Italtech's founder returning to run firm
BRESCIA, ITALY - Adelio Grasselli, who founded Italtech SpA in the 1980s, has returned to run the injection press maker in Brescia after the firm was purchased June 1 by Pegoraro Group of Padua.
Grasselli was named managing director. The move grants some continuity to the company and machinery during the difficult equipment market, Italtech said.
The acquisition ends what company officials called ``a long and difficult phase in the life of Italtech.''
Italtech management has already reorganized its technical, sales and parts and service departments, adding new employees.
Niigata's parts unit under full U.S. control
ITASCA, ILL. - Niigata Engineering Co. Ltd.'s spare parts business now is fully under U.S. control, as U.S.-based DJK-Global Ltd., which already handles Niigata sales, has purchased the parts business in North America.
Previously, the parent company, Niigata Machine Techno Co. Ltd., had owned the North American parts inventory, and placed the items on consignment at DJK-Global's warehouse. The parts were administered by Niigata factory personnel stationed at DJK-Global's offices in Itasca.
Peter Gardner, vice president and general manager for Niigata operations at DJK-Global, said the company has added three positions to handle the parts business, including hiring a former Niigata engineer as a full-time employee of DJK-Global. The company added two people to Niigata's sales staff, one covering Illinois and Wisconsin and the other based in Cleveland.
Gardner said controlling the parts business means the Itasca firm is free to set source parts locally and set pricing levels. The result, he said, is lower pricing, quicker deliveries and more options for customers. For example, screw tip assemblies from U.S. suppliers cost about half as much as those from Japan.
Battenfeld donates presses to center
GREENVILLE, S.C. - Battenfeld of America Inc.'s southeast regional office in Greenville has donated two injection presses and an R-8 servo-robot to the Eastern North Carolina Plastics Technology Center in Zebulon, N.C.
Seven community colleges in the Raleigh, N.C., area put together the plastics center, using a government grant.
The Battenfeld presses have clamping forces of 38 and 110 tons.
Elopak, Techne team to provide machines
NEW HUDSON, MICH. - The maker of Pure-Pak gable-top cartons, Elopak Inc. and Italy-based Techne SpA are working together to sell extrusion blow molding machines to the North American food and dairy industry.
The agreement, announced in May, strengthens Elopak's growing packaging systems business. The dedicated business, called Elopak-Techne, will provide sales, service and spare parts for Techne machines in North America.
Techne, based in Bologna, Italy, has sold more than 750 blow molding machines in 32 countries, making high density polyethylene bottles. That includes 53 aseptic systems featuring multilayer extrusion with light and oxygen barriers. The Italian company also makes conversion kits to upgrade co-extrusion machines to an aseptic level.
Elopak, based in New Hudson, makes the gable-top drink cartons, caps, bottle filling and capping system machines, fillers for pouches, cups and portion packs, material-handing equipment and blow molding machines.
U.S., Canada to boost spending on machines
ARLINGTON, VA. - U.S. and Canadian companies will boost their spending on packaging machines 4 percent in 2004, to $5.48 billion, according to the annual survey by the Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Institute.
The Arlington-based trade association said six of eight market segments will grow this year. They are beverages, chemicals, durable goods, personal care and converters. Those segments account for about 81 percent of the U.S. and Canadian market for packaging machines.
More companies (33 percent) plan to increase spending for packaging equipment in 2004 than plan to reduce spending (28.7 percent).
This is the first year since the annual study began that the number of respondents who plan ``no change in spending'' did not represent a clear majority, said PMI President Chuck Yaska. ``This is good news, in that there may be a shift away from the overall mood of extreme caution we've seen for many years.''
The complete study is available for $1,500 from PMMI.
ACS donates $17,000 to MAPP trade group
INDIANAPOLIS - Auxiliary equipment maker ACS Group donated $17,000 to the Mid-America Plastic Partners Inc., the Indianapolis-based trade association.
The donation resulted from an ongoing give-back arrangement between ACS and MAPP. ACS, a MAPP corporate sponsor, provides a discount to MAPP members that buy its equipment. ACS then returns a percentage of each sale to MAPP.
ACS made the presentation during a MAPP forum in May in Indianapolis.
``We are very pleased to be able to make this contribution because it's a reflection of success and growth, both of the MAPP organization, and maybe even more significantly, our members' business performance,'' said Kevin Chudyk, vice president of sales at the machinery company in Wood Dale, Ill.
MAPP serves more than 160 plastics-related businesses in 19 states.
Linquist to produce CRG Logics products
GREEN BAY, WIS. - Auxiliary equipment supplier CRG Logics Inc. is on the move.
President Carl Gillig said CRG Logic has selected Linquist Machine Co. of Green Bay to produce its line of resin conveying systems, gravimetric blenders and screen changers. CRG had been manufacturing its equipment in Appleton, Wis.
LMC has 60 years of experience building machinery, and employs 200 people. In addition to the CRG products, LMC makes equipment for the packaging, paper and power transmission industries.
CRG Logics also is relocating its entire engineering staff and research and development laboratory to Green Bay.
Gillig made the move to increase production capacity and improve lead times. He said LMC will allow CRG Logics to bring product improvements and new products to market faster.
Reko to buy back 5% of common shares
WINDSOR, ONTARIO - Mold and tool builder Reko International Group Inc. said it would buy back about 5 percent of its common shares by July 7.
The Windsor firm said it believes its share trading range does not reflect the value of Reko's business and its future prospects. The share purchase is an attractive investment for Reko and a desirable way to use some of its available funds, Reko said in a July 6 news release.
Reko plans to buy 391,820 shares through a normal course issuer bid subject to approval by the Toronto Stock Exchange. It will cancel the bought shares. In the past year Reko has not bought any of its shares in its planned normal course issuer bid.
The company recently reported a net loss of C$570,000 (US$430,000) for its third quarter, ended April 30, compared with net profit of C$20,000 (US$15,000) a year earlier. Sales at C$25.1 million (US$18.9 million) were down 6 percent. The firm said it is realigning operations to compensate for the weaker U.S. dollar, which should lead to financial improvement when Reko's capacity utilization rises.
BP may be relocating olefins unit to Texas
LONDON - British Petroleum plc may move the headquarters of its olefins and derivatives unit - which includes polypropylene and high density polyethylene - from the Chicago area to Houston as part of its planned spinoff of that business.
The move could affect as many as 500 jobs, according to BP Americas public affairs manager Annie Smith. BP will decide if it will make the move or stay in Naperville, Ill., by the end of August.
Houston is being considered for several reasons, mainly because of its status as the heart of the U.S. petrochemical industry. BP already employs about 6,000 in Houston and the Gulf Coast area in its oil and gasoline units.
``There are a lot of variables being considered, such as the cost of living, proximity to customers and access to international markets,'' Smith said.
The move would affect three separate BP units-headquarters, commercial, and research and development. All three of those units might not move at the same time. For example, BP's extensive R&D labs in Naperville could be an incentive to keep those jobs there for a while, she said.
Of the 500 jobs, roughly 200 each are in commercial and R&D, with the other 100 coming from administrative jobs related to the headquarters function.
London-based BP announced the spinoff earlier this year, citing the olefins and derivatives unit's poor performance vs. the rest of BP's petrochemicals business. In May, BP officials said they hoped to launch an initial public offering for the unit in late 2005. The olefins and derivatives unit employs 7,500 at 24 sites worldwide.