Intertape film line goes up to full speed
DANVILLE, VA. - A new $5 million, seven-layer cast film extrusion line with the capacity to produce 80,000-100,000 pounds of stretch film per day was scheduled to start running full-speed the first week in December at Intertape Polymer Group Inc.
The line began operating in late October at Intertape's Danville plant and will provide 25-40 percent of the plant's stretch film capacity, company officials said in late November. It is expected to improve operating efficiencies and will bring total investment at the site to $100 million since it opened in 1987.
The investment is one of several initiatives that the tape, commodity films and flexible packaging maker has instituted to improve its troubled financial situation. In the third quarter, ended Sept. 30, Intertape lost $123.3 million. This quarter, it plans to implement a series of cost reductions that will trim $22 million from annual expenses.
Just last month, interim Chief Executive Officer H. Dale McSween announced that the company was exploring strategic and financial options to boost value to shareholders. Intertape's gross margin in the third quarter was 15.3 percent, compared with 20.7 percent one year ago.
``In a difficult economic environment, the company successfully renegotiated covenants with its lenders and continues to focus on improving the performance of its business,'' said McSween, who was promoted to interim CEO after the company's founder, chairman and CEO, Melbourne Yull, stepped down in June.
Intertape is headquartered in Bradenton, Fla., and Montreal.
Craemer molding site launches in England
TELFORD, ENGLAND - German transit, storage and waste container manufacturer Paul Craemer GmbH has launched a £9 million ($17 million) injection molding plant, warehouse and office complex in Telford.
The company, based in Herzebrock-Clarholz, Germany, will run three Krauss-Maffei injection presses with clamping forces of 1,000-2,700 metric tons to turn out its Kliko-brand wheeled waste bins, stacking crates and pallets.
With completion of the new United Kingdom base, Craemer will close its two small sales offices in Telford and Manchester, England, switching the sales force of about 15 to its new 7-acre site. The firm is adding as many as 20 plant people to form its initial U.K. workforce, it said.
Craemer will have a 16,000-square-foot production hall, plus 10,000 square feet of offices and a warehouse area. The site allows for future doubling of the production and storage area, according to the company.
Craemer said it is optimistic that its new investment will be a success, not least because it recently secured a major order to supply 50,000 boxes for the fish market in Scotland. Craemer designed and built the mold for the box with its Scottish customer.
R&D adds all-electric 65-ton Toshiba press
HILLSBORO, ORE. - Injection molder R&D Plastics LLC of Hillsboro in mid-November began operating a newly acquired all-electric 65-ton Toshiba press.
``We purchased it to handle a rapidly growing volume of small-part jobs,'' said Rod Roth, president. With the new press and sale of an existing 50-ton unit, R&D will have 11 machines of 28-570 tons.
R&D employs 45, occupies 13,000 square feet and had 2005 sales of $5.1 million. ``Our sales for 2006 should be between $5.6 million and $5.7 million,'' Roth said.
R&D is getting more volume without adding space. ``We anticipate being able to grow at least another 50 percent in our existing space, in part because of our lean initiatives,'' Roth said.
On Oct. 20, R&D sponsored a tour of Portland, Ore., area plants for 25 students and four instructors in the plastics engineering program at Western Washington University in Bellingham, Wash.
In addition to R&D, participants visited mold makers Anderson Design Inc. and Jamieson Tool & Design Inc., both in Hillsboro; injection molder Kaso Plastics and a vacuum forming facility of Elixir Industries Inc., both in Vancouver, Wash.; and vacuum forming and injection molding capabilities at sporting goods maker Nike Inc. in Beaverton, Ore.
Roth drew observations about the plastics industry from speakers at an Oct. 6-7 Society of the Plastics Industry Inc. section event in Oregon. Indicators of a successful company include creating a strategic plan, implementing automation and lean initiatives, responding to customer needs with flexibility, constantly driving down costs, using good employee management practices and monitoring performance, he said.
Amanco acquires Chile pipe extruder
SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - Construction company Grupo Amanco has boosted its position as a leading plastic water pipe system producer in Latin America with its acquisition of Chilean pipe extruder Tuberías y Conexiones SA (Tycsa).
Sao Paulo-based Amanco, with 19 plants in 14 countries of Central and South America, purchased a 51 percent stake in Tycsa, which molds polyethylene and PVC pipe and connectors at a plant in Santiago, Chile, according to Amanco parent Grupo Nueva SA of San Jose, Costa Rica.
Tycsa, a partnership formed just a year ago, serves markets in Chile including construction, irrigation, mining and telecommunications from the 194,000-square- foot San Bernardo plant. It has a capacity of more than 10 million pounds of product per year.
Under the deal, the three partners who owned the Chilean firm will retain a 41 percent share in the business.
Tycsa claims to hold 5 percent of the Chilean pipe systems market, which today is worth around $210 million per year. The market is dominated by the Tigre group of Joinville, Brazil, which opened a new plant in Santiago last year, and local firm Duratec Vinilit SA. Those two companies control about 80 percent of the market, according to Grupo Nueva.
``For Grupo Nueva, the Chilean market represents a [good] investment opportunity, given its economic stability and growth,'' commented Julio Moura, president of Amanco's parent group. Amanco aims to introduce new products to the local market, Moura added.
Amanco, with production in Agentina, Brazil, Colombia, Peru, Venezuela, Ecuador, Mexico, Guatemala and Costa Rica, has annual sales of $800 million. Grupo Nueva also has interests in the furniture and construction wood-panel production sectors.
Pa. nominates MXL a top place to work
LANCASTER, PA. - MXL Industries Inc. is on the list of 50 medium-sized companies nominated for the ``Best Places to Work in Pennsylvania'' and was honored at an awards ceremony Nov. 28.
MXL is a Lancaster-based injection molder of optical-quality plastic components for the military, medical and dental, industrial safety, security and motor sports industries. Besides molding, it also does mold design, abrasion- and fog-resistant coating, vacuum deposition coating and laser eye protection.
The awards program, created in 2000, is a partnership of Team Pennsylvania Foundation, the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry and Central Penn Business Journal. Each year the program honors 50 midsize companies (those with 25-250 employees) and 50 large companies (with more than 250 employees).
The process involves an evaluation of the company and an employee survey.