Lanxess adding high-tech plastics in US
LEVERKUSEN, GERMANY Lanxess AG plans to build a new compounding facility in Gastonia, N.C., and is doubling capacity at its joint venture with DuPont Co. in Hamm-Uentrop, Germany.
Leverkusen-based Lanxess said it is investing in high-tech plastics because of growing demand, especially from the automotive sector. Global demand for high-tech plastics is expected to increase by about 7 percent per year until 2020, it said.
The Gastonia plant will be Lanxess' first in the U.S. for high-tech Durethan polyamide 6 and 6/6, and Pocan polybutylene terephthalates. The company said in a news release that it is investing nearly $14 million and will create up to 55 jobs there. Construction is to begin in the second quarter of this year. Production should start in 2012 with an initial capacity of 44 million pounds a year.
The U.S. is the largest market for high-tech plastics, with the automotive industry at the forefront. It is here that increased [Corporate Average Fuel Economy] standards are driving demand for these advanced materials, Werner Breuers, a Lanxess board member, said in a news release.
In Germany, Lanxess and DuPont are doubling compounding capacity at a facility for PBT. Production there also is scheduled to begin in 2012.
Typical applications for PBT produced at the plant include plug connectors, lamp sockets and engine housings.
Magna Mich. plant back on-line after fire
AURORA, ONTARIO Magna International Inc. has resumed work at its Howell, Mich., auto interior parts plant that was badly damaged in a March 2 fire, calling all employees back to work March 9.
The company is producing 80 percent of its pre-fire parts in undamaged areas of the plant, and another 20 percent at a temporary facility while repairs continue, the Aurora-based firm said in a news release.
The fire damaged 40 percent of the 187,000-square-foot plant and 25 percent of the production area. Crews worked through the weekend to construct a wall separating those areas from the rest of the building. Employees from throughout Magna operations were also on hand to help check, clean and repair needed tooling to get molding restarted.
We now have as much of our manufacturing capacity as possible back on-line in Howell, said Bob Brownlee, president of Magna Exteriors and Interiors North America. Between the Howell plant and the off-site location, 100 percent of Howell's customer requirements are being fulfilled.
The cause of the fire, which began near a spray urethane booth, is under investigation. Magna molds, paints and assembles instrument panels, door panels and other interior trim to a range of automakers from Howell, including General Motors Co., Ford Motor Co., Chrysler Group LLC and Mazda Motor Co. Ltd.
Silgan caps plant nets aid for expansion
DOWNERS GROVE, ILL. Silgan White Cap's Richmond, Ind., facility will receive a $16,128 Economic Development Income Tax Grant from the Economic Development Corp. of Wayne County to upgrade one of its composite cap production lines.
According to a March 7 news release from the EDC, the new equipment will allow the company to increase production and continue to diversify its product line.
Wayne County commissioners must approve the request for funding.
The new equipment would include a vertical curing oven, liner equipment and a conveyer system.
According to the release, the Richmond plant is among the most diversified metal-operating facilities in the Silgan system, with the capability of producing steel, aluminum and composite extruded products.
Downers Grove-based Silgan White Cap operates 14 factories worldwide employing about 2,000. The company is the closures business of Silgan Holdings Inc. of Stamford, Conn.
Limtech sees growth in medical work
ANAHEIM, CALIF. Custom molder Limtech Inc. of Sturtevant, Wis., invested more than $1 million last year for equipment and a Class 100,000 clean room.
Our medical business is growing, President Tom Brunner said in an interview during the UBM Canon trade shows, held Feb. 8-10 in Anaheim. The medical market accounts for more than half of Limtech's business volume, with other work mainly for government programs and safety products.
The equipment includes adding three Engel hydraulic liquid-silicone-rubber presses of 150 tons two last September and one in December to an initial three Engel LSR 150-ton units in the new clean room. Other investments involved automatic press unloaders and automated inspection equipment.
Limtech employs 120 in an 80,000-square-foot facility and runs 48 injection molding presses of 30-150 tons.