Auto molder Advance Plastics closing
CLARKSTON, MICH. - Pontiac Coil Inc. will close its 110-employee contract molding subsidiary Advance Plastics Corp., but production will continue on track at its other in-house injection molding operations.
Lear Corp. pulled its business, which made up 70 percent of the work at Schoolcraft, Mich.-based Advance, said Pontiac owner John Moody
``That's just too devastating a hit,'' he said Feb. 14 by telephone.
Advance makes shoot-and-ship injection molded parts for other auto suppliers, he said. Remaining contracts will be spread through Pontiac's other plastics operations. Advance Plastics is slated to close April 29.
Clarkston-based Pontiac specializes in electronic auto components, with injection molding, including overmolding, at plants in Clarkston; Searcy, Ark.; and Nottingham, England.
Some of Advance Plastics' presses will move to other Pontiac sites, but most of the equipment will be sold, Moody said.
AES to add Fla. Santoprene line by '06
AKRON, OHIO - Advanced Elastomer Systems LP is adding a new production line at its Santoprene-brand thermoplastic vulcanizate plant in Pensacola, Fla.
Akron-based AES plans to have the line up and running by mid-2006, according to spokesman Brian McGuire. McGuire did not provide details about the site's capacity or size of the investment. The project will create about 12 jobs.
AES officials previously have said the firm has 170 million pounds of annual Santoprene capacity spread over plants in Pensacola; Wadsworth, Ohio; and Newport, Wales.
Annual TPV growth has averaged 6-7 percent in recent years, with Santoprene racking up double-digit sales growth in 2004. ``We tend to invest before we get into a tight situation,'' he said.
The Pensacola plant lost a couple of days of production in September when Hurricane Ivan hit the Southeast, but the site suffered no major damage.
AES is working on new Santoprene grades for the auto market, as well as grades designed to improve the material's performance vs. styrenic block copolymers, in other soft-touch uses.
AES is a unit of ExxonMobil Chemical Co. of Houston.
Resilux buys out Summit in U.S. venture
PENDERGRASS, GA. - The Belgian parent of injection and blow molder Resilux America LLC has taken full control of its Pendergrass joint venture with Summit International LLC.
Wetteren, Belgium-based Resilux NV bought out partner Summit, a designer and developer of PET packaging in Pendergrass. The companies formed the venture in 2000.
Resilux America makes containers for food, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and household products. The firm has two preform injection presses, four blow molding machines and six single-step injection blow molding lines. In 2004, the venture achieved annual sales of $8 million, according to Resilux NV.
While the U.S. firm has sufficient molding capacity to handle market demand, it is considering another plant, in the Northeast or Northwest, ``not before 2006,'' said Luc Verstuyft, chief financial officer of Resilux NV.
The 10-year-old parent, a PET packaging producer, has a good spread of preform plants around Europe, he said. Overall, it operates 47 injection presses, mostly Netstals, at plants in Europe, Russia and North America.
Sarnamotive shutting Michigan facility
LEXINGTON, MICH. - Sarnamotive Blue Water Inc. will close one of its Michigan injection molding operations this year.
The automotive supplier notified state officials Feb. 16 that its Lexington site will close by July 29, although executives said they will keep all the existing equipment at the facility in hopes of re-opening it if business picks up. Sarnamotive, the Marysville, Mich.-based auto supply unit of Switzerland's Sarna Group, will offer the 117 employees jobs at its five other factories in the region. A spokesman said the company will redistribute work from Lexington to those facilities.
The announcement comes even as Sarna, based in Sarnen, Switzerland, seeks a buyer for its auto division, and just weeks after a management change for Sarnamotive Blue Water.
Andrew Ridgway, a former vice president of manufacturing with the business, took over Jan. 19 as leader of the U.S. group, replacing Doug Chapple, who had managed Sarnamotive Blue Water since 2001.