MediTech upgrading compression ability
FORT WAYNE, IND. - MediTech will upgrade its compression molding technology for making medical implants.
The company plans to buy an advanced compression press and install it in its Fort Wayne plant by the end of the third quarter.
The press will be the core of a clean room manufacturing cell and will be dedicated to molding ultrahigh-molecular-weight polyethylene medical implants such as artificial hip cups, Mark Evans, MediTech's worldwide business manager, said in a recent telephone interview.
The machine will have clamp tonnage about 20 percent higher than average for molding such UHMW PE parts. The platen will be smaller than average so effective tonnage is increased further to shape the difficult-to-mold material.
The new press will replace a conventional one that MediTech or its parent, Poly Hi Solidur Inc., will use elsewhere in the Fort Wayne facility.
Poly Hi Solidur claims to be the world's largest processor of semi-finished UHMW PE. Officials did not disclose the supplier of the new press or cost of the upgrading project.
Other improvements under way at the MediTech operation include introducing low-oxygen processing, new finishing equipment and revamped materials-handling systems.
UHMW PE finds use in implants because it has a naturally slippery and tough surface, key properties in artificial hip and knee joints.
Georg Fischer axing
U.K. fittings facility
SCHAFFHAUSEN, SWITZERLAND - Georg Fischer Piping Systems announced Feb. 19 that, after discussions with union representatives, it will close Georg Fischer Plastics Ltd. in Huntingdon, England, by June.
Production at the plant, which injection molds PVC pipe fittings for the United Kingdom market and worldwide, will be transferred gradually to two Fischer plants in Switzerland: in Subingen and Schaffhausen, according to GF Piping Systems President Yves Serra.
Union representatives of the 65-strong Huntingdon workforce have accepted a layoff plan offered by the group, he said in a brief statement.
Fischer Piping Systems gave no details of the number and tonnage range of injection presses used at the facility.
Georg Fischer Corp., which is based in Schaffhausen, has pipe manufacturing sites in Australia, Austria, China, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States.
The company employs about 3,400.
RPC Group expands
to aid work increase
HIGHAM FERRERS, ENGLAND - Europe's top rigid plastics packaging molder, RPC Group plc, received a boost in business to make new medical inhaler devices.
RPC has invested around 6.5 million ($11 million) in a new clean room facility, and molding and assembly equipment at its RPC Formatec GmbH site in Mellrichstadt, Germany.
The plant is the sole supplier of Handihaler powder inhalant devices to pharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingelheim.
RPC said the U.S. Food & Drug Administration recently approved use of the inhalers for treating chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
RPC's investment included six new injection presses, one of them a two-component press. The plant now has 30 presses, according to Chris Sworn, RPC finance director .
Formatec, RPC's main pharmaceutical product processing center, also is molding medical devices for Glaxo Smith Kline. Last year production of components and assembly of the devices generated 12 million ($20 million) in sales for RPC, which is based in Higham Ferrers.
New press destined
for Dickten & Masch
NASHOTAH, WIS. - Dickten & Masch Manufacturing Co. will extend two-shot injection molding capability to its Hattiesburg, Miss., plant.
President John Onzik said the firm will take delivery in April of a Milacron stand-alone Sentry hydraulic injection unit, which it will hook up to an existing Milacron press and an M.G.S. rotary platen. Milacron also will provide a separate VSX System control unit.
The press will mold parts for power tools and electrical distribution equipment. For the latter application, it will overmold an interior insulative layer and an outside conductive layer on a metal insert, Onzik said.
Dickten & Masch opened the Hattiesburg plant in 1998. The Nashotah company was established in 1941.