Optimum plans major expansion project
DELAWARE, OHIO — Optimum Plastics Inc. plans to add 30,000 square feet of space to its facility, according to information filed with its request for a tax abatement.
Dan Whited, director of the Delaware Economic Development Office, said the city had agreed on a 10-year, 50 percent tax-abatement package on Optimum's new construction. As part of the agreement, the company said that it would hire the equivalent of eight full-time employees during the next two years. It currently has 55 employees.
Optimum did not return calls for comment.
The company “has been a very good employer,” according to Whited.
He said Optimum had indicated in the filing that the expansion was a $1.3 million project and that the company also expects to spend $5 million on new machinery.
Delaware-based Optimum is a blown film and bag maker, serving as a supplier for the food and automotive industries.
Schulman dissolving Sunprene TPE JV
FAIRLAWN, OHIO — After 23 years, A. Schulman Inc. is dissolving Sunprene Co., its thermoplastic elastomer joint venture with Mitsubishi Chemical Corp.
The venture makes TPEs at a plant in Bellevue, Ohio, primarily for automotive applications. In a Nov. 7 news release, officials with Tokyo-based Mitsubishi said that “a change in [Schulman's] business strategy ... has made Sunprene non-strategic.”
Officials with Fairlawn-based Schulman could not be reached for comment. Mitsubishi officials added in the release that the Sunprene business “holds considerable growth potential.”
Schulman ranks as one of North America's largest makers of plastic compounds and concentrates. The firm recently ended its 2011 fiscal year, during which sales grew 27 percent to almost $2.2 billion.
Engel expands Germany automation site
HAGEN, GERMANY — Engel Holding GmbH is investing 2 million euros ($2.7 million) to expand its automation production operation in Hagen, adding 10,800 square feet for an assembly hall and office space.
The expansion should be completed by March. Engel will add 15 employees to the Hagen plant, bringing the total to about 60 people in the automation department. The Hagen operation will employ more than 90.
“The market share of Engel in the field of automation technology is growing all the time, and we've reached the limit of our capacity,” said J"rg Fuhrmann, managing director of Engel Automatisierungstechnik Deutschland GmbH.
Engel officials claim the company accounts for nearly half the automated manufacturing cells sold by all European injection press makers.
Huaxiang targets German, US markets
NINGBO, CHINA — Ningbo Huaxiang Electronics Co., a major Chinese interior trim supplier, will acquire two units of bankrupt German supplier Sellner Holding GmbH in a bid to gain access to the German and U.S. markets.
The two businesses are Sellner GmbH in Germany and Sellner Corp. in the United States. Both produce wooden interior components for automobiles, according to Huaxiang.
Huaxiang will pay 19 million euros ($25.7 million) for Sellner GmbH and its plastic interior parts subsidiary, IPG Industrieplast. It will acquire Sellner Corp. for 23 million yuan ($3.62 million).
In addition, Huaxiang will pay 52 million euros ($70.3 million) to buy Wech Cheb spol sro, a company in the Czech Republic that provides plywood pressing services for Sellner GmbH.
Sellner Holding's major customers are Audi AG, Mercedes-Benz and BMW AG. It went bankrupt in January.
Huaxiang, located in the east China city of Ningbo, mainly supplies the Chinese joint ventures of Volkswagen AG, General Motors Co. and Ford Motor Co.
In 2010, Huaxiang posted a profit of 420 million yuan ($66.2 million) on sales of 3.3 billion yuan ($520.1 million).