Sigma to complete expansions by Sept.
LYNDHURST, N.J. - Sigma Stretch Film Corp. of Lyndhurst is in the midst of one of its largest expansions ever, as officials spend more than $30 million to boost stretch film capacity at sites throughout North America.
``When all stretch film expansions are completed by this September, we will have a companywide nameplate capacity of 425 million pounds,'' Sigma Chief Executive Officer Alfred Teo said in a March 14 telephone interview.
Sigma recently added two blown film lines in Shelbyville, Ky., boosting capacity to 120 million pounds. That site now has four blown film and two cast film lines.
The firm consolidated West Coast stretch film production into a new facility in Riverside, Calif., that will house five stretch lines, including one new blown film line.
Two lines were transferred from Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., which is undergoing a separate expansion. Officials will add two lines for new products, including industrial and food-related packaging, Teo said. By the close of the second quarter, the firm will complete a $5 million project in Lyndhurst, where a nine-layer cast coextrusion line will boost capacity to 98 million pounds.
Omniflex launches Etcetera LLC venture
NORTHAMPTON, MASS. - Omniflex LLC is joining with Marc Etchells to form a joint venture called Etcetera LLC in Northampton to provide products that help fight infection and odor.
The new firm's technologies will be incorporated in Omniflex's Transport and Vacuflex films for apparel, medical textiles and automotive interior fabrics. Etcetera also will offer antibacterial products for medical-device makers.
Etchells has four antimicrobial-related patents pending.
The company will operate out of a 15,000-square-foot facility with three controlled-environment rooms, the firms said Feb. 24.
Greenfield, Mass.-based Omniflex makes waterproof, breathable barrier films from polyurethane and other specialty polymers. It also is a sales agent for DuPont Active Layer film.
Switzerland's Sika buys Sarna Polymer
BAAR, SWITZERLAND - Sarna Polymer Holding Inc. of Sarnen, Switzerland, has been bought by chemical company Sika AG of Baar.
Sarna makes construction-related products. Its Sarnafil division produces roof waterproofing membranes - products similar to Sika's.
Last year, Sarna pulled out of automotive molding by selling units including Sarnamotive Blue Water of Marysville, Mich., and Sarnatech BNL Ltd. of Knaresborough, England. The latter was sold Nov. 30 to British plastics processor Plastics Capital Ltd. Sarnatech BNL employs 127 and had annual sales of almost $16 million in 2004. It has sales and design offices in the U.S. and Japan.
Sika has plants in Dudingen and Troisdorf, Germany, and generates about $2 billion in annual sales.
Sarnafil, which has a waterproof membrane plant in Shanghai, has other production sites in Switzerland and North America. Its U.S. subsidiary, Sarnafil Inc., is based in Canton, Mass.
Before the deal, Sarna announced its chief executive officer, Matti Paasila, was leaving the company Jan. 31. He had been a director since 1998 and CEO since January 2003.
Germany's POS buys five electric presses
BAD SALZUFLEN, GERMANY - A German molder, POS Tuning Udo Vosshenrich GmbH & Co. KG, has bought five E-Motion all-electric presses from Engel Holding GmbH in Schwertberg, Austria.
POS Tuning set up its own injection molding facility last year when it relocated to a new production site in Bad Salzuflen. The Engel machines, in clamping forces of 60-308 tons, are molding plastic parts for the company's product called the POS T Goods Pusher System, a spring-loaded device used on supermarket shelves that pushes merchandise toward the front whenever a consumer removes an item.
The company had outsourced its molding.
Unistraw, Nestlé UK doing battle in court
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - Two companies are in a legal battle over the intellectual property rights of a polypropylene drinking straw filled with beads for flavoring milk.
Sydney-based Unistraw International Pty. Ltd., manufacturer of the Sipahh drinking straw, has launched ``straw wars'' against London-based Nestlé UK Ltd. in London's High Court.
Unistraw alleges Nestlé copied the Sipahh design and breached confidentiality agreements. Unistraw claims the recipes and manufacturing methods are trade secrets owned by the company and invented by Peter Baron, who started developing the product nine years ago in Australia.
Unistraw said it entered negotiations with Nestlé in late 2002 to explore commercialization possibilities of the straw in the United Kingdom, with the promise of substantial royalty payments to Unistraw. Negotiations between the two companies broke down in July 2004, but the claim alleges that, without Unistraw's consent, Nestlé manufactured and sold drinking straws in the Sipahh design.
Baron said the Sipahh brand captured 25 percent of the multimillion-dollar flavored-milk-modifier category in Australian supermarkets within 10 weeks of its launch.
Robinette purchases W&H printing press
BRISTOL, TENN. - Robinette Co. is boosting its film printing capabilities with the recent installation of the first Windmoeller & Hoelscher Corp. Novoflex CL 53-inch-wide printing press in North America. The Bristol firm employs 275 at two Tennessee locations - Bristol and nearby Piney Flats. Robinette does laminations, shrink sleeves, pouches, bags and slitting.
Vicart representing firm based in China
SAN DIEGO - Newly established Vicart Corp. of San Diego has contracted with an unidentified firm in Shenzhen, China, to machine and hand-fabricate prototypes and low-volume parts of fire-retardant ABS.
Vicart targets ``anybody molding or designing plastic parts,'' in most cases without tooling costs, Arthur Buckel, Vicart president, said by telephone.
Established in August, Vicart has exclusive rights to represent the ISO 9001-registered firm in North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand.
While the Shenzhen firm has been in business since 1975, it has never shipped out of China, said Buckel, who has more than five decades of experience in plastics.
Buckel's son, Victor, is Vicart's vice president.
* Ecomadera of Jiquilpan, Mexico, has purchased two Fibrex extrusion lines from Vienna, Austria-based Cincinnati Extrusion GmbH for making wood-plastic composite lumber.