Crane Plastics gets five extrusion lines
COLUMBUS, OHIO - Crane Plastics Manufacturing Ltd. has replaced five of its extrusion lines with five new ones - a move company officials said is part of the custom profile extruder's efforts to become leaner and more efficient.
The Columbus-based unit of Crane Plastic Co. is cleaning out the closet, so to speak, said CPM President Tim Tait in a Feb. 16 telephone interview.
The entire company - made up of CPG, Crane Fencing Solutions, TimberTech Ltd. and Crane Performance Siding - is moving toward leaner manufacturing, Tait said.
``One of the principles of lean is to not have a closet full of a bunch of equipment we don't use,'' he said. ``CPM is the legacy of the Crane units. We have the biggest closet that we had stuff stashed in.''
The company is moving equipment to its mothballed facility in Circleville, Ohio. Crane officials said they are open to selling that 65,000-square-foot building if they get a good offer, but in the meantime are using it to house equipment waiting for auction and as emergency expansion space.
Chesapeake forms JV with Budapest molder
RICHMOND, VA. - Paperboard and plastic packaging firm Chesapeake Corp. of Richmond has entered a joint venture with pesticide formulating firm Chemark Termelo es Kereskedo Kft. of Budapest, Hungary. The venture will blow mold containers for agrochemical customers in Eastern Europe.
The venture will operate as Chesapeake Plastics Kft. from a newly constructed plant that will be operational by the fourth quarter, said Joe Vagi, Chesapeake's manager of corporate communications.
The facility will be located near Budapest, Vagi said in a Feb. 16 telephone interview. The venture already has a supply agreement with agribusiness Syngenta Crop Protection.
Chesapeake is forming the venture through its Boxmore Plastics division, which specializes in high density polyethylene and PET bottles, containers, closures and preforms for several end markets including pharmaceutical, health care, beverage and specialty chemicals.
Boxmore Plastics was part of Chesapeake's acquisition of Boxmore International plc in 2000.
Resin prices in China dent Spotless' profit
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - Increasing resin prices in China and a shift in product demand to Asia have hurt Melbourne-based Spotless Group Ltd.'s bottom line.
Spotless' retailer services division, which includes its polystyrene coat hanger business, saw profit drop 20.5 percent to A$15.1 million (US$11.9 million) for the six-month period ended Dec. 31, compared with the previous corresponding period.
Spotless reported its half-year results Feb. 14.
Peter Wilson, Spotless managing director, said the division's sales dropped 2.8 percent to A$220 million (US$173 million) in the period, with growth dampened by currency translations.
Unusual seasonal ordering patterns from garment manufacturers caused coat hanger sales to soften from July to November, but Wilson said orders increased substantially in December and continued during January.
``A previously exclusive Wal-Mart bottom-hangers contract was reopened to the market during the period, however, to date, Spotless has not felt an unfavorable impact,'' the company said. Bottom hangers have clips for pants and skirts.
Wilson said the major influence on profit was resin prices.
``Resin prices in China continue to increase at a rapid rate and are approaching U.S. and European levels, whereas prices in regions outside China are moderating. Selling-price increases obtained by Spotless in recent periods continue to fall short of full recovery of the increase in resin costs,'' he said.
Ongoing change in apparel sourcing and subsequent migration of demand for Spotless' products and services to Asia have led Spotless to realign its activities. Restructuring will continue in the first half of 2007.
``Despite the adverse resin price environment, management continued to move forward with restructuring operations and significant costs were incurred in closing offices and warehouses and realigning employee numbers,'' Wilson said.