Auto supplier ZF expanding Ky. plant
FRIEDRICHSHAFEN, GERMANY — German auto supplier ZF Friedrichshafen AG is investing $17.9 million to expand its rubber and plastics operation in Hebron, Ky., to keep up with increasing business orders.
Kentucky officials announced the expansion in a July 12 news release. The company will add 60 jobs to the 206 already in Hebron. Kentucky will provide $500,000 in tax incentives to help finance the project.
ZF, based in Friedrichshafen, makes engine mounts, anti-vibration products, bushings and functional plastics in Hebron.
The company will add equipment and boost the plant's size to 52,000 square feet. It did not provide details about the type of plastics manufacturing it is adding.
ZF said the site is already near capacity production, and new business coming in requires the expansion.
Kinro acquires thermoforming business
GOSHEN, IND. — Recreational vehicle supplier Kinro Inc. is acquiring the thermoforming design and production operations of Agile Vehicle Modifications Inc., adding to its capabilities in plastic components and tooling.
Goshen-based Kinro, which is part of Drew Industries Inc. of White Plains, N.Y., will pay $300,000 for the business when the deal closes, with up to another $150,000 to be paid depending on the first year of sales, the company said in a July 12 news release. Kinro will lease production space from Agile Vehicle in Elkhart, Ind.
The unit has annual sales of less than $1 million.
Kinro makes vinyl and aluminum windows and doors for the RV and manufactured-building markets. Agile is a specialty converter of custom trucks and vans, producing interior and exterior parts.
The business will give Kinro a wider product and customer line and fits its expansion into specialty markets, said President Scott Mereness.
Oderwald takes Dow marketing position
MIDLAND, MICH. — Susan Oderwald, the former executive director of the Society of Plastics Engineers, has a new job — in the metal packaging coatings sector.
Midland-based Dow Chemical Co. announced May 7 that Oderwald joined Dow Coatings Materials as global marketing manager for metal packaging. She leads the business's marketing efforts for new can coatings in the food and beverage industry.
Oderwald left SPE in December, after announcing in August that she would leave SPE by the end of the year. She joined the trade group in 2001 as deputy executive director. SPE named Oderwald executive director in 2004, to fill the position after Michael Cappelletti retired.
Newtown, Conn.-based SPE named Willem De Vos as its new CEO, the top position, succeeding Oderwald.
Braskem invests to keep PP plant in Pa.
PHILADELPHIA — Braskem SA will invest $56 million and create at least 28 new jobs as part of a deal to buy Sunoco Inc.'s propylene splitter assets and retain its PP operations in Marcus Hook, Pa.
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett's office announced the plans July 11, saying the state offered Braskem $15 million in state support to retain production at the polypropylene facility.
São Paulo, Brazil-based Braskem opened the facility in 2010, using propylene produced by Sunoco as an offshoot of its gasoline refinery in Marcus Hook, but the future of that site was placed in doubt when Sunoco decided to shutter the unprofitable refinery.
Braskem said earlier this month that it had secured a source for its Marcus Hook operation. The announcement from Pennsylvania clarified the future for the facility, saying the project retains 119 jobs that otherwise could have been shifted to other sites if Braskem opted to consolidate PP production elsewhere.
“The acquisition of the splitter reinforces our position as the leader in polypropylene in the United States and ensures the future of our Marcus Hook operations,” said Braskem America CEO Fernando Musa.
The deal also requires Braskem to retain 90 jobs at its Philadelphia headquarters and 10 jobs at its Pittsburgh tech center.
Braskem acquired the PP resin plant from Sunoco, which acquired it from Epsilon Products Co. It was operating under the Epsilon name in the mid-1990's, obtaining propylene monomer from the Sunoco refinery.