Farber expands to include PET products
Freeport, N.Y. - Sheet extruder Farber Plastics Inc. of Freeport has diversified into PET products.
The firm reached full production on a PET sheet line it installed in early spring to supply packaging markets, according to President and owner Lewis Farber. The expansion was prompted by customer requests for PET as they phase out use of PVC due to some retailers' environmental concerns and restrictions.
Farber Plastics invested more than $1 million to install a refurbished Welex sheet line and auxiliaries such as dryers and a cooling tower. The new line is making amorphous PET and recycled PET sheet in gauges up to 0.05 inch and widths up to 46 inches. Lewis Farber estimates the line's current capacity at 20,000-30,000 pounds per day, but he believes that can be boosted by installing a larger cooling tower.
PET's advantages include the ease with which it can be colored or tinted for Farber Plastics' customers in cosmetic packaging and display markets.
Spearheading Farber Plastics' PET launch is Jose Hernandez, a PET veteran who held previous management positions. He and Lewis Farber spent more than 1½ years developing the project.
The firm's main business has been oriented polystyrene sheet.
Borden responsible for 2003 explosion
MADISON HEIGHTS, MICH. - A jury has sided with auto supplier CTA Acoustics Inc. and placed liability on CTA's resin supplier-for a 2003 explosion that killed seven people .
In a May 22 decision, a jury in Laurel County Circuit Court in Corbin, Ky., determined that Borden Chemicals and Plastics LP was ``100 percent liable'' for the explosion. The jury determined liability but no financial awards were made.
The decision follows an earlier investigation by the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board into the Feb. 20, 2003, explosion at CTA's Corbin plant. Investigators then found that a cloud of phenolic resin dust, generated when a team cleaned equipment, was ignited by a fire in a malfunctioning oven.
Borden, the board reported, failed to inform Madison Heights-based CTA that the same resin exploded at Jahn Foundry in Springfield, Mass., in a 1999 incident that killed three people. Borden went out of business after declaring bankruptcy in 2001.
Madison Heights-based CTA rebuilt its Corbin plants and resumed production of its sound-absorbing thermosets within a year of the fire.
Nanotechnology company EC going public
AKRON, OHIO - Nanotechnology firm Ecology Coatings Inc. is going public in an effort to grow its product mix, including liquid polycarbonate and liquid thermoplastic polyolefins.
Akron-based EC will take part in an alternative public offering in June through a reverse merger with Ocis Corp., a warehousing firm in Salt Lake City. The APO is expected to raise at least $4 million of equity capital, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing.
Shares in Ocis are traded over the counter. Details of the EC deal sent Ocis shares up almost 13 percent to $3.40 per share May 24. After the merger, Ocis will be 95 percent-owned by EC shareholders, including Chairman Richard Stromback.
EC's nanotech-based products include PC and TPO coatings for metal products. The coatings can improve abrasion and scratch resistance in automotive glass, quarter panels and bumpers. The firm has made the materials in pilot amounts at its Akron site.
Plantic to use funds to broaden products
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - Biodegradable plastics firm Plantic Technologies Ltd. has raised £20 million ($40 million) by floating its shares on the Alternative Investment Market of the London Stock Exchange.
The Melbourne firm plans to use the funds to expand its line of nongenetically modified, cornstarch-based materials and develop fresh applications, particularly in food and beverage packaging. It produces its material in rigid sheet and resin form.
Plantic's first product, a tray, is being used by confectionery companies in Australia and Europe like Cadbury and Nestle. It has linked up with plastic packaging groups including Amcor Ltd., Orica Ltd. and Visy Industries Pty. Ltd. to develop and market products.
A number of the firm's formulations are patented or have patents pending for use in applications such as rigid packaging, injection molding resins, flexible films and barrier resins.