Systex Products building Ark. factory
BATTLE CREEK, MICH. - Systex Products Corp. is building a $12.5 million injection molding plant in Arkansas to supply an automotive customer.
Systex, based in Battle Creek, will employ 40 at the Osceola, Ark., facility, producing parts for a neighboring Denso Corp. operation that makes heating and air-conditioning components and radiators.
The molding venture will begin production with 25 workers during the first quarter of 2005, with another 15 jobs added as work ramps up, company officials said in an April 21 announcement.
Systex is a joint venture of Cascade Engineering Inc. of Grand Rapids, Mich., and Shimizu Industry Co. of Anjo, Japan. The venture uses horizontal and vertical injection molding to make heating, venting and air-conditioning cases, air ducts, damper doors and other functional components.
Arkansas officials expect the 500-employee Denso facility to bring more automotive work to the region. The state has not wooed automakers successfully yet, but is near newer assembly plants in Mississippi and Tennessee.
Denso's biggest customer, Toyota Motor Corp., makes cars in Georgetown, Ky., and is building a truck assembly plant in San Antonio.
SMS to move some production to U.S.
MEINERZHAGEN, GERMANY - SMS Plastics Technology is moving production of its film and extrusion coating machinery unit, SMS Folientechnik GmbH, from Vienna, Austria, to the U.S. headquarters of Battenfeld Gloucester Engineering Co. Inc.
Battenfeld Gloucester, in Gloucester, Mass., now becomes the central production location for SMS Plastics' Film and Sheet Technology Division. SMS Folientechnik builds equipment for making blown and cast film and for foam extrusion and extrusion coating.
An SMS spokeswoman said the Folientechnik move does not involve another SMS unit in Vienna, Cincinnati Extrusion GmbH, which makes twin-screw extruders for pipe and profiles. Cincinnati Extrusion will remain in Vienna.
The two sister operations are housed in separate buildings at the same complex.
Meinerzhagen-based SMS said the Vienna facility will remain as Folientechnik's sales and service center for customers in Europe, Africa, India and the Middle East. The move involves the Folientechnik engineering and assembly operations.
SMS moved Folientechnik once before, in 2000, when it relocated the business from Droitwich, England, to the Cincinnati Extrusion location in Vienna. The company built a separate factory for the film equipment business. Earlier that year, SMS had purchased Cincinnati Extrusion from Milacron Inc.
O-I anticipates division will sell by July
TOLEDO, OHIO - Container maker Owens-Illinois Inc. expects to have a sale in place for its blow molding business as soon as mid-July, executives told analysts during an April 21 conference call to discuss first-quarter earnings.
The company, a maker of PET and high density polyethylene bottles for consumer products, had said in February that it would sell that operation to pay debt and enhance cash flow after agreeing to buy European glass producer BSN Glasspack SA. In December, O-I started reviewing the blow molding business, which generates about $1 billion in annual sales.
Since then, the Toledo-based company has sent investment information to interested potential buyers, including financial firms, said Thomas Young, O-I executive vice president and chief financial officer.
The plastics business recorded a strong first quarter, with increases in sales and profit over the same period last year, company officials said. The company also is focusing on reducing manufacturing expenses, a project aimed at enhancing the business' sales potential, said new O-I President and Chief Executive Officer Steven McCracken.
``There are some unique technologies that could be attractive,'' McCracken said. ``It's helping generate good response from the buyer universe as well.''
A sale is targeted for early in the third quarter and could be completed as soon as the end of June, about a month after the BSN deal closes, Young said. The company is optimistic that the process is on track and will return the value projected by O-I, he said.