CPI ups production of Rubbermaid bags
MISSISSAUGA, ONTARIO - CPI Plastics Group Ltd. is expanding Rubbermaid-brand trash bag production under a trademark licensing agreement with Rubbermaid Canada Inc., and it has teamed up with a British firm to distribute decking and fencing in Europe.
CPI said it received permanent listing status for Rubbermaid Strong Fit outdoor trash bags with two major Canadian retail chains, TruServe Canada and Food Basics, an A&P Canada discount retailer. A year ago, Mississauga-based CPI was granted an exclusive license in Canada to make and market Rubbermaid household trash bags.
Since December, CPI has marketed Rubbermaid trash bags on a trial basis in pallet displays in TruServe and Food Basics stores, said CPI spokeswoman Carolyn Morris.
TruServ added the Strong Fit bags to its regular shelf space June 15 and Food Basics agreed to do the same starting Aug. 15. The bags are designed to fit Rubbermaid trash containers, the major brand sold in Canada.
TruServ is a cooperative store with about 100 outlets across Canada. Food Basics has 95 stores in Ontario.
Morris said her firm hopes to get more Rubbermaid bag products on store shelves in more major retail outlets. CPI makes the Rubbermaid bags in its Pefferlaw, Ontario, blown film operation. The Rubbermaid agreement does not affect CPI's bag-making business for other private-label clients, Morris said.
Outside of North America, CPI now has an agreement with Timbmet Oxford Ltd. of Oxford, England, to distribute eon-brand decking and fencing in the United Kingdom, the Irish Republic and parts of continental Europe.
``Expanding our distribution network to the U.K. is the first step toward developing an eon brand presence in Europe,'' said Peter Clark, chief executive officer of CPI. Timbmet has 16 sites throughout the United Kingdom.
In April, CPI acquired Extrudawood International plc of Isle of Wight, England, through which it had licensed the technology to make eon products.
Underground allying with Costa Rica firm
SARVER, PA. - Underground Solutions Inc. of Sarver now has an exclusive licensing agreement and alliance with plastic pipe firm Durman Esquivel SA of San Jose, Costa Rica.
Durman Esquivel makes and distributes PVC and other thermoplastic pipe in Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama, officials said. UGS' Duraliner process allows for the replacement of deteriorated water lines and other pressure pipes.
Chief Executive Officer Mark Smith said the deal should help UGS introduce its products throughout Latin America. The company worked with New York banking firm Provident Group for the deal.
Earlier this year, UGS introduced Fusible C-900 and Fusible C-905, two patent-pending PVC products that allow for installation of a continuous, monolithic, gasket-free PVC pipe or conduit for use in trenchless or conventional ``open-cut'' applications, the company said.
Pro Fab Florida plant to serve MRI Devices
WAUKESHA, WIS. - Pro Fab Plastics Corp., a plastics machining company in Waukesha, plans to set up a plant in Florida to serve an existing medical equipment customer.
Pro Fab said it will open a 15,000-square-foot facility in Ocala, Fla., with a staff of six to make parts for magnetic resonance imaging equipment made by MRI Devices Corp. in Gainesville, Fla.
``That will open up a little bit more room to go after customers here,'' said President Bodi Milykovic. ``We're kind of out of capacity here.''
Pro Fab plans to spend about $1 million, including the building and new equipment. The plant should open in December.
The company currently ships parts to Florida from the Waukesha plant, which employs about 25, Milykovic said. About 30 percent of production could shift to Florida, but Milykovic said there will not be any layoffs at the Wisconsin site, which is the company's sole facility.
MRI Devices, which also is based in Waukesha, was bought by New York-based Intermagnetics General Corp. in May.
EPW Inc. expanding toolmaking capacity
ELKHART, IND. - EPW Inc. is finishing a $1.6 million expansion of its automotive development capabilities.
The Elkhart company is starting a Deckel Maho high-speed, five-axis machining center. The tool-building expansion follows recent expansions in reaction injection molding and thermoforming capacities, marketing Vice President Doug Moore said by telephone.
EPW's new machining center has a rotary table for the company's tool division. The division specializes in auto interior door panels and instrument panels, and PVC and RIM glass-encapsulation molds.
EPW's RIM division expanded to eight metering machines and now can run parts weighing up to 55 pounds. The division provides mold sampling and makes production parts for elastomeric and structural-foam urethane parts for the automotive aftermarket, specialty and military vehicles and marine products.
The thermoforming division added a Kiefel machine last year. The operation provides engineering and value-added services including product development, prototyping and mold sampling. The unit focuses on auto instrument panels, door panels and marine and recreational vehicle parts.
Moore said his firm's growth in auto parts development spurred the expansion. The privately held company employs 60.
Exco Technologies selling laser division
MARKHAM, ONTARIO - Exco Technologies Ltd. plans to exit auto parts laser etching by selling its Exco Lasing business at the end of July.
The Markham firm entered the field in early 2003 when it bought London, Ontario-based Bancroft Lasing Technologies Inc. The operation makes painted, laser-etched plastic parts for automotive interiors.
Exco said in a news release that although the business has been cutting its operating losses since January, management feels that the technical requirements and need to integrate the business are best left to companies focused on the auto interiors market. Exco makes a range of plastic and metal auto parts.
The company said it has a nonbinding agreement to sell the business to an undisclosed party. Exco predicts the deal will result in a noncash charge of about C$5.6 million (US$4.1 million). The charge comprises about C$1 million (US$725,000) in goodwill, C$2 million (US$1.5 million) in future taxes and C$2.6 million (US$1.9 million) in charges to fixed assets.
Exco recorded profit of C$2.7 million (US$2 million) and sales of C$54 million (US$39.2 million) for its second quarter, ended March 31. Year-earlier profit and sales for the quarter were C$4.8 million (US$3.5 million) and C$55.9 million (US$40.5 million), respectively.
Mill Race bag assets, equipment auctioned
BARRIE, ONTARIO - Assets of former bag maker Mill Race Plastics of Barrie were sold at auction June 16 by Canam Appraiz Inc. of Toronto.
Machinery for the sale included sealers, bag makers, a stacker, a Condes four-color printing press and about C$100,000 (US$74,000) worth of bag inventory and raw materials.
Dow seeks location to make insulation
MIDLAND, MICH. - Dow Chemical Co. is selecting its fifteenth North American location to manufacture extruded polystyrene insulation for distribution into Texas and the Pacific Northwest.
Midland-based Dow is working to find a location as quickly as possible, said spokesman Rob Vallentine.
The company will use manufacturing equipment acquired in late 2003 and add more manufacturing capacity as the market demands, Vallentine said.
Dow officials said the facilities will help the construction industry meet the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Green Building Rating System requirement.
That U.S. Green Building Council initiative requires that all building materials and products be manufactured regionally within a 500-mile radius, according to Dow.