BMS buys electroactive polymers firm
PITTSBURGH Bayer MaterialScience LLC has acquired Artificial Muscle Inc., a Sunnyvale, Calif., company that makes electroactive polymers for consumer electronics.
Terms were not disclosed. AMI's polymers are used in actuators and sensing components. For touch-screen panels, they give authentic tactile feedback, just like a conventional keyboard, Pittsburgh-based BMS said in a news release.
BMS said the technology has potential for growth in electronic devices like smart phones, gaming controllers and touch pads.
BMS is buying AMI's patent portfolio and patent applications owned or exclusively licensed by the company.
This acquisition allows us to combine AMI's excellent technology with our existing expertise and gives us a leading position in electroactive polymers, said Patrick Thomas, CEO of parent Bayer MaterialScience AG in Leverkusen, Germany.
All AMI employees, including President and CEO Scott Metcalf, will remain with AMI, the release said.
Duxton Windows moves to bigger facility
WINNIPEG, MANITOBA Duxton Windows & Doors Inc. of Winnipeg acquired an 18,000-square-foot building in March and has consolidated its showroom, office and fabrication area.
We have a real sign in front of our new facility at 45 Higgins, said Al Dueck, president and founder of the firm, which manufactures pultruded fiberglass windows and doors.
The entire investment will represent a seven-figure total as we have not only acquired the building but invested in various building upgrades and other [fabrication] equipment, he said.
The firm started its operation a few doors down in a 5,000-square-foot site at 10 Higgins but it eventually sprawled into a warehouse facility across the street with 6,000 square feet, Dueck said. The arrangement worked but was clumsy, with some not-so-hidden costs. Our move to 45 Higgins is already paying dividends and will for years to come.
Duxton is very focused on FRP windows, including high-performance frames with dual- or triple-pane glass in a variety of specialized forms, Dueck said.
Duxton, which uses distributors for its products, employs about 50. The firm has been growing steadily, Dueck said, but he would not disclose sales figures.
Americhem lab adds multilayer bottle unit
CUYAHOGA FALLS, OHIO Americhem Inc. has added multilayer bottle blow molding equipment to its packaging product development lab in Cuyahoga Falls.
The new equipment allows for pilot runs for the company's color and additive product customers.
By testing different product formulations, we will simplify the development and sampling process for our masterbatches. Customers will benefit by bringing new products to market faster, said Rod Manfull, general manager for molding products, in a news release.
Americhem's packaging design center now has four bottle machines, including extrusion blow molding and both single- and two-state injection blow molding.
Americhem operates six manufacturing plants, and it maintains representative sales offices in Mexico City and Luxembourg. The firm's headquarters and research and development lab are in Cuyahoga Falls.
S&E using new twin-screw line for R&D
Lunenburg, Mass. Compounder S&E Specialty Polymers LLC already is seeing results from a research-focused extrusion line installed by the firm earlier this year.
The new 28-millimeter, twin-screw line was installed in January and already has been used to develop new-generation styrenic compounds for PVC replacement and high-end thermoplastic olefins for auto applications. High-concentration flame-retardant masterbatch concentrates have been developed as well, officials with Lunenburg-based S&E said in a recent news release.
The line, supplied by Steer America Inc. of Uniontown, Ohio, also has been used for small commercial production runs.
We get a lot of low-volume requests from customers, and this machine is a perfect fit for that, said S&E Chief Operating Officer Duane Shooltz. It already has helped us be more responsive to customer needs and has enhanced our internal R&D efforts.
The new extruder also will allow S&E to branch out beyond the PVC compounds that it is best known for, according to Ilia Charlat, vice president of research and development.
PVC is still an important part of the company's product line, [but] this machine has given us more flexibility to experiment with new compounds, Charlat said.
Privately held S&E employs 50 and generates about one-third of its sales from automotive. Other end markets include wire and cable, batteries and footwear. S&E does not disclose sales.
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