Basell BV sells stake in Polibrasil to Suzano
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - Brazilian chemicals company Suzano Petroquímica SA is buying out Basell BV in their 50-50 partnership in Latin America's top polypropylene resin producer, Polibrasil Resinas SA, to become the region's third-ranked polymer supplier.
As part of the proposed $240 million deal, Hoofddorp, the Netherlands-based Basell will acquire full control of Polibrasil's 55 million-pound-per-year compounding business. That operation runs one plant in CamaÃ§ari, Brazil, and a new, 100 million-pound-per-year PP compounding plant in Pindamonhangaba, is to begin operating in September.
Polibrasil has three resin operations in Brazil with a combined capacity of 1.3 billion pounds per year. Already it has plans to increase polymer output at two of the plants. An expansion project scheduled between this year and 2007 will see annual capacity at Mau , Brazil, boosted by 132 million pounds, to about 800 million pounds. A later upgrade will take the Mau plant to almost 1 billion pounds per year, according to Polibrasil, which stressed the investment depends on raw material availability.
At its Duque de Caxias location, annual capacity is expected to increase by more than 220 million pounds to reach more than 660 million pounds before 2007.
The Basell deal is scheduled to be complete in the third quarter. Afterward, Rio de Janeiro-based Suzano plans to simplify its structure, it said. Details of the reorganization will be revealed later.
In 2004, Polibrasil was responsible for more than 51 percent of Brazil's total PP resin and compound production, which stood at nearly 2.5 billion pounds, according to Suzano.
Mitsubishi Rayon unit launches in Nantong
NANTONG, CHINA - Japan's Mitsubishi Rayon Co. has started making polymethyl methacrylate sheet and acrylic coating resins in Nantong.
Mitsubishi Rayon Polymer Nantong Co. Ltd., a fully owned subsidiary of Mitsubishi Rayon, will be producing 44 million pounds of PMMA sheet and 6.6 million pounds of acrylic coating resins per year.
The Japanese parent invested $35 million in the facility in Nantong, which is on the coast near Shanghai. The 330,000-square-foot site is equipped with machines imported from Japan.
Mitsubishi Rayon spokeswoman Mutsumasa Sasaki said the firm's major markets will be light-guide panels for liquid-crystal-display screens and vehicles.
Sasaki did not disclose the initial staff number, and said the company plans to add employees in the future.
Mitsubishi Rayon expects synergy from its two acrylic materials subsidiaries in the same city. The other one, Nantong Rayon Chemical Co. Ltd., produces and sells acrylic pellets.
Mitsubishi Rayon Polymer started in December 2002 with paid-in capital of $19 million.
Mitsubishi has a total of six fully owned subsidiaries producing chemicals and plastics in China; all of them are in Shanghai and the neighboring Jiangsu province.
Arburg exec outlines how to retain clients
DÜSSELDORF, GERMANY - German processors can offset the move of low-cost production to low-wage countries by increasing the functionality, flexibility and complexity of their molded parts, the technical director of injection press maker Arburg GmbH + Co. KG said at a recent conference.
Herbert Kraibuhler also encouraged molders to shorten procurement lead times and increase capabilities by merging several production stages to cut out direct labor costs.
He said the machinery sector can lead the way. ``It is our responsibility to take up the challenge, not as lone warriors but as partners, therefore ensuring the future of our site on a long-term basis,'' Kraibuhler said during a June 9 speech during the Deutsche Kunststofftage 2005 conference in Dusseldorf.
The official of Lossburg, Germany-based Arburg gave several examples, such as toothbushes molded on a five-component injection press and a micromolded planetary gear train. Both parts are molded with no manual labor.
New Ube all-electric is 3,300-ton machine
NAGOYA, JAPAN - Ube Machinery Corp. Ltd. of Nagoya, which already has topped the 2,000-ton barrier for all-electric injection presses, now is building an even bigger all-electric with 3,300 tons of clamping force at its factory in Ube City, Japan.
Ube is shipping the 3,300-tonner to an automotive customer in Japan, which expects to begin molding bumper fascias on the machine in the second quarter of 2006, said David Bernardi, senior sales and marketing manager of Ube Machinery Inc., during an interview at the company's U.S. headquarters in Ann Arbor, Mich.
Ube has sold several 2,000-ton all-electrics to U.S. automotive molders.
NFM/Welding touts setup with Toshiba
MASSILLON, OHIO - Massillon-based compounding extruder maker NFM/Welding Engineers is using its exclusive manufacturing and licensing arrangement with Toshiba Machine Co. Ltd. to win business from U.S. subsidiaries of Japanese companies, NFM officials said.
Under the arrangement, NFM makes Toshiba's TEM corotating intermeshing twin-screw extruders in the United States for sale in North America, South America and Europe. NFM's own line includes counter-rotating twins as well as single-screw extruders.
The relationship between NFM and Toshiba allows Japanese parent companies to buy a machine licensed from Japan, while their U.S. subsidiaries buy a U.S.-manufactured machine - along with domestic process assistance and access to turnkey capabilities, according to Butch Noll, NFM's national sales manager.
Noll said NFM has completed a large TEM-104SS extruder for a Texas factory of a subsidiary of a Japanese company. Two more extruders are going to plants in Georgia and Virginia, owned by other Japanese companies.
NFM also is in the early stages of two other U.S. projects with Japanese companies.
NFM would not name the customers or give details of the products they are making.
All sales activities for the projects are based out of NFM's Houston sales office. The machines are designed and manufactured at NFM headquarters in Massillon.
* SIG Corpoplast GmbH & Co. KG of Hamburg, Germany, notched its second-largest single order for molds - 106 molds for 1- and 2-liter PET bottles - to South African bottler Amalgamated Beverage Industries. SIG's Moldtec plant in Essen, Germany, built the molds. ... Seven-year-old American Kuhne Inc. of Norwich, Conn., this year shipped its 500th extruder. ... Kiefel Extrusion GmbH of Worms, Germany, said sales of its blown film lines have increased 50 percent since 2001. Kiefel also has expanded its retrofitting business and recently opened sales offices in eight additional countries. ... Richard Girt, a 25-year veteran of plastics equipment troubleshooting and repair, is starting his own firm, Plastics Machinery Service, in Meadville, Pa.