RÃ¶chling adds US site to serve GM, Ford
MANNHEIM, GERMANY RÃ¶chling Automotive AG & Co. KG will open a new U.S. manufacturing plant this year in Akron, Ohio, to supply fuel-saving engine and body undershields to Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Co.
RÃ¶chling said it will invest a double-digit million-dollar amount into the new 75,000-square-foot facility. An undisclosed third carmaker will start sourcing parts from the plant in 2013, the Mannheim-based supplier said in a Feb. 22 news release.
The firm makes aerodynamic underbody plastic components to improve airflow, reducing noise, fuel consumption and emissions. The plant will be RÃ¶chling's seventh in the United States.
We see good development prospects in North America, said Georg Duffner, CEO of RÃ¶chling Automotive and its parent.
Parent firm RÃ¶chling Group reported 2010 sales of 1 billion euros ($1.33 billion), with RÃ¶chling Automotive accounting for about half. The group does about 12 percent of its business in North America, 78 percent in Europe and10 percent in Asia.
Vinyl Institute president steps down
ALEXANDRIA, VA. The Vinyl Institute is looking for a new president for the second time in three years.
VI's executive committee announced Feb. 23 that Greg Bocchi will leave the Alexandria-based trade association at the end of February. Allen Blakey, vice president of industry and government affairs and an 11-year-veteran at VI, will assume the administrative duties of president while the executive committee searches for a new president.
Sources said the executive committee is looking for a different style of leadership and asked Bocchi to step aside.
The VI executive committee includes representatives from Shintech Inc., Formosa Plastics Corp., Westlake Chemical Corp. and OxyVinyls, an Occidental Chemical Corp. company four companies that make PVC resin.
Bocchi was named VI president May 1, 2008. He replaced Tim Burns, who retired after heading the association since 1999.
Ketchup bottle to use plant-based PET
PITTSBURGH Heinz ketchup will be the next product packaged in PET resin made from renewable materials.
Coca-Cola Co. and H.J. Heinz Co. announced Feb. 23 that Heinz's 20-ounce ketchup bottles will use Coke's PlantBottle packaging technology this year.
Heinz expects to sell 120 million of the PlantBottle packages in 2011; Atlanta-based Coke will use more than 5 billion this year.
Coke already has announced that it expects to convert all of its plastics packaging to PlantBottle materials by 2020. Pittsburgh-based Heinz said that eventually all of its plastic bottles sold globally will use the PlantBottle packaging. Heinz will highlight its use of the plant-based PET with special labeling and a logo.
PlantBottle is made using sugar-cane ethanol from Brazil.
3D Systems buys prototyper Quickparts
ROCK HILL, S.C. 3D Systems Corp. has bought rapid-prototyping specialist Quickparts Inc., according to a Feb. 22 news release.
Rock Hill-based 3D Systems launched 3Dproparts, a rapid prototyping and manufacturing parts service, in October 2009. Since then, it has expanded domestically and internationally through organic growth and via acquisition.
Atlanta-based Quickparts offers services ranging from rapid prototyping to injection molding.
We plan to leverage our proprietary e-commerce capabilities for the benefit of the entire 3D Systems' product portfolio, Quickparts President and CEO Ron Hollis said in the release.
India firm acquires composites molder
MUMBAI, INDIA Braj Binani Group, an Indian industrial conglomerate, has acquired Composite Products Inc., a composites molder in Winona, Minn.
Mumbai-based Braj Binani operates businesses in composites, cement, zinc, glass and fibers. CPI makes parts mostly from long-glass-fiber-reinforced polypropylene composites, for automotive and industrial markets. The firm supplies Big Three automakers, as well as firms like Deere & Co. and Toro Co.
CPI employs 60 and runs four presses in a 60,000-square-foot plant. President Derek Mazula declined to provide annual sales.
Braj Binani is buying CPI from founders Ron Hawley and Don Harbst and a group of other investors that includes employees.