Plastics exec faces vehicular homicide
NEWPORT, TENN. — An official at a company that makes automotive accessories from plastic and rubber faces charges of vehicular homicide and driving under the influence after allegedly striking two bicyclists on a highway July 12, according to a Tennessee Highway Patrol report.
The report said two bicyclists were traveling north on Highway 73 when they were allegedly struck from behind by a 2001 GMC Sierra pickup truck driven by Dan Ford, 73, of Cosby, Tenn.
Katelin Richardson, 22, of Jeffersonville, Vt., died. She was not wearing a helmet, but the officer's opinion in the report was that it would not have made a difference. The second bicyclist, Rachel Warren, 19, of Seattle, was not injured.
According to local reports, Ford is CEO and founder of AeroPro LLC, a maker of splash guards and equine products. He was arraigned and released on $50,000 bond.
Olympus buys stake in retail display firm
STAMFORD, CONN. — Private equity group Olympus Partners has purchased a majority stake in retail display company FFR-DSI Inc., which plans to use the backing to expand its product reach.
FFR-DSI designs, builds and sells point-of-purchase displays, rack systems, signs and other items for the retail industry. It has prototype design, engineering and production at its headquarters in Twinsburg, Ohio, and in Wilder, Ky., as well as plastics and metal manufacturing in Shanghai and Shenzhen, China. The company also works with outside manufacturers, officials said.
The privately owned company has injection molding, thermoforming and extrusion. The deal, announced July 11, includes an undisclosed investment by Stamford-based Olympus.
FFR-DSI's management team will remain in place and oversee the firm's growth.
ICM expands with KraussMaffei press
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — International Contract Molding LLC has added its third KraussMaffei press in the past year to its Charlotte injection molding plant.
The 3,200-ton injection molding machine began operating in June, Charlotte-based ICM said in a July 8 news release. It follows the 2010 installation of two other KraussMaffei machines — a 3,200-ton unit and a 3,000-tonner.
The new press initially will produce 65- and 95-gallon container bases for the waste industry, but it also will be used for work in the irrigation, automotive and material-handling industries.
ICM is part of Otto Group Holdings BV of Maastricht, Netherlands. Otto formed the business in 2006 for large-tonnage work.
Michigan compounder boosts capacity
MIDLAND, MICH. — Midland Compounding and Consulting Inc. is boosting materials development capacity with the purchase of a 30-millimeter twin-screw extruder.
“It increases our design flexibility for compounding,” said Chris Surbrook, new-business development manager for the Midland-based firm. The used Werner & Pfleiderer extruder will be installed by July 31, and can be used for compounding runs as small as 50 pounds, he said in a recent telephone interview.
About 20 percent of Midland's business is in material development, a growth area for the company, he said. He added that Midland will add two employees once the machine is installed.
The firm has two other extrusion machines for lab use. Overall, it employs 19 at its 50,000-square-foot plant.
Bellingham, Wash., institutes bag ban
BELLINGHAM, WASH. — Bellingham has become the 23rd community in the U.S. and the second in the state of Washington to ban single-use disposable plastic bags at retailers.
The ban, which goes into effect July 11, 2012, also requires retailers to charge shoppers at least 5 cents for each paper bag used at checkout. Restaurants will still be able to use plastic bags for takeout items. City officials estimate that about 22 million single-use plastic bags a year are used by people in the town 90 miles north of Seattle, which has a population of 80,000.
Plastic bags for bulk items, frozen foods, meat and fish, prepared foods, flowers and prescription medicines also are excluded from the ban; as are newspaper, door-hanger and laundry-cleaning bags. The ban was unanimously approved July 11.
Bellingham is the ninth community in the U.S. to ban plastic bags this year. The other city in Washington state with a plastic bag ban is Edmonds.