Technology provides new way to make PLA
DIEMEN, NETHERLANDS Two European companies have developed a new process to make polylactic acid.
Purac of Gorinchem, Netherlands, and Sulzer Chemtech Ltd. of Winterthur, Switzerland, announced the development Sept. 8. The companies said their process relies on proprietary and jointly developed polymerization and devolatilization technology to produce a range of PLA materials from specialty lactides supplied by Purac, which is a subsidiary of CSM NV of Diemen.
According to a news release, Purac and Sulzer have signed an agreement to develop and share biofoams.
The first company to use the new technology will be Synbra Group BV of Etten-Leur, Netherlands. Synbra will build a plant to make its Biofoam product out of PLA. The facility will have initial capacity of 11 million pounds per year . It's to be operational by the end of 2009. Synbra eventually plans to expand its capacity to 110 million pounds per year.
River Bend receives no-interest funding
FORT SMITH, IOWA River Bend Industries LLC, which bought Victor Plastics Inc. earlier this year, got a no-interest loan package of $740,000 from the Department of Agriculture, aimed at preserving jobs at two Iowa plastics factories, in Victor and North Liberty.
The River Bend injection molder of appliances will use the money to improve process monitoring, make building improvements and add auxiliary equipment, said Ron Embree, River Bend's president and chief executive officer.
Victor Plastics filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in January. River Bend bought the Victor and North Liberty plants in the spring.
Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, announced the government loan in July, but Embree said it was in place earlier, when the purchase agreement was put together.
Mann+Hummel plant coming to Shanghai
SHANGHAI Ludwigsburg, Germany-based auto molder Mann+ Hummel GmbH is building a plant in Shanghai to manufacture filters and filter systems, and plans to make the plant its research and development center in Asia.
The plant, which should be complete in early 2010, will be the company's fourth facility in China and its third manufacturing plant there, joining a factory in Shanghai and one in Changchun. The new plant also will be Mann+Hummel's China headquarters.
The facility will measure 20,000 square feet, with a later expansion planned.
``This new [site] will be our base for future research and development, as well as for future business development,'' said Patrick Cudmore, managing director of Mann+Hummel China, in a Sept. 8 statement. ``China has become the second-largest car-producing nation in the world.''
He said the investment is aimed at the local automotive original equipment manufacturers and aftermarket segments.
A company spokeswoman in Shanghai said officials were unavailable for comment.
Canadian exchange delists CPI Plastics
MISSISSAUGA, ONTARIO CPI Plastics Group Ltd. of Mississauga will be delisted Oct. 10 from the Toronto Stock Exchange.
The firm did not meet TSX requirements. Its public float fell below C$2 million (US$2.2 million), a TSX spokesman said. Beginning Sept. 10, CPI's float value fell to C$1.97 million (US$2.12 million) when its per-share price fell to C$0.15 (US$0.16).
CPI has applied to be listed on the TSX Venture Exchange, said J. David Wood, CPI executive vice president and chief financial officer, in a news release. The company said it is operating in normal course and the delisting will have no impact on its overall financial condition.
The company recorded a loss of C$2.4 million (US$2.6 million) for its second quarter, compared with a loss of C$962,000 (US$1.04 million) a year earlier. Its stock price slipped to C$0.11 (US$0.12) after TSX's Sept 12 announcement.
The firm makes thermoplastic profiles for decking, fence and hot-tub cladding; extrudes custom profiles; and makes bags and the Rack Sack trash can and bag holder.
PlasCap purchases third automated line
CANOGA PARK, CALIF. PlasCap Corp. is adding a third automated bottle-cap-lining machine.
The Canoga Park custom injection molder recently bought the Nestech machine for $150,000, President Wolfgang Dachtler said Sept. 16 by phone. It is the third addition to PlasCap's lining machine lineup since 2007, he said.
The machine can run polyethylene foam or cardboard-backed foil lining material. PlasCap now has eight cap-lining lines and a dozen injection presses to make polypropylene caps.