Bruckner film line headed for Belarus
GOMEL, BELARUS - Alcopack Group, a Gomel packaging producer, is investing 20 million euros ($24 million) to manufacture biaxially oriented polystyrene on a giant new line supplied by Bruckner GmbH & Co. of Siegsdorf, Germany.
The 44 million-pound-per-year line, which Bruckner claims is the biggest and most advanced in Europe and the former Soviet republics, will produce a range of biaxially and monoaxially oriented PS film from 25-800 microns thick.
Alcopack is building an 86,000-square-foot film center as part of a new production complex. The complex will include automated resin-storage and finished-goods warehouses, a complete production line, slitters, and auxiliary systems for packaging and recycling.
The plant, which will provide space for future expansion, is to begin operating in January.
The new line's flexibility will allow it to make film for thermoforming applications, shrink sleeves, twist wrap and other flexible food wrapping, as well as blister packs and medical packaging.
Alcopack primarily makes capsules, some plastic-lined, for the alcoholic beverage sector. The new line will serve the expanding market in Russia and the former Soviet Commonwealth of Independent States.
Originally founded in Koblenz, Germany, in 1952, Alcopack established two production operations in Belarus in the late 1990s.
R.I. molder boosts electric press count
WOONSOCKET, R.I. - Molded Plastic Components Inc. is turning to all-electric machines to add capacity, purchasing its second Sumitomo injection molding machine, a 55-ton press, in May.
The custom injection molder added a 110-ton machine in October. According to Marcel Coutu, MPC's general manager, the company had been considering the switch from hydraulic machines for some time, but it needed a larger barrel size to make the machines flexible for a variety of tasks.
MPC also is taking advantage of an energy program by its local electric utility to pay 75 percent of the difference over conventional machinery.
Molded Plastic Components, founded in 1997, operates out of an 8,000-square-foot facility in Woonsocket. It employs six.
The company now has six injection molding machines, with clamping forces of 28-200 tons. Coutu said they are arranged with robotics and auxiliary equipment to form cells to handle many tasks.
Coutu said MPC makes anything from tongue depressors to military parts. Its markets include automotive, consumer products, medical disposables and equipment, and electrical/ electronics.
Expanded Premier buys new extruder
FINDLAY, OHIO - Premier Material Concepts, a Findlay-based subsidiary of Rowmark Inc., has purchased a new single-screw, 3.5- inch sheet extruder, said marketing employee George Privateer.
The machine can make sheet from 0.005-0.25 inch thick and 55 inches wide.
The line can extrude ABS, acrylic and thermoplastic elastomers and olefins.
PMC completed a 10,000-square-foot, $500,000 expansion March 18.
Gem Industries adds plastic scrap grinder
MEADOWBROOK, GA. - Gem Industries Inc., a Meadowbrook-based metals firm that manufactures toilet partitions, is adding equipment to regrind plastics.
Al Delitizia, vice president and general manager, said Gem buys injection molded parts from outside suppliers, and that will not change. But the company is adding grinding equipment to reuse its plastic scrap.
Gem's branching into plastics is accompanied by a 25,000-square-foot, $3.5 million expansion that the company expects to create 20 jobs. Most of that project is not plastics-related.
Deuceuninck unveils glazing technology
MONROE, OHIO - Deceuninck North America LLC has introduced WinLite window and door systems that use Sashlite insulated sash glazing technology.
The technology allows two glass panes to be glazed directly to the welded sash square and creates an insulated sash with the glass and vinyl bonded together.
The products are extruded at Deceuninck's plant in Monroe, where extrusion integrates an insulated glass spacer as part of the profile. Officials said tests show that virtually no heat or cold transfer through the edge of the insulated glass.
``The integration of glass and vinyl is the most significant breakthrough in the window industry since the introduction of fusion-welded vinyl windows in the early 1980s,'' said Philip Morton, Deceuninck business development manager.
Northwest Extrusions seeking new markets
Langley, British Columbia - Northwest Extrusions Ltd. of Langley wants to make its presence known.
The profile extruder recently named Felipe Montiel its international business development manager as it seeks to grow beyond its core window and door markets. Officials of the privately held firm are not ready to discuss which markets they're tapping.
``Slowly, you'll see a lot more from us,'' Montiel said in a June 21 telephone interview. ``Right now, we're focused on growing in North America. We need to build this market, get people to know that Northwest is here for a lot more reasons than window and door and skylight manufacturers.''
Since its founding in 1994, the family-owned company has flown under the radar screen. One year ago, it moved into a new building that doubled its manufacturing space to 60,000 square feet. Since then, it has grown from seven to 13 extrusion lines and now employs 35. The company processes several types of plastic resins including PVC and high density polyethylene.
``As we keep growing, we will add more lines as needed,'' Montiel said, emphasizing that growth will not mean abandoning its window and door core.
The firm uses a mix of extruders, including Krauss-Maffei and Milacron.
``We just got news from [some of] our customers in California that we'll be supplying 60 percent of their window profiles,'' he said. ``We are mainly focusing on the West Coast, from California to Nevada, Colorado, Utah, Washington State, British Columbia and Alberta.''
Northwest also handles its own tool and die needs, and has added three employees for a total of five in that shop.
The firm is emphasizing quality control and design as a way to combat imported products.
``It is a lot easier for any window [fabricator] to deal with someone that is here than when you have to bring containers from overseas. If you have product from overseas and it is not right, what do you do? All those are big factors that play with your production time.''
In the end, North American-based firms have to emphasize quality and speed, he said.
ISCO consolidation hinges on incentives
LOUISVILLE, KY. - Polyethylene pipe distributor ISCO Industries LLC of Louisville said it will consolidate its Kentucky distribution plants if it receives tax and economic incentives from the state's Economic Development Finance Authority.
If the deal goes through, the company will consolidate two facilities into one new plant and move distribution from its headquarters site into the new plant, allowing ISCO to expand its offices.
According to a news release from the city, ISCO would create 15 jobs in the move, and construct a 23,000-square-foot facility on the 6-acre parcel with a $1.3 million investment. Expanding the office at its current headquarters would mean an additional investment of $300,000.
ISCO President Jimmy Kirchdorfer Jr. signed a contract to acquire the site, but the deal is contingent on the economic incentives, Kirchdorfer said in a June 20 telephone interview. The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority was to consider the deal June 30.
* Atlanta-based Fry Consultants Inc. is compiling a multiclient study of North American windows and patio doors that will provide a market forecast to 2009 and examine Asian imports and industry consolidation. The company plans to begin research in July and complete it by Nov. 30, officials said. Contact Lyne Smith at (770) 226-8888, ext. 224.