Rotonics' Idaho plant damaged in blaze
GARDENA, CALIF. - Rotonics Manufacturing Inc.'s plant in Caldwell, Idaho, suffered massive damage to its machinery and structure Nov. 6 during a four-alarm fire at the site.
The fire caused an estimated $3.5 million in damages, and the building was 90 percent destroyed, said Caldwell Fire Battalion Chief Danny Hartwig.
The fire was called in at 9:05 a.m. and 36 firefighters battled to get it under control. It was extinguished by about 11 a.m. Hartwig said the fire apparently started in an overheated oven and quickly spread throughout the 21,000-square-foot facility.
``They tried to put it out themselves and it got away from them,'' he said, noting that the company evacuated all 28 employees safely.
Hartwig said there were no serious injuries, but two firefighters did suffer muscle strains.
Rotonics, a rotational molder headquartered in Gardena, has nine other plants throughout the United States.
2 workers die in shootings at toolmaker
WYOMING, MICH. - Police in Wyoming are trying to find a motive in an apparent murder-suicide at mold-making firm Model Die & Mold Inc.
Police originally were called to the maker of injection, compression and stamp die tools at 2:30 a.m. Nov. 3 to investigate what they thought was an employee death as the result of an industrial accident, Wyoming Police Chief James Carmody said in a Nov. 5 news release.
While rescue crews were aiding Brian Little, 27, of Grand Rapids, Mich., another worker found Ronald Williams, 53, of Wyoming dead in the employee locker room. Police found a handgun near Williams and said he died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Investigators have determined that Little was working on a machine when he was shot in the face. Both men were company employees and both were pronounced dead at local hospitals.
The toolmaker shut down temporarily and President Gordon Brown said the company is working to address employees' needs.
Detectives will interview family members and employees during their investigation, Carmody said.
VIP's bid for rival is facing opposition
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - Plans by VIP Plastic Packaging Pty. Ltd. to acquire one of its rivals are under a cloud, after the Australian government's competition watchdog declared it opposes the deal because it gives VIP too much sway in key markets for PET bottles.
Since July, the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission has been examining a bid by Melbourne-based VIP to buy another plastics manufacturer, Brickwood Holdings Pty. Ltd.
Brickwood, also headquartered in Melbourne, and its subsidiaries, Full View Plastics Pty. Ltd. in Sydney and Logan Molders Pty. Ltd. in Brisbane, blow mold products including bottles, pallets and garbage bins.
ACCC was to have ruled on the proposed deal by Sept. 19, but sought further feedback from industry players on potential market impacts.
ACCC Chairman Graeme Samuel said the regulator opposes the VIP bid because it will ``substantially lessen'' competition for manufacturing and supplying PET bottles in Australia's three biggest states, New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland.
An ACCC spokesperson said the commission, having made its position known, will launch a federal court challenge to any attempt by VIP to proceed with the Brickwood buyout.
Representatives of VIP and Brickwood could not be contacted for comment.
Eaton buys Canadian hose, tubing firm
CLEVELAND - For the second consecutive year, Eaton Corp. has made an acquisition in the thermoplastic hose and tubing market.
Eaton - a Cleveland-based industrial conglomerate - announced Nov. 8 that it has purchased Arrow Hose & Tubing Inc. of Guelph, Ontario, for an undisclosed price. Arrow makes specialty thermoplastic hose and tubing for the industrial, food and beverage, and agricultural markets. The firm employs a total of 60 at plants in Guelph and Fort Worth, Texas, and posted sales of $12 million in 2006.
Eaton recorded sales of $12.4 billion in 2006.