Kuraray acquires HT Troplast PVB unit
FRANKFURT, GERMANY - A subsidiary of Japanese chemicals company Kuraray Group is acquiring the Trosifol polyvinyl butyral safety glass laminate film business of HT Troplast AG, from Rutgers AG for an undisclosed sum.
Kuraray Specialities Europe GmbH of Frankfurt, a global leader in the manufacture of polyvinyl alcohol, said it plans to expand the film business, which runs a headquarters plant in Troisdorf, Germany, and another one in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia.
The sale, still to be approved by Europe's antitrust authorities, is due to be completed by the end of 2004.
This deal represents a move into downstream activities by Tokyo-based Kuraray, said KSE President Gerd Lepper. KSE, a longstanding Trosifol supplier of PVA, a raw material for PVB resin production, also intends to expand PVA capacity by 44 million pounds to 154 million pounds annually at its site in Frankfurt.
Trosifol has been processing PVB film since 1953 and now markets its products in 75 countries.
Essen, Germany-based Rutgers has been selling plastics operations. Units still on the block include the remaining operations of Troisdorf-based HT Troplast, including its PVC window and door profile and sheet business, and the Trocellen cross-linked polyethylene foam division.
Kuraray Group, which employs 7,000 worldwide, recorded annual sales in 2003 of $3.1 billion.
GM Nameplate expands Oregon division
BEAVERTON, ORE. - GM Nameplate's Oregon division has increased its automotive business after adding robotic spraying and laser-etching capabilities in Beaverton.
The division invested $700,000 for custom-built robotic painting equipment, spray booths, drying ovens and outfitting a dedicated 2,000 square feet.
The unit also invested about $300,000 for laser-etching equipment. Automation systems link the painting and etching lines. For some applications, GM Nameplate Oregon may selectively remove paint or etch down to the natural part for backlighting.
An ability to control the application of metallic paints ``sets us apart'' from other processors, said Dan Thurmond, division president. End uses include automotive and aviation instrument clusters and decorated plastic components on luxury Lincoln Navigator sport utility vehicles and Nike Inc. product displays.
About 40 percent of the Beaverton work involves other GM Nameplate divisions including Seattle for electronic control units and in-mold decorative inlays and Monroe, N.C., for joining plastic components with metal for automotive parts.
The Oregon division employs 130, occupies 45,000 square feet and operates 22 injection molding machines of 50-600 tons and three compression molding presses. Privately owned GM Nameplate is based in Seattle.
Currier adds two blow molding machines
AUBURN, N.Y. - Currier Plastics Inc. is adding two Heins monolayer continuous extrusion blow molding machines, expected to be operational by the end of November.
The custom injection molder and extrusion blow molder in Auburn bought the machines to support new business and growth opportunities.
``Our overall business has increased, especially in the personal-care and hotel-amenity markets, and this additional equipment is specifically suited to bottles ranging from approximately one-half-ounce to approximately 8-ounce volume capacity,'' said Mark Stehle, sales and marketing manager. Currier's basic blow molding capacity ranges up to 1½ gallons.
Currier was founded in 1982 as a close-tolerance injection molder and currently operates 20 presses with clamping forces of 20-400 tons.
The firm began offering extrusion blow molding in 1996 and now operates 14 monolayer machines from Heins and Bekum. One older machine was retired.
In addition to personal care and hotel amenity, other principal end markets for Currier include telecommunications, lawn and garden and food service.
Loan to fund Century Mold expansion
ROCHESTER, N.Y. - Injection molder and mold maker Century Mold Co. Inc. has won $100,000 from a revolving loan fund to help it with an expansion that will add new equipment and jobs.
Eastman Kodak Co. provided the $1 million backing for the Rochester Economic Development Fund, designed to boost manufacturing in Monroe County. Century Mold is the first business to tap into the fund's loan program.
``Access to Monroe County's loan fund allows Century Mold flexibility in purchasing new equipment, which we expect will create 30 new jobs over the next six months and a total of 50 new jobs,'' President and Chief Executive Officer Ron Ricotta said in a Nov. 17 news release.
Century will use the funds to buy a 310-ton electric press.
The firm, which already employs 206 in Rochester, molds components for the auto industry.