Phillips-Medisize expanding Czech site
HUDSON, WIS. — Phillips-Medisize Corp. has increased the size of its Czech Republic plant by more than a third, adding new clean room space and room to assemble single-use medical devices, drug-delivery devices and respiratory products.
“The majority of the expansion was to accommodate more assembly space” and was driven by new business the company captured “in the finished-device category of the general medical/surgical market,” President and CEO Matt Jennings said in an email.
The expansion adds 10,000 square feet of space, including 2,000 square feet of clean room space. That boosts the size of the plant in the town of Trhove Sviny, which is just north of the Austrian border, to 38,500 square feet.
A small portion of the expansion will be for Multivac packaging lines, Jennings said.
“The expansion is a significant increase in our capability to manufacture and assemble finished products ... as well as in our process engineering capabilities,” Jennings said. The expansion was completed earlier this quarter.
By the end of February, employment at the plant will be 60 percent higher than it was last spring, according to Jennings: “We are hiring.” Current employment is 138.
The plant has Class 7 and 8 clean rooms, plastic and liquid injection molding, and the ability to assemble finished medical devices. It also does catheter extrusion.
Phillips-Medisize has annual sales of nearly $500 million, with 75 percent of that coming from drug-delivery, medical-device and diagnostic products.
The company is headquartered in Hudson and employs more than 2,100 in 19 locations throughout the United States, Europe and China. It also has design centers in Wisconsin, California, and the Netherlands.
Super Link worker crushed by forklift
OAKLAND, CALIF. — A worker was killed Nov. 15 at recycler Super Link Plastic Inc. in Oakland when he was crushed by a forklift.
Media accounts described the victim as a 34-year-old man. He was using a forklift to lift another forklift when the accident occurred, according to a report in the San Francisco Chronicle.
Super Link officials could not be reached for comment. The firm was founded in 1993 and recycles most types of commodity plastics, operating 80 million pounds of annual recycling capacity.
Ferro Corp. chief James Kirsch resigns
MAYFIELD HEIGHTS, OHIO — Ferro Corp. Chairman, President and CEO James Kirsch has resigned, less than three weeks after the specialty chemicals firm posted a third-quarter loss of more than $300 million.
Kirsch had been with Ferro since 2004 and had held the firm's top positions since 2005, following the sudden death of Hector Ortino. Ferro executive Peter Thomas now will serve as interim president and CEO, while board member William Lawrence will serve as acting chairman. Thomas had been operating vice president of the Polymer and Ceramic Engineered Materials unit.
On Oct. 29, Ferro — based in Mayfield Heights — reported a third-quarter loss of almost $316 million, due in large part to a severe downturn in the market for conductive pastes used in solar cells. The firm's third-quarter sales tumbled 24 percent to less than $415 million.
Ferro ranks as one of North America's largest polypropylene compounders, and produces color and additive concentrates. That business has been a bit of a bright spot for Ferro this year, with nine-month profit up more than 60 percent to $12.2 million, even as sales were flat at $132.5 million. Through September, Specialty Plastics accounted for about 10 percent of Ferro's total sales, ranking fifth among the firm's six business units.
Bayer touts quake-resistant wallpaper
LEVERKUSEN, GERMANY — Bayer MaterialScience AG has developed a ‘wallpaper' that it said can help protect buildings from earthquakes.
The material — a tear-resistant woven fabric — is applied directly to walls using a flexible adhesive based upon Dispercoll U, a waterborne polyurethane dispersion from Bayer.
According to the Leverkusen-based company, the wallpaper holds large areas of the masonry together, keeping it stable, giving occupants time to flee the building.