Polytex wins award for PP grain bags
WASHINGTON - Bag manufacturer Polytex Fibers Corp. won the 2005 Small Business Award from the Department of Agriculture for its work with international aid efforts.
The Houston firm makes tubular woven polypropylene bags used to ship grain under the U.S. government's humanitarian assistance programs. Polytex received the award from the USDA's Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization at a June 16 ceremony in Washington.
Polytex said the bags must display specific printed messages for each country they are sent to, and the nature of disaster relief often requires Polytex to turn around each order within two weeks. The firm said it never has missed a shipment deadline.
Foam panel maker starts up Fla. plant
MOCKSVILLE, N.C. - Insulated Component Structures Inc., a paneling manufacturer in Mocksville, is leasing a 23,000-square-foot plant in Eustis, Fla.
The plant, which has been operating for a month, employs 12. The company plans to hire four to six employees for the site in the next six moths, Forrest Berg, president of the Eustis facility, said July 6 by telephone.
ICS creates structural insulated panels - a polyurethane foam core enclosed between wood, fiber cement, fiber-reinforced plastic or metal - at its three facilities in Mocksville, Eustis, and Denver.
North Carolina Foam Industries Inc. of Mount Airy, N.C., supplies the polyol and isocyanate to manufacture PU in bulk for ICS, said President Andrew Hansen. ICS uses reaction injection molding to apply the foam PU.
The paneling can resist winds up to 155 miles per hour, making it useful during hurricane season.
Thompson boosts Wales rotomolding
PONTYCYMER, SOUTH WALES - Thompson Technik, the renamed vehicle and industrial products division of Britain's Thompson Plastics Group, raised its rotational molding capacity by 20 percent with the addition of a new carousel machine.
Growing component demand from vehicle and other markets prompted Technik to invest nearly $500,000 to expand its rotomolding plant in Pontycymer. The investment included the molding machine supplied by Alan Yorke Engineering of Higham Ferrers, England.
The machine ups capacity and improves efficiency, said marketing manager Shaun Champion.
The plant is one of seven production units run by the $78 million Thompson Plastics Group of Hull, England. The plant molds fuel tanks, interior cab trim and expansion bottles for off-road vehicles. Other markets include refrigeration and air conditioning, construction and sign-making.
The firm may add 32,400 square feet of warehouse space.Thompson also does thermoforming and reaction injection molding.
Bottle maker finds expansion funding
TORONTO - MPI Packaging Inc., a privately owned, Toronto blow molder of PET bottles, received C$4.3 million (US$3.5 million) in funding from minority shareholder VenGrowth Private Equity Partners Inc., also of Toronto.
President Ronald O'Brien said the money will be used to buy equipment and expand.
``We've already bought one two-cavity blow molder,'' he said. The machine is running at a Poly-Tainer Inc. plant in Simi Valley, Calif., under license on behalf of MPI.
MPI has seven blow molding lines at its 100,000-square-foot Toronto plant and employs about 80. The custom blow molder also does heat-transfer and pressure-sensitive labeling. Its bottles are used mostly for liquids.
``Right now we are trying to focus on the beer market and single-serve milks,'' O'Brien said.
He added that MPI intends to open two or three U.S. plants in the next two years, in the Southwest and Northeast.
``Blow molders have to be close to their market,'' he said.
Paul Morton and senior management are the majority owners.
Fosta-Tek expands in renovated plant
LEOMINSTER, MASS. - Injection molder Fosta-Tek Optics Inc. plans to expand.
President John Morrison and a partner recently formed North Leominster Realty LLC and purchased the building Fosta-Tek was leasing in Leominster. The realty firm paid $32 million for the old Foster Grant building.
Before the purchase, Fosta-Tek had leased the first floor of the 209,000-square-foot site.
``We've been looking at this since last year. ... We wanted to secure our space for additional growth,'' Morrison said in a telephone interview July 15.
Fosta-Tek will be moving its secondary and shipping operations upstairs, said James LeBlanc, Fosta-Tek senior vice president and a co-owner of the building. ``We're going to paint, re-lamp and redo the upstairs, so when we expand it'll be ready,'' he said.
After the $1 million renovation, the firm will try to rent out the real estate it does not use.
Fosta-Tek employs more than 100 and has 20 Engel injection presses. Most of its clients are industrial, military and original equipment manufacturers.
Russian resin firm, Marta form film JV
MOSCOW - Moscow-based packaging materials conglomerate Marta Holding has formed a joint venture with petrochemicals firm OAO Nizhnekamskneftekhim Inc. (NKNH) of the Tatarstan Republic to produce biaxially oriented polystyrene film.
The firms will refurbish a $16 million plant in Elabuga City, Tatarstan, that is next to NKNH's polystyrene production site.
NKNH already has spent about $7.5 million on a BOPS production line from Woonsocket, R.I.-based Marshall and Williams Plastics, a unit of Parkinson Technologies Inc., said PT marketing specialist Theresa Williams.
Marta spokesman Nikita Kalashnikov said the line will be the centerpiece of the facility.
``This is a major line which includes major technology and equipment,'' he said.
Kalashnikov said Marta approached NKNH for the joint venture because Marta wants to be able to limit resin costs. ``Seventy to 80 percent of the final cost of the product is the resin,'' he said.
The company expects the 200,000-square-foot plant to be renovated and in production by the end of May. The plant will employ about 360, Kalashnikov said.
Rehrig's pallet biz grows with Penn buy
LOS ANGELES - Rehrig Pacific Co. of Los Angeles has invested in the pallet service industry.
Family-owned Rehrig Pacific manufactures returnable plastic pallets, crates and related products in seven U.S. plants.
Rehrig Penn Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary, acquired the service-related businesses of Penn Pallet Inc., as well as 25 percent of the national pallet sales and reclamation cooperative Penn-Alliance, on June 1. Terms were not disclosed.
The acquisition represents ``our largest step in terms of the logistics and services businesses,'' said Matt Dannenfeldt, general manager of Rehrig Penn.
Rehrig Penn employs 150, but expects to hit 250 by year's end.
Penn-Alliance, based in Charlotte, N.C., sells, tracks and reclaims wood pallet assets, primarily with the retail sector. Rehrig Penn shares ownership of Penn-Alliance with Penn Pallet and First Alliance Logistics Management LLC, also of Charlotte.
Dan Cunningham and his family acquired the business in 1976, renaming it Penn Pallet. Penn Pallet now employs 80 and manufactures wood pallets in St. Mary's, Pa., and Woodland, Pa.