Yachiyo building fuel tank plant in Ala.
STEELE, ALA. - Yachiyo Industry Co. Ltd. is expanding its subsidiary in Alabama to begin blow molding fuel tanks for customer Honda Motor Co. Ltd.
Yachiyo Manufacturing of Alabama LLC announced May 7 it will invest $16 million for a 50,000-square-foot plant in Steele to build 200,000 fuel tanks annually. Construction will begin immediately with production expected to begin in the spring of 2009, said Mike Ownbey, vice president of operations for YMA, in a press release.
The company already does steel stamping for Honda in Steele, and just launched a $28 million expansion to those operations in late 2006. The company is a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Honda and produces a variety of parts for the carmaker in Japan, including body panels and fuel tanks.
Imation exiting disks, closing N.D. site
OAKDALE, MINN. - Imation Corp. intends to phase out assembly of magnetic floppy diskettes and, by mid-2009, close a Wahpeton, N.D., plant that now employs 390.
Since its wide use in the 1980s and 1990s, the plastic-encased floppy disk now accounts for a small and rapidly declining portion of the data-storage market.
The Wahpeton facility manufactures diskettes, converts tape cartridges, produces optical read-write CDs in limited quantities and molds plastic parts. Imation will outsource the tape cartridge conversion now done at Wahpeton and other Imation plants in Camarillo, Calif., and Weatherford, Okla.
Imation employed about 2,070 as of Dec. 31 and plans to cut a total of 675 jobs worldwide, most in manufacturing and research and development. The firm expects to incur restructuring charges of $25-$30 million during the next two years and will focus on magnetic products.
In Wahpeton, Imation added small-format optical media and contract manufacturing of molded plastic parts, but ``the markets for these products did not materialize to a level to justify their continuation,'' said Subodh Kulkami, Imation vice president for R&D and manufacturing, in a May 7 news release.
Oakdale-based Imation reported first-quarter profit of $15.7 million on sales of $421.9 million.
Eastman to make copolyester in S.C.
KINGSPORT, TENN. - Eastman Chemical Co. is adding copolyester resin production at its site in Columbia, S.C.
The Kingsport-based firm already makes copolyester at its headquarters site. The new capacity is set to become available in the first half of 2008, officials said in a May 8 news release.
Earlier this year, Eastman doubled capacity for polyester feedstock cyclohexanedimethanol in Columbia.
Copolyester resins are specialty plastics known for their clarity and toughness. They're used in applications for rigid medical and electronics packaging, cosmetics and personal-care packaging, medical devices, point-of-purchase displays and shrink film.
Details on the cost and capacity of the expansion were not disclosed. Eastman is a global leader in the production of PET and related plastics.
Eastman's first-quarter sales were flat at $1.8 billion. Sales in its performance polymers unit were down 22 percent, reflecting last year's sales of Eastman's polyethylene business to Westlake Chemical Corp.
Blackhawk Automotive closing facility
SALEM, OHIO - Injection molder Blackhawk Automotive Plastics Inc. is closing its Upper Sandusky, Ohio, plant and consolidating those operations into its other facilities.
The company has moved some equipment to sites in Salem and Mason, Ohio, and has hired Stopol Auctions LLC to sell its unneeded presses and auxiliary equipment in Upper Sandusky, said Stopol marketing director Bryan Kokish.
The auction is set for May 22, with a preview May 21. The equipment includes 15 presses along with fork trucks, robots, tools and office equipment.
Salem-based Blackhawk molds car parts such as louvered air outlets. It was also the molder on General Motors Corp.'s first nanocomposite-filled plastics.
It has been consolidating its operations since 2005, when it sold its Mississauga, Ontario, plant to Johnson Controls Inc.