquarters plant in Oostburg.
Privately held Dutchland employs about 160 and logs annual rotomolding sales of more than $15 million.
Minivan uses plastic for its valve cover
HAMBURG, GERMANY - The new generation of DaimlerChrysler AG's Chrysler minivans are carrying a new plastic component under their hoods.
The 2004 Town & Country, Dodge Caravan and Grand Caravan V-6 engine minivans use a mineral-filled nylon for their valve cover, marking the first high-volume application of thermoplastics for the part in North America.
Bruss Sealing Systems, a division of G. Bruss GmbH of Hamburg, is injection molding the integrated valve cover from Minlon-brand nylon supplied by DuPont Co. The product includes a valve housing and air/oil separator. Bruss has produced thermoplastic covers for use in Europe for some time.
British firm cutting jobs and production
BECCLES, ENGLAND - Rigid packaging maker Fibrenyle is eliminating 88 jobs by closing one plant and cutting back at another.
Polimoon A/S, which purchased Fibrenyle in November from Alcan Inc., said it is closing a plant in Norwich, England, that employs 91 and has 25 injection presses and 25 injection blow molding machines. Fibrenyle said it hopes to relocate as many as 34 employees. The work will shift to a Polimoon facility in Langeskov, Denmark, dedicated to medical and pharmaceutical molding.
``The two plants have some common customers, but ... there is a clear advantage concentrating output on one site,'' said Polimoon Fibrenyle Managing Director Steve Isherwood.
Fibrenyle, based in Beccles, also is cutting 31 jobs from its 68-employee Thetford, England, extrusion blow molding facility.
Before Polimoon, based in Oslo, Norway, bought Fibrenyle, the British firm employed 640 making injection and blow molded bottles, tubes and closures at four plants in England.
Peak International adding equipment
FREMONT, CALIF. - Peak International Ltd. is buying 10 Japanese-made injection molding machines with 280 tons of clamping force for operations in Shenzhen, China.
Currently in Shenzhen, the firm operates 101 presses of 70-450 tons for molding trays to transport semiconductors and electronic devices, 175 thermoforming machines for carrier tape and 46 tube extruders. Peak operates through a wholly owned foreign enterprise and a contract manufacturer.
Fremont-based Peak reported a profit of $893,000 on sales of nearly $17 million for the third fiscal quarter, ended Dec. 31.
Barlo Group mulls takeover bid offer
DUBLIN, IRELAND - Barlo Group plc, the parent company of Europe's top extruded clear plastic sheet producer Barlo Plastics N.V., has received a 70 million euro ($90 million) takeover bid from a consortium led by its chief executive, Anthony Mullins.
The offer is contingent upon the Dublin-based company agreeing to sell its colored sheet and thermoformed plastic packaging division, including Athlone Extrusions and packaging and sheet plants in Ireland and the Czech Republic, to the divisional managers.
Independent Barlo board directors in July rejected a lower offer by Melgan Ltd., the firm set up by Mullins for the bid. The board has agreed to recommend the new offer to shareholders. Mullins also has the option to match any higher competing bid.
If successful, Melgan plans to develop both Barlo's radiator manufacturing and clear plastics sheet businesses. Shareholders are likely to decide on the takeover bid in mid-March, said a Barlo spokesman.
Barlo operations earmarked by Mullins for disposal include Athlone, Ireland-based Athlone Extrusions; Barlo Plastics sro in Pribram, Czech Republic; and Barlo Packaging Ltd. in Newbridge, Ireland.
The buyer for those units is Hasik Ltd., a company formed in Ireland by Athlone executives.
Barlo Plastics of Geel, Belgium, has grown by acquisition since forming in 1997 and now runs nine, clear-plastics cast and extruded sheet plants across Europe.