Dow plans to move adhesive R&D center
MIDLAND, MICH. Dow Chemical Co. is moving its technical service and research-and-development center for packaging adhesives and coatings to Buffalo Grove, Ill., in early April. The facility had been located in Elgin, Ill.
With the move, the on-site staff in Buffalo Grove will expand to more than 100 people. The site, which opened in 1992, also houses Dow's microbial-control business unit.
Mark Henning, general manager of Dow microbial control, also serves as site manager for Buffalo Grove. Dow is based in Midland.
Military business helps Dyneema sales
HERLEEN, NETHERLANDS DSM NV's Dyneema-brand high-performance polyethylene fiber unit is having a solid year so far.
Earlier this year, the business landed a large contract to produce material for use in add-on armor on the Stryker combat vehicle, which is used extensively by the U.S. Army. The Stryker vehicle continues to be one of the more successful platforms in the operating field in Afghanistan, DSM officials said in a recent news release.
Stryker vehicles, along with the M-ATV combat vehicles, are considered to be the workhorse platforms in the fight against terrorism, officials added.
Stryker armor system components using Dyneema will be made by TenCate Advance Armor USA Inc. of Newark, Ohio, a unit of Dutch conglomerate Koninklijke Tencate NV. DSM is based in Heerlen and makes Dyneema there as well as at a plant in Greenville, N.C.
Dyneema is made from ultrahigh-molecular-weight PE and can protect against a range of projectiles, from handgun ammunition to antitank weaponry and mines. DSM completed a $50 million expansion of Dyneema production in Greenville in 2006.
Also this year, DSM introduced Dyneema for use in vests, helmets and inserts used by German law enforcement officers. Those products are based on Dyneema's Hard Ballistic and Soft Ballistic systems. German officials also are using Dyneema in jaw guards, where the material offers protection against blunt-force impacts.
Outside of military/law enforcement markets, Dyneema is being used in huge slings for loading wind-turbine piles onto barges at a port in Vlissingen, Netherlands. Two of the slings are used to lift individual piles weighing more than 1.4 million pounds each onto barges for delivery in London, where they'll be used on a massive wind farm.
DSM officials said the slings are just as strong as slings made with steel wire, but have only one-seventh of the weight. Using the slings also trims a full day off of the unloading process, yielding daily savings of more than $70,000.
The Dyneema slings are sold under the Ultralift brand name and are made by Technotex in Coevorden, Netherlands.
Prime Colorants boosting production
FRANKLIN, TENN. Color concentrates maker Prime Colorants Inc. will increase production and hire more employees by the end of the year.
The Franklin-based firm currently is running two shifts, five days a week. That schedule soon will expand to six or seven days, General Manager Mike Vacek said in a recent phone interview.
Prime Colorants also plans to hire six new employees in the near future. The firm currently employs 34, including eight who have been added in the last four months.
An increase in sales from the automotive and consumer sectors has created these recent growth opportunities at Prime Colorants, which operates four twin-screw extrusion lines and five liquid color lines at a 60,000-square-foot plant.
A lot of good projects fell in place for us at the end of '09, Vacek said. We did a lot of refocusing on both the local and national level.
The privately owned firm registered sales of more than $10 million in 2009. Rick Hosto, sales and marketing vice president, said the company is on track for sales growth of 40 percent in 2010. Hosto said some of the increase has come from specialty engineered products including concentrates based on nylon, ABS and polycarbonate sold in lot sizes ranging from 220 to 5,000 pounds.
The new work has come from a mix of more volume from existing customers and sales to new customers, added Vacek, who joined Prime Colorants last year after a 15-year career with leading concentrates supplier Ampacet Corp. The move allowed Vacek to return to his native Tennessee.
Other recent developments at Prime Colorants include the purchase of several larger pieces of auxiliary equipment and the launch of High Loaded Jet PVC colorants. The new colorants are proprietary blacks with higher structure performance for use in profiles, windshield wipers and similar applications.
The 35-year-old company also is marketing Green Remanufactured colorants, which are based on obsolete or discarded colors and can be used to reduce customers costs in rigid packaging and other areas.
Firms to study China petrochemical sector
BEIJING Consulting firms Chemical Market Resources Inc. in Houston and China National Chemical Information Center in Beijing have formed a strategic partnership to analyze how the petrochemical industries in China and the rest of the world impact each other, the two firms said in a June 11 news release.
The arrangement will include issuing reports covering strategic analysis of future technology, end-market trends, business ventures and market entry strategies, said Balaji Singh, president of CMR. The partnership goes beyond an existing cooperation the two groups have in pricing and supply-and-demand projection, he said.
The two groups also jointly organized the Flexpo 2010 conference, held in Beijing June 9-11, and plan a second Flexpo in Shanghai in 2011, Singh said.
CNCIC has the most accurate and in-depth analysis of the Chinese markets, and CMR Inc.'s 20 years' expertise in downstream technology/markets/end use trends will provide an added-value service to assist clients in China and worldwide, said Gao Yan, CNCIC overseas business director.
CNCIC was founded in 1992 as a unit of China's National Engineering and Technology Library.
Petronas to list firms on stock exchange
KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA Malaysian national oil corporation Petroliam Nasional Berhad (Petronas), is preparing to list two companies on the local stock exchange.
The bigger of the two subsidiaries to be listed on the Bursa Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur is the multibillion-dollar petrochemical business, mostly concentrated on the East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia.
The petrochemical business generated sales of US$4.05 billion for the year ended March 31, 2009, from a diverse product portfolio including olefins and polyolefins, fertilizer and industrial and specialty chemicals.
The second unit is the heavy engineering arm that includes a shipyard.
Shamsul Azhar Abbas, Petronans CEO and acting chairman, said the move will allow investors to buy directly into some of Petronas' businesses.
All of Petronas' petrochemicals use natural gas-based feedstocks.
In Malaysia, Petronas has built its petrochemical businesses in partnerships with international firms including BASF SE, Dow Chemical Co., BP Chemicals, Idemitsu and Sasol. Overseas, it owns and runs Phu My Plastics & Chemical Co. Ltd. in Vietnam.
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