Alliance expanding distribution lineup
ROMULUS, MICH. Less than a year after opening, resin distributor Alliance Polymers & Services LLC is adding a new product and announcing plans to add compounding capability.
Romulus-based Alliance opened in October, distributing Elastollan-brand thermoplastic polyurethanes for BASF Corp. In July, Alliance will begin distributing compounds based on styrene ethylene butadiene styrene thermoplastic elastomers for Polymax Elastomer Technology Co. Ltd., a compounder based in Nantong, China.
Polymax SEBS compounds including some sold under the customMaxelast trade name are used in a variety of automotive, industrial and consumer applications. Once the Polymax products are established in North America, Alliance plans to add compounding capacity by May 2012, Alliance principal Roger Huarng said by phone May 25. That effort will consist of a twin-screw extrusion line, most likely at the firm's warehouse facility in Romulus.
Some Polymax products are very customer-specific, Huarng said. So they need some capacity in this country.
Our position will be to offer the same or better quality of thermoplastic elastomers at competitive prices, backed by a high level of service and support, Alliance principal Stephane Morin said in a May 24 news release.
Huarng added that it has not been decided if the compounding operation will be run as part of Alliance or as a joint venture between Alliance and Polymax. Polymax opened in 2006 and is owned by several American and Chinese investors. Martin Lu, a former executive with TPE compounder GLS Corp., is an official with Polymax.
Alliance has enjoyed double-digit sales growth in each of its first eight months of operation. The firm also has added two employees since opening and now employs a total of seven.
Ashland increasing bio-based offerings
DUBLIN, OHIO Ashland Distribution has added to its bioplastics lineup with sustainable plastics made by Cereplast Inc.
Dublin-based Ashland which ranks as one of North America's largest resin distributors now will offer Cereplast's Compostables and Hybrids resins to customers throughout the region. Materials made by Cereplast a bioplastics compounder headquartered in El Segundo, Calif. are based on corn and other organic feedstocks.
The deal enables [Ashland] to address growing consumer and industrial demand for environmentally friendly plastic products, Michael Gilbert, Ashland Distribution plastics vice president, said in a May 25 news release.
Ashland already distributes bioplastics made by NatureWorks LLC and Eastman Chemical Co. Ashland represents more than 30 plastics material suppliers.
Chase Plastics adds 4 Mitsubishi resins
CLARKSTON, MICH. Chase Plastics Services Inc. has expanded its engineering resins lineup with four products made by Mitsubishi Engineering Plastics Corp. of Tokyo.
Clarkston-based Chase now offers Mitsubishi's Iupilon-brand and Novarex-brand polycarbonates, Reny-brand nylon and Novaduran-brand polybutylene terephthalate.
According to Mitsubishi, Iupilon PC offers superior strength and transparency for medical products and sports and office-automation equipment, among several uses.
Novarex PC has excellent dimensional stability and impact strength and is used in several industries, including auto, medical equipment and glazing, the company said.
Reny nylon can be used as a metal replacement in numerous applications, while Novaduran PBT has good moldability, abrasion resistance and colorability for electronics and auto uses.
With the new offerings, Chase is providing materials-performance characteristics, application development and technical support, President Kevin Chase said in the release.
Chase offers more than 5,000 grades of specialty, engineering and commodity resins and compounds from 33 suppliers and is the sole North American distributor of Kraiburg TPE Corp.'s styrenic block copolymers.
Magog plans to sell equipment from Entek
LEBANON, ORE. Magog Industries Ltd., a British maker and rebuilder of screws and barrels, will sell and service replacement screws and barrels from Entek Manufacturing Inc.
Lebanon-based Entek announced the agreement May 4.
Magog will replacement wear parts for the both Entek and non-Entek brands of twin-screw extruders throughout the United Kingdom. That includes the new Entek wear-resistant conical barrels for PVC extrusion.
Entek, which makes twin-screw extruders, has been increasing production of replacement screws and barrels during the last year. In December 2008, the company launched a separate business unit for replacement wear parts and services, for Entek extruders and those from other manufacturers. Entek invested $2 million to buy four machining centers at its headquarters plant, to boost screw and barrel manufacturing.
Magog, based in Ware, England, has been in business since 1964. Magog manufactures and refurbishes screws and barrels for extruders, injection molding presses and compounding lines, including single, parallel and conical twin-screw extruders.
Cinpres interested in Melea IP assets
LONDON Amco Agency Ltd. has been appointed to sell Gibraltar-based Melea Ltd.'s intellectual property portfolio and former Melea rival Cinpres Gas Injection Ltd. is interested in buying the assets.
The Supreme Court of Gibraltar had ordered the liquidation of Melea in November, after receiving a petition from Cinpres, which is Melea's major creditor.
Melea owns all the gas-assisted injection molding patents marketed by Gain Technologies Inc. Cinpres and Gain have long been bitter rivals, battling in court over the patents.
London-based Amco Agency is a commercial valuation operation that specializes in intangible asset and IP valuation.
Our engagement is designed to ensure that all interested parties are considered before any transfer of assets is made, said Michael Charles, who is handling the sale for Amco.
Cinpres was owed money by Melea following a U.K. Court of Appeal decision in January 2008 that granted Cinpres ownership of a Melea patent (UK0424435) relating to so-called overspill molding.
While the value of the Melea portfolio is unclear, Cinpres Managing Director Jon Butler indicated that the company is interested in acquiring it.
Our view is that there is significant value in the remaining IP. It's granted and it's unchallenged, Butler said. We have had ongoing discussions with the liquidator, as the major creditor.
However, many of the key patents relating to gas molding are now either expired or are close to expiry. The U.K. patent that Middlewich, England-based Cinpres gained ownership of from Melea in 2008 expired later that year.
In February, another key patent related to overspill gas injection molding (EP0393315), which was filed in 1989 by Christoph Jaroschek, also expired.
Overspill molding is one of the most common techniques for using gas to core out thick-sectioned plastics injection moldings.
Progressive to repair machines from HPM
HURON, OHIO Progressive Controls & Automation LLC is offering maintenance and repair services for HPM injection molding machines and extrusion lines, since the HPM factory has closed in Mount Gilead, Ohio.
Former HPM customers should not feel 'left out to dry,' said President Michael Porcenaluk, who founded the company in 2008. Progressive's personnel are very experienced with HPM machinery and have worked on such machinery prior to HPM's closure. Progressive will be servicing HPM machinery well into the future.
The HPM factory closed in late December.
Progressive Controls is the second company to announce its intention to service HPM machinery. In February, Epco LLC of Beaverton, Mich., announced it is targeting that business, for spare parts, service and remanufacturing.
Huron-based Progressive Controls offers maintenance and emergency repair services for HPM owners.
The company also can do electrical, hydraulic and pneumatic modifications, including control upgrades, compliance with ANSI safety standards, adding or modifying hydraulic core electrical and hydraulic functions, robot interface and proportional valve upgrades.
Progressive said it also can rebuild HPM toggle clamps.
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