Canadian, Japanese toolmakers team up
Windsor, Ontario - Canadian toolmaker Hallmark Technologies Inc. has teamed with a Japanese counterpart in an alliance that will allow both companies to access new business and new customers.
Hallmark's relationship with Yamaguchi Seiki Kogyo of Gifu, Japan, will provide the Japanese firm with a North American partner that can service and repair molds being used in North America by Asian automakers. The relationship will allow Yamaguchi to bid on more tools that will be used in North America - while Hallmark will have greater access to Yamaguchi's customer base.
The alliance is an important step for Windsor-based Hallmark to make contacts with automakers like Toyota Motor Corp., which is growing in North America, said Todd Latouf, president and chief executive officer, in a March 24 news release.
Hallmark makes tools for injection molding used in multicolor and multimaterial auto parts, including lighting systems.
For some large-scale programs, the two companies may join forces to produce multiple tools.
The firms also will take part in an engineering exchange, with engineers from each company trading places to learn each other's technology.
Toray expanding ABS capacity in Malaysia
TOKYO - Toray Industries Inc. plans to invest $87 million to expand its Malaysian ABS operations, boosting its capacity there by 50 percent to 727.5 million pounds.
Toyko-based Toray also said it will begin producing transparent-grade ABS at the site, in response to rapidly increasing demand and technical sophistication of manufacturers in China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nation countries, which together expect to consume 65 percent of the global ABS production by 2010.
Currently, the region accounts for about 56 percent of world ABS demand, or nearly 7.3 billion pounds, but that is expected to grow to 9.92 billion pounds by 2010, driven by manufacturing of automobiles, home electronics and office equipment, Toray said. Global demand is rising about 5 percent a year, the company said.
The expansion at Penang, Malaysia, is expected to be available in 2008 and will include two plants, one for advanced general-purpose ABS and the second for transparent grades.
Toray has been making significant investments in Malaysia, including expanding this year its 50-50 joint venture with BASF AG to compound polybutylene terephthalate, and establishing a technical center at Penang in March.
According to local news reports, company officials said they chose to expand in Malaysia because of its stable political climate, English-speaking workforce, and good infrastructure and raw materials.
The company said its Malaysian operations will become the marketing base for all of its ASEAN sales, while its ABS plant in Ichihara, Japan, will focus on advanced applications for its domestic market.
Including the Japanese plant, the company will have total capacity for its Toyolac ABS resin of 886 billion pounds.
Toray said it also plans to strengthen links between production, sales and research among its Asian units, including those in Shanghai and Shenzhen, China, and in Thailand. The local market is getting more sophisticated in demands for things like heat resistance, plating and painting, the company said.
Davis-Standard LLC opens China office
Pawcatuck, Conn. - Davis-Standard LLC has opened it first sales and service office in China.
The Pawcatuck-based plastics equipment company said it already sees growth for 2006.
The Shanghai office, which opened last month, represents all product lines of Davis-Standard's extrusion systems and converting systems groups. Products include equipment for blown film; cast film; extrusion coating; laminating; laboratory work; sheet; pipe, profiles and tubing; elastomers; and wire and cable processes.
Davis-Standard's second office in Asia, the Shanghai site provides customer service to China and other parts of Asia.
ChemChina acquires Australian PE maker
CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA - Chinese government-owned China National Chemical Corp., known as ChemChina, completed its purchase of Melbourne, Australia-based polyethylene producer Qenos Holdings Pty. Ltd.
Confidentiality agreements prohibited the sale price from being disclosed, former owner Melbourne-based Orica Ltd. said in a news release.
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao finalized the transaction, which required Australian and Chinese regulatory approvals, at a signing ceremony last month in Canberra's federal Parliament House during a state visit to Australia.
Ren Jianxin, ChemChina general manager, said the acquisition was a ``milestone transaction'' in economic cooperation between China and Australia.
Qenos was established in 1999, as a 50-50 joint venture between Orica Ltd. and Houston-based Exxon Mobil Corp. It is Australia's largest ethylene producer and its sole producer of polyethylene. Qenos has annual ethylene production capacity of 500,000 tons.
ChemChina was established in 2004 through the merger of several government-affiliated companies. Jianxin said ChemChina was a leader in China for new chemical materials, including organic silicone, engineering plastics and specialty resins.
``Through this acquisition, ChemChina has extended its new materials business further upstream, given the importance of ethylene feedstock in the production chain of new chemical materials,'' Jianxin said.
He said key success factors of the acquisition included strong growth potential in the Chinese market. ``We will rely on local talents to strengthen and improve Qenos' competitiveness in Australia and the Asia-Pacific region,'' Jianxin said.
After closing the Qenos acquisition, ChemChina's annual sales are expected to reach 80 billion yuan ($10 billion) by the end of 2006.
ChemChina commissioned 15 chemical facilities in 2005 and expects to commission another 12 in 2006, Jianxin said.