Consortium acquiring Dow's S. African unit
BRYANSTON, SOUTH AFRICA - A consortium led by global plastics producer and distributor Ravago SA is buying the plastics division of Sentrachem Ltd., a South African subsidiary of Dow Chemical Co.
Ravago's South African affiliate, Plastomark (Pty.) Ltd. of Bryanston, will buy the unit for an undisclosed sum by December.
Sentrachem produces polypropylene and high density polyethylene at its plant in Sasolburg.
Sentrachem employs 240. Its plastics operations were established in 1972 as a joint venture between Sentrachem and Hoechst AG. Dow took control in December 1997.
Ravago of Arendonk, Belgium, has maintained a longstanding business relationship with Midland, Mich.-based Dow, and Plastomark is the current distributor for Sentrachem's plastics business.
Terms were not disclosed.
Dow still plans to serve the South African polymers market.
``South Africa remains an important market for Dow,'' said the company's Southern Africa general manager, Ross McLean. His company will continue to supply customers there from Dow plants outside the country, although it will not compete directly with the Sentrachem operations, McLean said.
The deal is subject to approval by the Dow and Ravago boards, as well as South Africa's antitrust authorities.
Senior executives at Ravago were unavailable to comment.
Apart from Sentrachem, Dow runs other businesses in South Africa. Overall, it employs 483 and has total local annual sales of 3 billion rand ($409 million), the company said.
RPD adds materials, expands in Mexico
SAN DIEGO - Rapid Product Development Group Inc. has expanded its operation in Mexico and introduced a newly developed, proprietary line of urethane casting materials for rapid prototyping.
Working with its suppliers, the manufacturing and product-development firm created the advanced materials to ``allow our customers to get prototypes that are the closest emulations of their production materials,'' said Tony Moran, chief executive officer of the San Diego company.
In Tijuana, Mexico, the company this summer boosted its prototype manufacturing capability by acquiring more high-resolution stereolithography equipment, computer numerically controlled machines and vacuum casting chambers.
The site employs more than 100 in model making, engineering and program management.
Woodrell to close its automation operation
WEST HILLS, CALIF. - Californian Woody Woodrell is shutting down his automation operation, known as WPM of Woodrell Project Management, to focus on his core business of servicing Milacron injection molding machines.
Woodrell said his firm in West Hills is Milacron's oldest independent service provider.
For customers in Southern California, there will continue to be a service division in Chatsworth.
Woodrell started to build specialized automation handling modules using vision-inspection systems in 2003.
For customers nationwide, the firm will continue to service molding machines, but will not be building new equipment or new controls systems.
Adirondack garners small-business honor
ALBANY, N.Y. - Adirondack Plastics & Recycling Inc. was one of 34 small businesses honored May 11 with a Small Business Excellence Award.
Adirondack was cited by the Small Business Administration and the Glens Falls National Bank and Trust Co. in New York for its contributions to the local community. The Argyle, N.Y.-based recycler of plastic scrap operates three plastic shredding and grinding systems with hourly capacity of 7,500 pounds.
In 2004, the company processed or brokered more than 30 million pounds of plastic.