Fast-growing Delta moving, upgrading
UNION CITY, CALIF. - Fast-growing Delta Pacific Products Inc. has invested about $800,000 to relocate and upgrade its injection molding and auxiliary capabilities.
The firm's 32,000-square-foot site in Union City is more centrally located to customers than its previous site in Santa Clara, Calif., and accommodates the current workload, said Fred Betke, president and a co-owner with Vice Presidents Kevin Dooley and Richard Ellis.
Delta employs 78, up from 35 in January when it moved 21 miles from Santa Clara and gained 16,300 square feet.
Equipment cost about $550,000. The arriving units include four JSW all-electric injection molding machines - three with 122 tons of clamping force and one with 200 tons. Brian Scappaticci of Single Source Equipment in Piedmont, Calif., represented JSW.
Electrics provide repeatable operating parameters and reduce setup and down times, Dooley said. Also, the firm hopes to qualify for energy-efficiency rebates from utility provider Pacific Gas and Electric Co.
Delta is adding an Arburg all-electric of 110 tons and three Arburg hydraulic presses, two of 80 tons and one of 230 tons. The firm also purchased Matsui dryers and Advantage temperature controllers.
After removing one hydraulic press, Delta Pacific will have a total of 22 presses with a range of 22-240 tons. ``We hope to replace a 230-ton hydraulic this quarter,'' Dooley added.
Sixty-eight percent of the company's sales involve medical and pharmaceutical devices. At 16 percent, electronics is the firm's second-largest market niche. Other work involves automotive and commodity applications.
The firm has set up a controlled environment in about 4,600 square feet for injection molding. Another 4,000 square feet for assembly and secondary operations includes a Class 10,000 clean room of 500 square feet.
Delta reported 2004 sales of about $5 million, and ``we would like to bump that 20 percent this year,'' Dooley said.
Kemalex recovering from 10-week strike
ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA - A strike has cost Adelaide-based automotive parts manufacturer Kemalex Plastics Pty. Ltd. more than A$500,000 (US$377,400), not including product loss.
Managing Director Richard Colebatch said the company's Melbourne plant still is recovering from a 10-week strike, more than a month after the labor dispute was resolved. The strike was over a National Union of Workers demand that Kemalex stop using independent contractors and increase employee wages.
The 40 employees eventually came back to work after Kemalex agreed to a pay raise of A$100 a week, phased in over two years. The company did not agree to stop using independent contractors.
Kemalex injection molds thermoplastics.
Colebatch said the Australian automotive parts industry is in trouble because of an increase in imported car parts and competitive pressures. He predicts job losses in the industry and business closures.
The company plans to ``further restructure toward independent contractors'' because of the industry's woes.
Colebatch said Kemalex had been trying to raise staff morale since the strike, but absentee rates had soared and workers' compensation claims had increased.
Kemalex bought the Melbourne plant in 2002.
Recovering AGY mulls its financial options
AIKEN, S.C. - Fiberglass producer AGY of Aiken is exploring financial options that include selling or refinancing the company.
It has hired Houlihan Lokey Howard & Zukin of New York to explore alternatives, according to an Aug. 25 news release. Chief Executive Officer Doug Mattscheck said the AGY board made its decision after considering a number of factors including the company's performance, upcoming maturity of its debt and the current climate for interest rates and investments.
The company has performed well since emerging from Chapter 11 protection from creditors in 2004, he said.
``We have demonstrated consistent, strong growth and have enhanced our profitability,'' he said.
The business was established decades ago by Toledo, Ohio-based building products firm Owens Corning. When Owens Corning exited that business in 1998, AGY was launched as a joint venture that later became an independent company.
AGY has production facilities in Aiken and Huntingdon, Pa. It has an office in Lyon, France, and representatives in Seoul, South Korea, and Tokyo.
Mueller expanding at Michigan facility
PORTAGE, MICH. - Injection molder Mueller Plastics Corp. Inc. plans to spend $1.17 million to add equipment to its plant in Portage.
The company, a division of Mueller Industries Inc. of Memphis, Tenn., received a three-year, 50 percent tax break on new equipment from the city of Portage. According to the company, the break will help the company retain the 170 employees who work at the 202,000-square-foot plant.
The plant manufactures plastic pressure fittings.
Plant manager Chris Mueller would not discuss details of expansion.