Dr. Schneider picks Mich. site for plant
BRIGHTON, MICH. - German auto supplier Dr. Schneider Kunststoffwerke GmbH will spend an estimated $26.5 million on its first North American production facility, in the Detroit suburb of Brighton.
A month ago, the company said it was considering taking its planned Dr. Schneider Automotive Systems Inc. unit to Ontario when officials in Lyon Township, Mich., rejected a requested tax abatement. Now it is set for the neighboring city of Brighton with a promised $3.1 million single business tax credit from the Michigan Economic Development Corp., and another $805,000 worth of abatements promised there.
Dr. Schneider, based in Kronach, Germany, injection molds interior, exterior and functional components for the auto industry, including ventilation systems and cup holders.
The Brighton site will include manufacturing, design and engineering and will employ 645, Michigan officials said March 17.
RPC buying 4 Rexam container plants
LONDON - Rexam plc is selling four of its thin-wall-container plants in Europe to rigid packaging competitor RPC Group plc.
RPC, based in Higham Ferrers, England, paid 16.2 million ($29.4 million) for the Rexam plants in Hereford, England; Troyes, France; Antwerp, Belgium; and As, Czech Republic. Three of the plants were sold March 17. The sale of the Czech Republic facility still needs regulatory approval.
The facilities make injection molded and solid-phase pressure formed tubs and lids, serving the margarine, ice cream and dairy markets, RPC officials said in a March 15 news release. The four facilities, which employ a total of about 500, recorded 2003 sales of 40 million ($72.6 million).
RPC, a large European packaging maker with 30 facilities in 10 countries, will own its first plant in the Czech Republic with the acquisition, said RPC Chief Executive Officer Ron Marsh.
London-based Rexam will use the proceeds to pay down debt and concentrate its containers business on rotary thermoforming technologies and refillable PET/polyethylene naphthalene bottles, the company said. The sale did not include Rexam's PET bottle plant in As.
SPI looking for participants for survey
WASHINGTON - The Society of the Plastics Industry Inc. is seeking feedback from plastics processors for its annual Financial & Operating Ratios Survey. Responses are due by April 16.
Survey participants will learn their company's confidential ranking in more than 100 key business areas, including: net sales/all employee hours; value-added per all employee hours; productive machine hours/available machine hours; return on equity, and return on invested capital.
The survey also will provide benchmarking data, including percentage of on-time delivery, percentage of customer complaints for orders shipped, percentage of products made that did not meet customer specifications and employee absenteeism. Surveys are provided at no cost to participating companies and may be purchased individually from Washington-based SPI by nonparticipants for a fee.
Processors can complete the survey at secure.verisconsult ing.com/SPIFinOps/2003/index.asp. For information, contact Tommy Southall, (202) 974-5257; e-mail [email protected]
PTLI invests in weathering laboratory
PITTSFIELD, MASS. - Plastic Technology Laboratories Inc. in Pittsfield has added a weathering lab that will let it simulate the aging effects of sunlight on plastic.
The company said it spent more than $250,000 on equipment that will let it accelerate the effect of sunlight by 1.5-7.6 times, meaning that an effect that could take 10 years to show up in natural light can be seen in about 500 days.
The testing firm said it continues to see strong growth. Sales were up 20 percent in 2003 and are likely to rise by the same amount in 2004, said President Jim Beauregard. PTLI also recently hired four employees, giving it 18.
Carl Olson, manager of sales and marketing, said large resin companies have eliminated or moved some testing functions, creating opportunities for smaller suppliers.
``This is an example of things going offshore coming back to PTLI,'' he said. The new lab will open up more opportunities in the automotive market, Olson said. The company said it anticipates expanding in the next few years.