Auto consultant buys mold maker DSS
FAIR HAVEN, MICH. - International Industrial Group Inc., a Michigan consulting firm for automotive part manufacturers, has bought DSS Technologies, a mold maker in Sterling Heights, Mich. The companies are combining to form IIG-DSS Technologies and will be moving into a plant northeast of Detroit near Fair Haven.
The new firm will do everything from prototyping to mold building to making production parts. Customers include Lear Corp. and Mark IV Industries Inc.
IIG-DSS is renovating the 68,000-square-foot-plant and moving equipment from previous IIG locations in Lake Orion and Sterling Harbor, both in Michigan. The minority-owned company eventually will have 10-12 injection molding machines at the new plant, with clamping forces of 325-2,000 tons.
Fran Leo, IIG-DSS president and chief executive officer, said in a recent telephone interview that the firm should be ready for business July 22.
The company is bringing 40 jobs to the area and expects to increase employment to 60-70 people by the end of the year, Leo said.
IIG-DSS is investing about $1.5 million in the plant and new machinery. The site was vacated by Norgren Automotive about 10 months ago.
American Tool adds equipment, staff
GREENE, IOWA - A business boost has prompted American Tool & Engineering Inc. to add milling equipment and employees to keep pace.
The Greene-based mold maker has installed two Fadal computer numerically controlled machines and a Takumi high-speed CNC mill during the past six months. Five employees have joined the staff of 50 working three shifts.
``We're just growing here,'' said operations manager Robert Hobson.
The company manufactures molds used in thermoforming and blow molding, and expects a 20 percent jump in business for 2004, taking it up to at least $5 million in sales, he said.
Medical industry sales for thermoformed equipment kept the family-owned shop operating through the post-Sept. 11, 2001, recession, Hobson said. This year, that business has picked up and American Tool has renewed contracts in tooling for blow molding.
``And that job list has not gotten any smaller,'' he said.
Netstal to do training, testing in China
SHANGHAI, CHINA - Netstal-Maschinen AG, which already runs a China sales office, will expand it into a full subsidiary this year, the Swiss injection press maker announced June 29 at the Chinaplas show in Shanghai.
Netstal will create a showroom and a center for training, customer testing and application development. The firm wants to capitalize on fast growth in China for plastics packaging and optical discs - two strong points of machinery made by the company based in NÃ¤fels, Switzerland.
Netstal is part of Mannesmann Plastics Machinery Gmb, based in Munich, Germany. MPM officials first announced plans for the Netstal technical center in Shanghai last fall, but details were sketchy.
Lubrizol HQ to downscale, cut R&D jobs
WICKLIFFE, OHIO - Lubrizol Corp.'s recent purchase of specialty compounder Noveon Inc. has led to the elimination of almost 100 research and development-related jobs at Lubrizol's headquarters in Wickliffe.
Most of the 95 expected cuts will come from technical and commercial positions, Lubrizol officials said in a June 30 news release. The cuts are expected to create annual pretax savings of about $16 million.
Some of the cuts stem from Lubrizol's decision to reduce its activities in fluid technologies for advanced systems and to realign its research, development and testing groups, Lubrizol President James Hambrick said in the release.
``Staff reductions are always very difficult,'' Hambrick said. ``However, the Noveon acquisition created some clear redundancies that we addressed quickly. Both companies' headquarters are in the Cleveland area, which has been an obvious advantage for merging and consolidating organizations.''
Lubrizol paid $1.84 billion for Noveon, based in Brecksville, Ohio. Noveon, which employs 2,800 at 27 sites globally, had sales of $1.1 billion last year. The compounder's specialty materials unit - which includes specialty PVC, thermoplastic polyurethane and cross-linked polyethylene - was the largest of the company's three units in 2003, representing 38 percent of total sales.
Lubrizol, a publicly traded supplier of specialty additives and lubricants, had no existing plastics product lines before the Noveon deal.