Global partners form composites venture
PERTH, AUSTRALIA - Australian composites manufacturer Quickstep Holdings Ltd. has partnered with Indian composites maker NTF Private Ltd. and Japanese materials supplier Avanti Corp. Ltd. to push Quickstep's thermoplastic technology.
Perth-based Quickstep, New Dehli, India-based NTF and Osaka, Japan-based Avanti will spend US$2 million to establish a plant in New Dehli.
Nick Noble, Quickstep managing director, said the group already has bid on several international projects and expects to win a contract with India's mass-transit sector to make fire-retardant panels for rail-car interiors.
If Quickstep wins the contract, worth US$4.2 million, production will start at the new plant by November. Noble said the plant will be established in India to take advantage of cheap labor and to ensure Quickstep is cost-competitive.
``The New Dehli facility offers the opportunity to establish a ... global manufacturing center with a low-cost base, leveraging off the country's highly competitive labor costs,'' Noble said.
According to Noble, India's skilled-labor rates are some of the lowest, at 95 cents to US$2 an hour, compared with about US$23 in Australia, US$23.10 in the United States and US$34 in Western Europe.
The joint venture was established specifically to manufacture rail-car interiors and exteriors. Noble said expansion beyond that market will be subject to negotiation.
Quickstep said it is considering moving its Flatout Boats manufacturing to the New Dehli facility.
Net extruder Delstar doubles China output
SUZHOU, CHINA - One year after the launch of its plant in Suzhou, netting extruder Delstar Technologies Inc. has doubled its capacity.
The Suzhou plant extrudes nettings used in filtration, medical and industrial applications. The added lines and equipment will be used to make antimicrobial and flame-retardant nets.
``The additional capacity and equipment we are putting in will double the output of the factory,'' said Tim Cullen, vice president of sales and marketing.
The company still uses the 25,000-square-foot manufacturing space leased since last year. The Suzhou factory started with 20 workers last summer, and will add jobs for the increase in capacity.
Cullen did not reveal the number of jobs to be added, and said in a Sept. 12 e-mail: ``This does not affect any of our U.S.-based plants, where we are also seeing healthy growth.''
In July 2005, the factory launched with two lines operating 24 hours a day. At the time, Middletown, Del.-based Delstar said a third line was ``on the way.''
Further expansion is likely, corporate operations Vice President James Dickson said in a news release.
Asia sales manager Kelly Huang said in a Sept. 7 phone interview in Shanghai that sales in China are growing nicely, but she declined to give details.
Delstar also runs manufacturing bases in Austin, Texas; Richland, Pa.; Middletown, Del.; and El Cajon, Calif.
J-M relief continues to victims of Katrina
LIVINGSTON, N.J. - As part of its continued support of the Hurricane Katrina relief effort, J-M Manufacturing Co. Inc. has donated 80 sets of washers, dryers and refrigerators to New Orleans storm victims.
The donation brings Livingston-based J-M's contributions toward rebuilding the Gulf region to about $150,000.
Hurricane victims whose homes have been rebuilt by volunteers from the Catholic Charities of New Orleans will receive the appliances, as part of Catholic Charities' ``Operation Helping Hands'' initiative.