Kautex ups capacity at Bonn tech center
DÜSSELDORF, GERMANY German blow molding machinery maker Kautex Maschinenbau GmbH is to invest almost 2 million euros ($2.6 million) in a new technical center at its Bonn, Germany, facility as part of a package of production investments designed to lift capacity by close to 50 percent during the next two years.
According to Kautex CEO Olaf Weiland, the company plans to begin construction of the new 16,000-square-foot technical center in August. The project will enable it to convert its existing technical center to production space; it currently rents 16,000 square feet of floor space at a separate site.
The expansion will enable us to grow our manufacturing by around 20 percent if you compare square meter to square meter, Weiland said. But we are also optimizing our production processes and the sum of both will give us 40-50 percent more capacity compared to today.
The investment plans underline the strong recovery in the company's blow molding machinery markets in 2010. At the K show in Dusseldorf, Weiland said the company expected to end 2010 with total sales of around 70 million euros ($91 million), of which a little more than 52 million euros ($67 million) is machine sales.
Billion sets sight on larger all-electrics
DÜSSELDORF, GERMANY French injection machinery maker Billion SA said its Select all-electric injection molding machines have been so well-received by customers it is planning to extend the range beyond its current 400-metric-ton limit.
All-electric Select machines now account for around 65 percent of its sales in unit terms, said Billion President and CEO Korbinian Kiesl. In 2008 they accounted for just 15 percent.
We have worked on our all-electric machines for five years, he said. When we started to develop all-electrics we expected them to be small machines, but already we have 400-metric-ton machines and we will go bigger.
At the K show in Dusseldorf, Kiesl said the company, which expected sales of around 30 million euros ($39 million) in 2010, is working toward introducing new larger Select models at the Fakuma fair in Germany in 2011.
Arkema tripling nylon production in China
COLOMBES, FRANCE Arkema Group has announced plans to triple its production of nylon 12 and bio-sourced nylon 11 resins at its plant in Changshu, China, by 2013.
The expansion will include a new production line with annual capacity of more than 13 million pounds, officials with Colombes-based Arkema said in a recent news release. The new line is scheduled to begin production in the first half of 2012, ramping up to full capacity in mid-2013.
Products included in the expansion are Rilsamid-brand nylon 12 and Rilsan-brand bio-sourced nylon 11, which is based on organic castor oil. At the K 2010 trade show, Arkema officials had confirmed plans to increase Rilsan capacity at a plant in Birsboro, Pa., during 2011.
Demand growth for Rilsan has been steady. The firm previously increased capacity for the material in China in 2008 and made a similar move at a plant in France in 2009. Officials said the just-announced Chinese expansion is needed because of growing demand from Chinese customers, especially in the auto and energy markets. Both Rilsan and Rilsamid have excellent thermal and chemical stability, mechanical strength and design and processing possibilities, officials added.
The expansion will help boost our leading position in the high-performance [nylon] markets, while also providing our customers with local service from our competitive platform in Changshu, said Arkema's technical polymers managing director, Frederic Marot-Achillas.
Arkema also is a major maker of acrylic resin and sheet sold under the Plexiglas and Altuglas trade names. The firm has annual sales of 5.5 billion euros ($7.7 billion).
Japanese toolmaker opens Mexico site
MONTERREY, MEXICO Ikegami Mold de México, a subsidiary of 65-year-old Ikegami Mold Engineering Co Ltd. of Japan opened a tool shop in Monterrey, Mexico, on Nov. 15. The move expands its presence in the country.
In 2009, the company invested $650,000 in its Tijuana, Mexico, operation, nearly 1,500 miles to the northwest, and said it was eager to increase its business south of the U.S.-Mexico border.
Now I'm happy to inform you that, as of Nov. 15, our new Monterrey tool shop is up and running, said Josh Koga, the Japanese company's managing director in Mexico and of Ikegami Mold Corp. America (U.S.A) in San Diego, via email.
The new Monterrey shop covers 5,000 square feet and can handle molds up to 8 tons in weight.
We have no plan to close our Tijuana shop and the technicians, including four Mexicans with more than 10 years' experience, will be moving between Tijuana and Monterrey, depending on our work load at the respective locations, Koga said.
DuPont to acquire Denmark's Danisco
WILMINGTON, DEL. In a chemical industry deal with implications in the field of bio-based plastics, DuPont Co. announced Jan. 9 that it has entered into an agreement to buy Danish enzyme and specialty food ingredients firm Danisco A/S for $6.3 billion.
If the deal goes through, Wilmington-based DuPont will pay $5.8 billion in cash and assume $500 million of Copenhagen-based Danisco's net debt.
DuPont said the acquisition will give it a leadership position in products that address global food challenges and reduce fossil-fuel consumption.
DuPont Chairman and CEO Ellen Kullman said biotechnology and specialty food ingredients have the potential to change the landscape of industries, such as substituting renewable materials for fossil fuel processes.
DuPont and Danisco's Genencor enzymes unit already worked together to develop Sorona, a biodegradable polyester.
Bio-based plastics have grown to play an important part in DuPont's plastics portfolio.