Former Newell CEO heads Dirt Devil unit
HONG KONG - Newell Rubbermaid Inc.'s former chief executive officer, Joseph Galli, has taken over as head of the company that makes Dirt Devil and Vax brands of vacuum cleaners and floor-care appliances.
Galli, who led injection molder Newell Rubbermaid through a tumultuous four years before resigning in late 2005, was named CEO of Techtronic Appliances Holding Co. Ltd. on Nov. 1. The company, a unit of Hong Kong-based Techtronic Industries Co. Ltd., singled out the development of Dirt Devil and Vax brands as key tasks for Galli.
TTI's floor-care appliance unit, which had sales of HK$1.82 billion (US$234 million) for the first six months of 2006, is a business in transition. That number represents an 8 percent drop from the year-earlier period, which TTI said was a result of shifting its focus away from original equipment manufacturers to its own branded products.
The floor-care unit accounted for 17 percent of TTI's first-half sales of HK$10.7 billion (US$1.37 billion).
The business is much smaller than what Galli - who also has had senior positions at Amazon.com and Black and Decker - has run previously.
But BusinessWeek magazine, quoting company sources in a September article, said Galli was being considered to run the floor-care unit for a year and is being groomed to take over as TTI CEO from founder, Chairman and CEO Horst Pudwill.
TTI said overall sales were up 5 percent, and profit rose 10 percent, in the first half of 2006, on the strength of its much larger power-tool business, including brands like Milwaukee and Ryobi.
Thermoformer Amros selling its software
CLEVELAND - Thin-gauge thermoformer Amros Industries Inc. of Cleveland now is making its real-time production control software available commercially to injection molders and thermoformers.
President Greg Shteyngarts said Amros has been using the program in its plant for more than two years, during which time productivity increased 28 percent.
The software allows companies to manage and schedule customers' orders and monitor productivity, sorting production orders based on priority.
The software even calculates the financial impact of a project, analyzing the company's ability to cover the costs. In order to keep actual dollar figures secure, the software quantifies as a percentage whether the firm is below or above its break-even point.
Canada funds help Quebec processors
MONTREAL - Quebec's plastics processors are getting federal assistance to help them study and improve productivity, innovation and commercialization.
The Canadian government pledged C$754,000 (US$667,000) over a two-year period to help small and medium-size processors improve their businesses. The grant from the Canada Economic Development Agency marks the second phase of a pilot program begun in 2003 that focused on productivity and a limited number of companies. The Canadian Plastics Industry Association is leading the programs.
In the three years since the first phase was implemented, participating firms saw their performance increase by an average of 50 percent, noted Jean-Pierre Blackburn, who is both Minister of Labour and responsible for the economic development agency in the Quebec regions.
Quebec companies participating in the latest phase of the program will pay a nominal fee to help defray costs and work through CPIA's office in Montreal.
The province has about 800 plastics processors, accounting for about 35 percent of Canada's plastic product manufacturing shipments. Some 23,000 are employed in Quebec's thermoplastic operations and another 7,000 in thermoset composites.
Separately, Quebec processors recently launched a ``remarkable employer program'' to encourage companies to be proactive in addressing a lack of skilled workers, ``to become leaders in human capital management.''
The program was launched at the Quebec Plastics Summit, held Oct. 19 by CPIA's Quebec office in Montreal.