American Made LLC moving, expanding
PITTSBURGH - Thermoplastic composite sheet producer American Made LLC will move and expand production capacity in the first quarter of 2005.
American Made and its division, U.S. Liner Co., will relocate to an 80,000-square-foot new building near Pittsburgh in Cranberry Township, Pa., said American Made President Mike LaRocco. The new facility is about 23 percent bigger than the firm's leased building in Ambridge, Pa. LaRocco said the new site also is closer to major highways.
American Made initially is spending about $6.5 million to construct the new headquarters and manufacturing plant and add new laminating equipment, LaRocco said in a telephone interview. He expects the company to invest in more space and equipment at the site, and the firm eventually will need an operation on the West Coast as well, he said. The first phase of investment is secured with a taxable bond from National City Bank.
The company's Bulitex panels, made of thermoplastics reinforced with woven glass fiber, are for trucking, rail, automotive and other industries in which the thermoformable panels can replace ones made of thermoset composites.
API seeking buyers for processing units
POYNTON, ENGLAND - Poynton-based packaging company API Group plc plans to dispose of its plastics processing operations.
The company is in discussions with ``a number of interested parties,'' said Chief Executive Officer David Walton.
Operations for sale include film producer Filmcast Extrusions Ltd. of Nelson, England, which runs one monolayer and one coextrusion line. API still is investing in Filmcast, currently upgrading the monolayer line to handle coextruded products.
In 2004, API disposed of film manufacturer Learoyd Packaging Ltd. of Burnley, England, and custom injection molder Morris Plastics Ltd. of Sowerby Bridge, England. The deals generated £2.3 million ($4.2 million).
Learoyd was acquired in a management buyout. Morris, which makes parts for window blinds, was acquired by private equity firm North West Forging Ltd. Morris ran 19 presses in 2001.
Hood Packaging gets first coextrusion line
MADISON, MISS. - Hood Packaging Corp. has installed its first coextrusion line as it shifts its Roseville, Minn., film plant into more-sophisticated products.
The Madison-based company primarily prints and converts film and bags, but operates its own extrusion site in Roseville. Until now, that plant had made film on four monolayer lines, said Kevin McCarthy, vice president and general manager of Hood's plastic film division.
The firm installed a Varex three-layer blown film line from Windmoeller & Hoelscher Corp. of Lincoln, R.I. The large line will increase the plant's annual film capacity by 70-80 percent, McCarthy said.
If all goes well with the installation, the company will consider adding a second coextrusion line next year, McCarthy said. That may require replacing two of the older monolayer lines.
The polyethylene-based barrier film will package items such as frozen foods, poultry and candy, McCarthy said. The film is shipped to three printing and converting facilities owned by Hood.
The company also is installing a 10-color flexographic printing press at its Decatur, Ga., plant, McCarthy said. The gearless sleeve press will use the coextruded film for higher-end applications.
Dyna-Tech launches 950-ton Nissei press
LARGO, FLA. - Dyna-Tech Corp. expects to capture new business with a new, 950-ton injection press installed at its Largo plant.
The Nissei press is the largest new custom press in the region, according to Dyna-Tech President Terry Welsch. Dyna-Tech invested about $650,000 in the machine plus auxiliaries and robotics, Welsch said in a telephone interview. The operation has just enough room for the press without modifying the building.
The firm's largest presses previously were a pair of 300-tonners. In total, Dyna-Tech runs 11 presses with clamping forces of 28 tons and higher. It is a diverse molder with much of its business in engineered parts for pumps, valves and marine hardware.
Welsch bought the 34-year-old company about 11/2 years ago. The 20-employee business should top sales of $2 million in 2005, nearly 50 percent above 2004's level, largely because of new business attracted by the large-tonnage press.
The 34-foot-long, 53½-ton machine arrived at the plant on two wide-load trailers.
Growing Advantage considers expansion
MANCHESTER, N.H. - Custom injection molder Advantage Plastic Products Inc. is growing, and the owners are thinking about a larger location.
The Manchester company, founded in 1998, has added three new all-electric presses in the past 22 months, spending $400,000 on presses and auxiliary equipment in that time. The latest press is a Niigata model with 310 tons of clamping force. The company now has six presses, said Joel Beaudette, vice president of sales.
Advantage serves a variety of end markets, including electronics, industrial, sporting goods and pharmaceuticals.
``Everything is going pretty well at the moment,'' Beaudette said.
The company has added seven employees this year, and now has 15. Advantage may look to replace its 10,000-square-foot plant in the next year or two.
Advantage owners are Waynne Froman, vice president of operations; Bill Blank, vice president of engineering; and Beaudette.
Mitchell's Ala. plant to gain capabilities
KITCHNER, ONTARIO - Mitchell Plastics Ltd. officials said they expect the firm's Alabama plant to be at full production within two years, and plans are in the works to expand the site's capability.
The Kitchner injection molder opened the automotive parts plant - its fourth in North America - in April, and now has 80 employees there. The 110,000-square-foot operation in Huntsville, Ala., makes functional automotive interior components and decorative assemblies.
President Joe D'Angelo said the site has 18 presses, with clamping forces of 40-500 tons. Mitchell plans to add the capability to build and assemble floor consoles and other interior modules.
Prinsco purchases pipe maker Hawkeye
PRINSBURG, MINN. - Corrugated polyethylene drainage pipe makers Prinsco Inc. and Hawkeye Tile Inc. now are one.
Prinsco, based in Prinsburg, acquired Hawkeye Tile in a deal that closed Nov. 29. Officials would not disclose terms of that transaction, which married two family-owned, regional players.
``Hawkeye will be integrated under the Prinsco name,'' said James Duininck, Prinsco vice president of sales. ``This should bring us roughly to 150 employees.''
Jesup, Iowa-based Hawkeye has served the Midwest for 28 years in applications such as dual-wall pipe for culverts, storm sewer and field mains. Roger and Kathy Hershberger owned Hawkeye and now are retiring, Duininck said. Other management at Hawkeye will stay in place.
Hawkeye has extrusion operations in Jesup; Fairfax, Minn.; and in Bethany and Taylor, Mo. Officials would not disclose its sales.
The acquisition will let Prinsco expand its service to 15 states, officials said. Prinsco markets its pipe under names such as GoldFlo WT and GoldLine.
Prinsco has extrusion and blow molding operations in Prinsburg, and Chatsworth, Ill., and distribution yards in Iowa, Minnesota and Illinois. In Plastics News' ranking of pipe and tubing extruders, Prinsco had estimated 2003 sales of $20 million.
Planet buys assets, approves stock split
SAN DIEGO - Planet Polymer Technologies Inc. approved a 50-to-1 reverse stock split, agreed to purchase the assets and some liabilities of Allergy Free LLC and shortened its name to Planet Technologies Inc.
Scott Glenn was named chairman, president and chief executive officer of the San Diego company and continues as managing partner of Windamere Venture Partners LLC of La Jolla, Calif.
Planet develops water-soluble and biodegradable polymers for agricultural and industrial markets. Allergy Free, which relocated to San Diego from Houston in February, markets allergy-avoidance products.