Erema line allowing Polykar to cut waste
SAINT-LAURENT, QUEBEC — Polykar Industries Inc., which makes polyethylene garbage bags and food packaging, has installed the first Erema TVEplus recycling line in Canada, according to Erema North America Inc.
Polykar has developed a line of recycled-content garbage bags, as well as compostable and oxo-biodegradable bags at its plant in Saint-Laurent.
Erema of Ipswich, Mass., offers the TVEplus as an upgraded line of vented extruders that can dramatically boost the amount of gas that can be removed from plastics heavily contaminated with inks and additives.
Traces of those contaminants can cause bubbles, blisters and tears in the finished recycled-content, Erema said.
“The addition of the TVEplus allows us to significantly reduce waste and material expenses without compromising the quality of our products,” said Amir Karim, Polykar's vice president of business development. “With it, we can effectively reclaim highly printed film and roll scrap and process it into superior-quality [reprocessed] pellets for use in our trash bag lines.”
CEI buys Intertape plant's customer list
WRIGHTSTOWN, WIS. — Coating Excellence International LLC has acquired the customer list of Intertape Polymer Group Inc.'s Brantford, Ontario, plant.
The plant was operated by Bradenton, Fla.-based Intertape's engineered coated products division. Intertape announced in January that it planned to close the facility, blaming a continuing strike by the plant's unionized workers. Production at the plant halted in May.
The facility made consumer, food and industrial packaging.
Canadian news media reported June 3 that Intertape and the United Steelworkers reached a tentative agreement to pay severance to about 80 employees at the Brantford plant who were on strike for nearly three years. Details of the agreement were not released.
“The completion of this acquisition represents our commitment to accelerate growth in our key markets and continue to serve our customers,” Mike Nowak, president of Wrightstown-based CEI, said in a June 3 news release.
In addition to Wrightstown, CEI operates plants in Appleton, Wis., and Hebron, Ky.
Mahle GmbH sets up molding site in India
ALZENAU, GERMANY — Mahle GmbH is making a new plant near Chennai, India, its competence center for injection molding in India.
The Alzenau-based company recently opened the plant, which makes air-filter systems and intake modules.
The company previously outsourced much of its injection molding in India, with only its Gurgaon plant doing overmolding of air-filter elements.
Mahle currently employs 80 in Chennai, with plans to hike that to 150.
Petoskey considers wind power at plant
PETOSKEY, MICH. — Film extrusion firm Petoskey Plastics Inc.'s plant in Hartford City, Ind., is going with the wind.
The Petoskey-based firm recently installed a meteorological tower in Hartford City to evaluate the possibility of using wind power as a source of energy at the 208,000-square-foot site, which employs 20 and does manufacturing and recycling work.
Petoskey is funding the tower via the Rural Energy for America Program, organized by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development. The Blackford County Economic Development Corp. helped Petoskey apply for the grant, which was one of only 68 awarded nationwide.
“The tower is another step in our evolution as an environmentally progressive company,” Petoskey President and co-founder Paul Keiswetter said in a June 8 news release. “It's exciting to consider the possibilities the REAP grant is facilitating, including using alternative energy to recycle post-consumer plastic. You couldn't get more eco-friendly.”
The Hartford City plant also soon will be receiving new recycling equipment that will increase capacity and create new jobs, Keiswetter added. The firm also operates plants in Michigan and Tennessee.
Supplier Minda opens Taiwan design center
GURGAON, INDIA — Auto component maker Minda Industries Ltd. has opened a $783,000 design center in Tainan, Taiwan.
Gurgaon-based Minda is a leading Indian supplier of products including switches, electric mirrors, horns, lamps, blow molded components, electronics and sensors. With the new design center, the company extended its business of designing and developing automotive lighting products.
The center “will give us an easy access to product designing capabilities, toolmaking and machine development,” said Nirmal Kumar Minda, chairman and managing director, in a news release.
Minda has 24 manufacturing plants in India and joint ventures and technical agreements in Indonesia, Italy and Japan.
JCI aiming to end Saft battery venture
GLENDALE, WIS. — Johnson Controls Inc. took the first steps to dissolve its lithium-ion battery joint venture with Saft Groupe SA, but Saft said it would fight the dissolution.
Glendale-based JCI filed in Delaware's Court of Chancery to end the partnership so JCI can pursue other technologies outside the company's agreement with Saft to produce advanced lithium-ion batteries, said Alex Molinaroli, president of Johnson Controls Power Solutions.
“Johnson Controls and Saft have a fundamental disagreement about the future direction and appropriate scope of the joint venture,” Molinaroli said in a statement.
“The industry is evolving rapidly and the investments needed to achieve market leadership requires us to do more than the joint venture has done or can do,” he said.
In a news release of its own, Saft said it would oppose the court filing. The Paris-based company said it had proposed numerous compromises that were rejected by JCI.
“Saft believes that, whilst some adjustments in the scope of [Johnson Controls-Saft] could be considered, it would not be in its strategic interest to address through JCS certain lithium-ion markets where Saft is already strongly positioned and enjoys a rapid development,” the company said in the release.
Both companies said JCI's filing would not affect the joint venture's customers.
Lithium-ion batteries use plastics as its binder material, in separator films, for housings and as the conduit in cables running throughout the car.
The joint venture was formed in 2006 to develop and produce lithium ion batteries. JCI makes vehicle interiors and batteries. Saft specializes in producing industrial nickel-cadmium batteries. Its lithium-ion batteries have mainly targeted industrial or military users, rather than the automotive market.