Advanced Ventures boosting Mich. site
CHICAGO - Advanced Ventures in Technology Inc. (Booth E9404) will more than double the size of its Gladwin, Mich., facility, where it designs and manufactures thermoforming equipment.
President Al Petersen said the expansion means AVT will grow from 20,000 square feet to more than 40,000 square feet. AVT's building currently sits on 10 acres.
``In the past year or so, our sales have been extremely strong, particularly in the automotive and transportation markets,'' he said.
Petersen said there is a need for automation in thermoforming, which his firm is focused on as the plastics industry in general works to reduce the labor component of operations.
Petersen said the expansion was fueled by a project AVT did for Better Bath Components in Waxahachie, Texas, in which AVT built a machine 70 feet in diameter and 40 feet high.
``We simply didn't have the space to build this particular machine in one of our several buildings,'' Petersen said. ``The next time - and we are close to several more large size machine orders - we will have the space to do this.''
AVT employs 30 in Gladwin, where it has been since 1996. Petersen said his goal is to boost his staff size by 20 percent.
During the show, AVT is highlighting a pick-and-place sheet loading and unloading system. Visitors can see material lifted from a stack with vacuum cups, rotated 90 degrees and placed on a shuttle conveyor. The sheet then is shuttled out, and shuttled back on a reversing conveyor. The pick-and-place system will pick the sheet up again, rotate it back 90 degrees and place it back on the stack. The line can increase production by as much as 30 percent, officials said.
SPE, SpecialChem to prerecord sessions
CHICAGO - SpecialChem (Booth S714) and the Society of Plastics Engineers (Booth S3004) are combining on a project to provide recorded technical presentations on demand.
``In our industry, we all have missed conferences or lectures because they were too expensive or scheduled for a time or place that was not convenient for us,'' Christophe Cabarry, founder of Paris-based SpecialChem, said in a news release.
The plan is to make technical presentations on plastics technology available any time, anywhere. The launch is set tentatively for later this year, and, for a fee, SPE and SpecialChem will offer more than 50 prerecorded online presentations from their own experts, said Kartine Boutouta, key account manager for SpecialChem.
The service will be available first on SpecialChem Web sites, including Omnexus, and later on SPE Web sites.
SPE is a nonprofit organization based in Brookfield, Conn., with a mission of promoting technical knowledge of plastics.
Susan Oderwald, executive director of SPE, said that the project will boost her organization's audience.
NPE stats keeping ahead of 2003 show
CHICAGO - International visitors are continuing to help boost NPE attendance this year.
As of midafternoon Tuesday, a total of 61,732 people had registered for the show, ahead of the 60,148 who had registered by the same time at the 2003 show.
Some 23 percent of the total were international visitors, according to the Washington-based show organizer, the Society of the Plastics Industry Inc.
Business Research buys U.S. firm Peppin
LONDON - London consulting firm Business Research Group Inc. has strengthened its plastics services by acquiring Peppin & Associates consultancy of Chesterfield, Mo.
No purchase price was disclosed. Peppin owner and founder Austin Peppin said he will remain with BRG at least two years.
Peppin founded the firm in 1986 after an 18-year career with chemicals and plastics maker Monsanto Inc. His company focused on business development, sales growth and profitability in plastics, with an emphasis on engineering materials.
BRG approached Peppin earlier this year looking to expand in plastics work.
``At the same time, I was looking for an exit strategy,'' said Peppin, a native of Manchester, England. ``This is a way for me to ease into retirement while passing on some of my knowledge.''
Peppin, 68, said the deal is ``a merger of minds.''
The 14 associates Peppin works with - including three full-time employees - will remain with BRG, which operates a North American office in Mount Olive, N.J.
BRG provides market and business information for the chemicals market and other industries. The firm previously worked in plastics research with Houston-based Phillip Townsend Associates Inc., now called Townsend Polymer Services & Information, before dissolving that partnership.