Dielectric creates prototyping division
MENOMONEE FALLS, WIS. — Plastics fabricator Dielectric Corp. is expanding its capabilities with a new division specifically to make prototypes and low-volume parts.
JR Prototypes, based near Dielectric in Menomonee Falls, will use fused deposition modeling for rapid prototyping from production-grade thermoplastics, the companies said in an Oct. 6 news release. The addition will help improve new-parts validation.
Michael Esser Jr. will run the new prototyping unit.
Dielectric Corp. machines, stamps, drills, welds and assembles thermoplastic and thermoset parts, with production in Wisconsin and Iowa.
Bag tax rejected in Juneau, Alaska
JUNEAU, ALASKA — Juneau voters have overwhelmingly voted down a proposal that would have required large stores to place a 15-cent tax on single-use plastic carryout bags.
The final unofficial tally in the Oct. 4 ballot proposal showed 69 percent voted against the tax, which would have applied to the four retailers in the city that have $15 million or more in annual sales: Fred Meyer, Walmart, Safeway and Home Depot.
The citizens' initiative was sponsored by local environmental group Turning the Tides, which promotes healthy oceans and reducing the use of single-use plastic products such as bags, bottles and containers.
Altogether, 29 U.S. communities, including 10 cities and four counties in California, have plastic bag bans. Two other communities — Montgomery County, Md.; and Washington, D.C. — have 5-cent taxes on plastic and paper carryout bags.
One plasma treatment firm buys another
ELGIN, ILL. — Plasmatreat North America has acquired Belmont, Calif.-based PTS Plasma Technology Systems LLC, following a five-year business relationship between the two plasma surface treatment companies.
Terms were not disclosed.
Plasma treatment is used to modify surfaces prior to bonding, printing or painting involving plastics, composites, metals and glass. Plasmatreat specializes in atmospheric plasma treatment; PTS Plasma focuses on low-pressure plasma.
PTS was founded in 1999 by Stephen Kaplan, a polymer chemist, and developed by Mikki Larner, the current vice president of sales and marketing. PTS will open a contract service facility in the Chicago area in 2012.
Elgin-based Plasmatreat North America is the U.S. head office and technical center of Plasmatreat GmbH of Steinhagen, Germany.
Plastic Engineering hires Mexican firms
TEMPE, ARIZ. — Plastic Engineering Inc. of Tempe is partnering with two entities in Nogales, Mexico, to lower costs for certain injection molding and machining work.
In early September, the firm established machining relationships with National Manufacturing Mexico LLC and for injection molding with Nogales Plastic Molding SA de CV.
Plastic Engineering said studies show Mexico manufacturing cost savings can exceed those of companies in China or India and the difference in direct labor costs has narrowed. “We need low-cost pricing to compete,” said sales manager Trent Powell.
Plastic Engineering employs 60 and occupies a combined 43,000 square feet in three locations. Its Tempe site does precision machining and vacuum forming. A Houston site offers injection molding and an Irwindale, Calif., facility has precision machining.
Of the firm's core machining work, plastics accounts for about 80 percent of volume and metal for the remainder. Together, injection molding and vacuum forming processes represent about 30 percent of total sales.
Great Western Registrar LLC of Phoenix provided the firm with certification under AS9100 effective July 15. That enables Plastic Engineering to further pursue work on “any component that touches an aircraft,” Powell said. Aviation, about 15 percent of business, is seen as a potential market for growth.
Recently, the firm created the GotFOD.com website to focus on “foreign object damage” that costs the aviation industry billions annually.