NPE returns to 5-day schedule in 2015
WASHINGTON — It's official: NPE2015 will run Monday through Friday, March 23-27, 2015 — a return to a full five days of trade show exhibits.
For the first time, this year NPE had four exhibiting days instead of five. NPE2012 ran Sunday through Thursday, April 1-5. That also was a total event of five days, but the trade show floor was not open on Sunday, a day that included the Plastics Hall of Fame induction dinner, SPI's 75th anniversary golf tournament and a brand-owner panel discussion.
This year, the triennial NPE also moved to the Orange County Convention Center from its longtime home of Chicago's McCormick Place.
SPI spokesman Robert Martino said polling of attendees and exhibitors by the Washington-based trade association showed a preference for the traditional five days of an open show floor.
The timing also is better to avoid conflicts with Easter and Passover. The early-April dates this year meant NPE2012 ended the day before Good Friday.
In 2015, Easter will be April 5 and Passover will start April 4.
“So you're talking about a decent interval from the show to those major holidays,” Martino said.
Investor gives Cereplast boost, CEO says
EL SEGUNDO, CALIF. — Bioplastics maker Cereplast Inc. has received a $5 million investment as it works to recover from a half-year filled with production issues and a major sales drop.
Institutional investment firm Ironridge Technology Co. of San Francisco made the investment, and in exchange will receive preferred stock in Cereplast, which is based in El Segundo.
In a news release, Cereplast Chairman and CEO Frederic Scheer said the investment will allow his firm to restart its production schedule and access raw materials.
Cereplast also needed funding to support its recently opened office in Hyderabad, India. Scheer said interest from potential customers there could total more than 4 million pounds.
Cereplast weathered the first half of 2012, when its sales fell more than 90 percent to $305,000. The firm also posted a first-half loss of $6.3 million after losing $4.1 million in the same period in 2011.
NatureWorks adding bioplastics capacity
MINNETONKA, MINN. — Bioplastics maker NatureWorks LLC is increasing production capacity and its ability to make specialty products at its Blair, Neb., plant, thanks to proprietary equipment from Sulzer Chemtech Ltd.
The equipment, to be installed in early 2013, will boost the site's capacity about 7 percent, to 330 million pounds a year.
NatureWorks also will be able to make specialty grades of high-performance resins and lactides based on its Ingeo-brand biopolymer, officials with the Minnetonka-based firm said in a Sept. 5 news release. The new materials can be used in injection molding applications and in fibers.
NatureWorks owns patents to the process used to make the new materials, while Winterthur, Switzerland-based Sulzer has exclusive worldwide sublicensing rights to the process.
NatureWorks' investment in the new equipment was not disclosed.
Spectrum site brings toolmaker in-house
MINNEAPOLIS — Minneapolis injection molder Spectrum Plastics Group is teaming with a toolmaker to collocate toolmaking within its own molding operations.
Spectrum said a business agreement does not allow the company to divulge the toolmaker's name, but noted that it is located in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, and that the alliance will aid in quick development of new projects.
“We are now able to quickly respond to tool modifications, revision changes, and new tool builds,” said Doug Johnson, general manager for Spectrum's Minnesota division, in an Aug. 28 news release.
President and CEO Randy Ahlm said the setup gives Spectrum in-house tooling capabilities at all three of its manufacturing sites — in Minneapolis; Ansonia, Conn.; and Brewster, N.Y.
Both companies will continue as independent operations, but collocation will place tooling support alongside production.
Spectrum serves customers in the medical, aerospace, defense and precision industrial industries. It is majority owned by private equity firm Spell Capital Partners LLC of Minneapolis.