Magneti Marelli plans lighting center
MILAN — Italian auto supplier Magneti Marelli SpA is expanding in North America, setting up a new automotive lighting center in Pulaski, Tenn.
The Milan-based company already makes shock absorbers and exhaust systems in Pulaski. The new lighting operation will be located within the existing building there, the company said in a June 11 news release.
Magneti Marelli is a major global auto supplier with 83 production sites worldwide and nearly 6 billion euros ($7.3 billion) in annual sales, but has had limited production in the U.S.
The Tennessee site will be the company's first in the U.S. for lighting, joining two other North American facilities in Mexico. In 2011, Magneti Marelli supplied 20 million headlamps and 22 million rear lights to the auto industry. Its lighting unit takes in standard lighting, LED lighting and xenon lights.
Magneti Marelli said it will have injection molding in Pulaski, but did not specify what capital equipment it will add for the new production and did not provide a time line to launch the lighting business there.
MIT wins grant for insulation research
CAMBRIDGE, MASS. — Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge will receive a $1 million grant from the Department of Energy to continue its research into polyethylene fibers and sheets that can transfer heat while remaining an electrical insulator.
The DOE said MIT researchers are working on a continuous manufacturing process to make high-molecular-weight, high-thermal-conductivity PE fibers and sheets to replace metals and ceramic parts in heat-transfer equipment.
The MIT program is directed by Gang Chen, a professor of power engineering and director of MIT's Micro and Nano Engineering Laboratories. In a 2010 paper published in Nature Nanotechnology, Chen described a process in which polymer molecules are lined up the same way to conduct heat in one direction. It was described as being useful for computer processor chips, solar hot-water collectors and heat exchangers.
According to the DOE, the technology could be useful for fuel savings in automotive applications, as PE's density is 35 percent less than aluminum.
Chen's research paper said the team transformed PE fiber to make it about 300 times more thermally conductive. It said if the fibers can be made in larger quantities, they could provide a cheaper alternative to metals used in heat transfer.
In the June 12 announcement, the DOE said it awarded more than $54 million for 13 projects that transform technologies and materials to help U.S. companies increase energy efficiency.
Intelligrated gets private equity owner
LONDON — Intelligrated Inc., a maker of materials-handling equipment, has signed a deal to be acquired by a holding company owned by Permira, a London-based private equity firm.
The deal is valued in excess of $500 million, according to a June 8 news release from Mason, Ohio-based Intelligrated. Company founders Chris Cole and Jim McCarthy will maintain a significant ownership stake and will continue to lead the company, according to the release.
Intelligrated makes automated systems and robots for conveying and palletizing that are used in materials handling and distribution of retail consumer products, food and beverage, apparel, converted paper, pharmaceuticals, postal distribution and airport baggage handling. The company also makes warehouse control systems.
Cole, the company's CEO, and McCarthy, president and chief operating officer, co-founded Intelligrated in 2001 after their former company, Pinnacle Automation Co., was sold to FKI Logistex Group Ltd. of Loughborough, England. They ended up buying back FKI's North American operations.
According to Intelligrated, Permira's investment will help the company expand in North America and in emerging markets.
“Intelligrated is well-positioned to capitalize on the growing demands on companies to increase supply-chain efficiency,” said Richard Carey, a partner and co-head of the Global Industrials Group at Permira. The deal is set to close in the third quarter.
Kortec moves HQ to nearby, larger site
ROWLEY, MASS. — Coinjection technology supplier Kortec Inc. moved its headquarters in May from Ipswich, Mass., three miles north to a building in Rowley that has 30 percent more space.
“We are growing and the increase we've seen in business recently, particularly in the barrier thin-wall packaging technology area, has driven the need for more space,” said Russell Bennett, vice president of sales and marketing.
The new headquarters can accommodate engineering, mold assembly and research and development, Bennett said.
Kortec supplies turnkey coinjection molding systems, used to produce barrier, three-layer containers for pacakging.