Diaphorm purchases Pro Police Products
SALEM, N.H. - Diaphorm Technologies LLC is boosting its ballistic armor capabilities by acquiring Pro Police Products, a manufacturer and distributor of helmets and accessories for law enforcement personnel.
Diaphorm, based in Salem, fabricates continuous fiber-reinforced composite parts for sports, automotive aftermarket and ballistic armor applications.
``We expect the merger to speed the development of lighter, more cost-effective ballistic armor for police, corrections, paramilitary and military personnel,'' Diaphorm President Bob Miller said in a news release.
Pro Police, formerly known as Bell Pro Police, is in Mountain Green, Utah. The 30-year-old company employs 12. Randy Smith, president of Pro Police, is assuming the role of business development vice president at Diaphorm.
Pro Police will retain its entire staff and continue its operations in Utah, using the new name Max Pro-Police and Armor, officials said. Similarly, Diaphorm will continue its manufacturing, product development and prototyping operations in Salem.
The two companies had worked together to develop and market a ballistic police helmet that it said was 30 percent lighter than its closest competitor. The ultralight helmets combine a Diaphorm shell with Pro Police's Comfort Fit suspension system. More than 2,000 have been sold to police officers in the United States.
Diaphorm is working on a variety of armor projects for original equipment manufacturers and the U.S. Army. It also makes lightweight manifolds for high-performance automobiles, and equipment for hockey, golf and kayaking.
Smith said in the release that Pro Police gained acceptance for its helmets and riot gear over the past 15 years and that vertical integration of the companies will enable them to provide a wider range of products.
Diaphorm uses proprietary processes to mold composite parts into intricate shapes. It has seven employees and has been growing since a management-led buyout of the Diaphorm Division of Solectria Corp. in November 2004. It moved from Woburn, Mass., to Salem in March 2005.
Erie Plastics installs IQMS planning system
CORRY, PA. - Erie Plastics Inc., a custom molder in Corry, has installed an IQMS enterprise resource planning system.
ERP systems integrate multiple operations, such as customer service management, production and maintenance monitoring from press to press, project management and tracking, scheduling and resource forecasting, real-time inventory and electronic data exchange.
Directing the new IQMS project was Linda Hajec, vice president of finance and administration. She worked with a consultant and an internal cross-matrix team that prioritized Erie's needs and matched them to ERP systems in the marketplace. Once Erie signed up with IQMS Corp., it completed a series of employee training programs for most of 2006.
ERP is playing a key role in Erie's move to become a lean manufacturer. Several of its significant ERP upgrades include converting to scanning and bar coding to track inventory and shipments, developing new ways to control quality and having real-time wireless, job-by-job production data to monitor output of the equipment and make order changes quickly and efficiently.
Erie molds more than 10 billion parts a year, many on 128-cavity molds to turn out packaging.
Pliant taps $6 million for film plant upgrade
SCHAUMBERG, ILL. - Schaumberg-based Pliant Corp. is investing $6 million to upgrade its Macedon, N.Y., film extrusion plant.
An additional 55 employees will mean the plant will employ more than 500.
Randy Scott, Pliant's vice president of global marketing, said the company is working with municipalities throughout the country on various upgrade and expansion projects at the company's most-efficient facilities.
Pliant operates 21 plants worldwide, and 17 in the United States, Scott said in a May 4 telephone interview.
``Our expansion is basically geared toward continuing growth,'' he said. ``We're seeing excellent results in our personal-care and printed shrink-wrap business.''
Pliant also has focused on sustainability issues with major retailers like Bentonville, Ark.-based Wal-Mart Stores Inc.
``We're investing to help support those initiatives to reduce plastic packaging,'' he said. ``We're pulling those materials out of the waste stream. That's kind of our game plan.''
Bankrupt Glassmaster shedding Lenzing unit
LEXINGTON, S.C. - Glassmaster Co. will sell its monofilament business, Lenzing Plastics GmbH, after filing for Chapter 11 protection from creditors April 24.
Lexington-based Glassmaster announced April 27 it had entered into an asset purchase agreement for the monofilament business for $3 million. The company disclosed the news in an 8-K filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The sale will include substantially all of the assets, revenues and expenditures of Glassmaster's industrial products segment as well as some of its real estate in Lexington.
The sale is subject to change if higher competing offers are received.
Glassmaster's monofilament division makes monofilaments for industrial use and Nybrad-brand abrasive nylon filaments for brushes. The company also has a composites division, which makes fiberglass channel beams for industrial use; owns Glassmaster Marine LLC, which makes recreational boats; and owns Glassmaster Controls Inc. of Kalamazoo, Mich., which produces dashboard controls for the automotive and truck industries.
Glassmaster voluntarily filed for Chapter 11 in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Columbia, S.C. The company listed assets of $10 million and $9 million in debts.
Robert Anderson, a lawyer for Glassmaster, said the company was hurt by the high cost of resins. He declined to comment further.
The public company had notified the SEC on Feb. 15 that on Feb. 9, its primary lender called all outstanding loans and froze the company's bank accounts.
At that time, Glassmaster said negotiations with the lender were ongoing.
The 8-K also stated the company continues to operate its businesses as debtors-in-possession under the jurisdiction of the court.
Court documents said Lenzing's offer was to purchase 10 of the 18 acres that Glassmaster occupies. It would include a manufacturing plant, land and the debtor's monofilament and Nybrad divisions. Glassmaster would retain 8 acres, two manufacturing buildings, storage facilities and offices on the remaining property, and its remaining divisions.
Glassmaster was founded in 1946 as Koolvent Metal Awning Co.