Zeus making bioabsorbable polymers
ORANGEBURG, S.C. Precision polymer extruder Zeus Inc. of Orangeburg now can make advanced bioabsorbable materials, primarily for medical devices and pharmaceutical applications.
In Orangeburg, Zeus has added specialized storage chambers and packaging equipment and dedicated a new 5,000-square-foot facility to the process. The firm has fabricated a Class 10,000 clean room to produce the polymers.
Zeus began processing absorbable materials for tubing, monofilament and resins in 2005. It then linked with key customers to develop tubular bioabsorbable polymers in 2006.
The company employs more than 1,100 globally and operates 10 facilities on seven sites in North America, Europe and Asia. Zeus also supplies the automotive, electrical fluid-handling and mechanical markets.
Magna acquires Russian auto supplier
AURORA, ONTARIO Magna International Inc. is continuing to beef up its capacity in Eastern Europe, buying a Russian company that molds parts for one of Russia's biggest automakers.
TechnoPlast Closed JSC, based in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia, had sales of 29 million euros ($45.2 million) in 2007, making interior and exterior plastic components.
Aurora, Ontario-based Magna has plants throughout Eastern Europe, including Poland, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Hungary. The TechnoPlast acquisition represents a major expansion into Russia just as auto production is beginning an expected production climb from about 1.5 million vehicles made there in 2007 to 2.4 million by 2011.
Neither company disclosed the purchase price.
UFP merging Mich. sites, closing plant
GEORGETOWN, MASS. UFP Technologies Inc. will close a Macomb, Mich., compression molding plant and consolidate its Michigan operations in Grand Rapids, allowing it to save up to $1.2 million annually.
UFP, based in Georgetown, employs 50 at its Simco Automotive facility in Macomb. Workers there will be offered the chance to move with their jobs to Grand Rapids, where UFP acquired Stephenson & Lawyer Inc. in January. The S&L plant, with 250,000 square feet, is big enough to accommodate both molding operations, UFP spokesman Ron Lataille said.
Simco molds structural panels used in auto interiors, including sun shades, door substrates and load floors. S&L designs and converts foam products, specializing in polyurethane.
The consolidation will cost about $1.6 million, but will pay for itself quickly through reduced operating costs, UFP President and Chief Executive Officer R. Jeffrey Bailly said in an Aug. 5 news release.
The firm expects to complete the transfer of Simco equipment and production to Grand Rapids in about six months.
After major cuts, Pliant growing in Ky.
SCHAUMBERG, ILL. Fresh off a recent round of announced plant closings, packaging supplier Pliant Corp. of Schaumberg said it will invest $1.9 million to expand its Danville, Ky., plant and create about 60 new jobs by May.
The 630,000-square-foot complex makes polyethylene film packaging for commercial and medical use and employs 291. In a July 30 news release, state and company officials said the project will include upgrading and installation of extrusion lines to make medical packaging, including intravenous bags.
Kentucky preliminarily has approved Pliant for tax benefits up to about $1.5 million under an incentive program designed to increase manufacturing employment. The state also has approved up to $36,000 in benefits that allow companies to recoup state sales and use taxes on costs for construction materials, building fixtures and equipment.
Pliant in April announced closings at plants in Massachusetts, Georgia, Delaware and Virginia. Steve Auburn, Pliant vice president and general counsel, said in a July 31 e-mail that parts of the Delaware and Newport News operations related to medical and specialty packaging are being consolidated in Danville.
Auburn said the expansion will increase the Danville plant's space by 40,000 square feet and will include 15 cast and blown film lines.