Expansive PP factory targets auto industry
Hoofddorp, Netherlands - Basell Polyolefins of Hoofddorp has launched a 77 million-pound-per-year polypropylene compounding plant in Pindamonhangaba, Brazil, to serve the automotive industry.
The $20 million facility opened March 29. Equipment includes Coperion Megacompounder extruders and a Plasmec turbo mixer. Basell will expand the unit in phases until capacity reaches 176 million pounds per year. The firm already has approved a 33 million-pound expansion for 2007.
The Pindamonhangaba site is within 125 miles of Volkswagen, Peugeot, General Motors, Toyota and Honda assembly plants.
``This facility will help address market growth in South America and bring more Basell resin and technological innovation to a region with tremendous opportunities,'' said Ian Dunn, president of Basell International Holdings BV, in a news release.
Basell's new, 215,000-square-foot site in Brazil employs 70.
Basell produces PP compounds in 14 countries. It claims to be the largest PP compound maker worldwide, producing 1.76 billion pounds of material per year.
Ensinger opens new headquarters in UK
NUFRINGEN, GERMANY - Ensinger GmbH, a supplier of engineering stock shapes, semifinished and finished components, formally unveiled its new 7.3 million euro ($8.8 million) United Kingdom headquarters.
The January opening of the 56,000-square-foot office, plant and warehouse complex in Tonyrefail, Wales, will allow the Nufringen-based company to add 48 jobs in the next three years.
Family-owned Ensinger, which started out in Britain with one small factory 18 years ago, employs 230 today at seven sites across the country.
Before the new site's construction, subsidiary Ensinger Ltd. was based in a tight, 28,000-square-foot site in Llantrisant, Wales.
The move also includes the 42 employees of sister company Ensinger Precision Engineering Ltd., a specialty machining business. EPE produces finished and semifinished parts for markets including medical and aerospace from engineering plastic shapes made by Ensinger GmbH in Germany. The plant operates machining equipment and two Engel injection presses with clamping forces of 40 tons.
Ensinger Ltd. Managing Director John Speirs said the new site will permit the firm to extend its injection molding capacity.
Firms joining forces for candy packaging
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - Biodegradable plastics manufacturer Plantic Technologies Ltd. has teamed with Amcor Packaging (Australasia) Pty. Ltd. to develop a flexible material for confectionery packaging.
Plantic already has launched its rigid bioplastic trays in Europe, selling them to Nestle UK Ltd. for its Dairy Box chocolates.
Brendon Morris, Plantic Technologies' chief operating officer, said the collaboration involves a two-year research program. Amcor will test the Plantic resin, which dissolves in water, for commercial packaging.
``We expect our alliance with Amcor will expand the market for Plantic resin into flexible packaging and further advance our technology,'' Morris said.
Melbourne-based Plantic is developing its resin portfolio to include injection molding grades. A Plantic spokesman said the technology is in its ``late commercial development stage'' but said he did not know when the company is likely to market it.
He said the research with Amcor will cost about A$4 million (US$3 million), but he would not put a figure on the program's potential commercial value.
``It will depend on what we find, but the commercial market [for biodegradable plastic products] is potentially enormous,'' he said.
Michele Allan, research and technology general manager for Melbourne-based Amcor, said there is a large consumer demand for environmentally friendly packaging.