Sales flat for Italian machinery makers
MILAN, ITALY - Italian production of plastics and rubber machinery was flat in 2006, at 3.7 billion euros ($4.7 billion), the same level as 2005, according to estimated year-end results from the Assocomaplast trade association.
Exports edged up slightly, from 2.14 billion euros in 2005 to 2.15 billion euros in 2006.
The overall domestic market was 2.15 billion euros in 2006, up 2 percent from the 2005 figure of 2.1 billion euros.
Italy is the second-largest country for plastics and rubber machinery production and exports, behind Germany, according to Milan-based Assocomaplast, the Italian plastics and rubber processing machinery and mold manufacturers' association.
Growth is forecast for RFID technology
DEDHAM, MASS. - The worldwide market for RFID - radio-frequency identification - for manufacturing will grow at a compounded annual growth rate of 8.9 percent during the next five years, as standardization and technology converge to drive prices down, according to the ARC Advisory Group of Dedham.
ARC said the market totaled $208.8 million in 2006, and is forecast to top $319.5 million in 2011.
RFID has a lot of untapped potential for internal operations, such as tracking work-in-process and error-proofing.
Engel tech center opens in Pa. factory
YORK, PA. - Engel Holding GmbH has opened a 7,500-square-foot technical center and training facility at its factory in York that makes presses in clamping forces of 600-1,900 tons. All equipment and automation is available for customer mold trials, product development, training and demonstrations.
The center houses five machines: a 200-ton vertical clamp press with a rotary table for insert molding, a 165-ton Victory tie-barless press, a 310-ton T-series all-electric E-Motion press and two large-tonnage Duo machines, with 720 and 1,000 tons of clamping force.
The training area has plasma-screen displays and hands-on training on the equipment.
Husky to distribute AGR testing products
BUTLER, PA. - AGR International Inc., the Butler-based company that makes testing equipment for PET preforms, bottles and other packaging products, has finalized an agreement with Husky Injection Molding Systems Ltd., which will distribute the Agr*TopWave laboratory testing products as part of Husky's turnkey injection molding systems.
Husky is based in Bolton, Ontario.
AGR products include devices for monitoring material distribution, volume, strength and dimensions of the container, among other things.
ABB Robotics loans robots for exhibition
BIRMINGHAM, ALA. - ABB Robotics has loaned four robots to McWane Science Center in Birmingham for an exhibit on automation at the center's ScienceWorks area.
The interactive display lets visitors challenge a robot, see robots interacting with one another and compare early robots against the robots of today.
One of the robots is an ABB unit produced in 1972.
The robots are on loan through this year.
ABB Robotics is a division of ABB Inc., of Auburn Hills, Mich.
Italy's Persico boosts profile in N. America
NEMBRO, ITALY - Italian rotational molding machinery maker Persico SpA is getting more aggressive to market its Leonardo brand of equipment to North America - announcing agreements with two U.S. companies.
Persico said Lakeland Mold Co. in Brainerd, Minn., will provide sales support and customer service of molds for Leonardo rotomolders. Koops Inc. of Holland, Mich., will handle service and technical support. Koops has worked with Persico's Automotive Division for many years, providing the production, installation and support of presses and compression molding lines.
Design and manufacturing of both the molds and equipment will remain at Persico headquarters in Nembro.
The Leonardo machine is used by rotomolders in Europe and Australia. Persico bills Leonardo as a fully automated machine that does not require an operator. The machine directly controls the curing and heating cycles based on the internal temperature - technology the company also claims makes Leonardo very energy efficient.
Heating, cooling, loading and unloading all take place in the same area, so the machine is compact. Heating and cooling are closely confined to the mold surface area.
Die maker EDI buys coatings producer
CHIPPEWA FALLS, WIS. - Flat-die maker Extrusion Dies Industries LLC has purchased Liberty Coating Equipment, a maker of slot-die coating systems, EDI announced March 6.
Slot dies are used to apply fluids or polymers such as adhesives, inks, electrolytes and magnetic slurries into continuous- web substrates.
Chippewa Falls-based EDI was already making slot dies, but there is little overlap between their customer bases, according to Christopher Curtin, EDI's executive vice president of sales and marketing.
``The acquisition of Liberty Coating enables EDI to expand its reach in a number of slot-die markets, particularly those requiring very thin or optically clear coatings,'' Curtin said. ``We also now have more alternatives to offer companies that have relied exclusively on conventional roll coating but are attracted by the advantages of slot-die coating.''
In roll coating, the amount of material deposited is indirectly controlled by wiping blades or preset gaps between rollers. Slot dies use a premetered, precise amount of coating material.
Hudson-Sharp moves Brazil work to U.S.
GREEN BAY, WIS. - Film converting equipment maker Hudson-Sharp Machine Co. is moving its Brazilian assembly operations to its headquarters in Green Bay.
``The move will simplify operations and eliminate redundancy,'' said Rod Drummond, president and chief executive officer, in the Feb. 8 announcement.
Hudson-Sharp will continue assembly operations at its Hudson-Sharp do Brasil operation in Araraquara, Brazil, until the transition is complete. After the assembly is moved, the Brazil location will continue to provide sales, spare parts and technical support for customers in South America.
Hudson-Sharp makes plastic-bag-making machinery, pouch-making equipment and pre-zippered film systems.
The company employs about 80 in Green Bay.
ISRA Surface Vision doubles plant space
DULUTH, GA. - ISRA Surface Vision, which makes vision systems for web production such as plastic film, has more than doubled its space by moving to a 25,000-square-foot facility in Duluth.
The old building, in Norcross, Ga., measured 9,000 square feet, said Werner Goeckel, president of ISRA Surface Vision.
ISRA's U.S. surface inspection business grew more than 30 percent in 2006.
The vision systems are designed, manufactured, integrated and serviced from Duluth.