Nypro Inc. tackles some ambitious global expansions, with a new plant set for the Soviet Union and a base in Asia in Singapore. The key to keeping the vast expansion in order, it says, is an extensive computer network that will tie together those operations within 18 months.
Plastics News' first ranking of injection molders shows United Technologies Automotive at the top of the mountain. The company wasn't even a major plastics player even five years earlier, but grew to $580 million in injection molding sales through acquisitions. The company will fade away from the rankings as it sells out to Lear Corp. in 1999. Then Lear will roll the bulk of its plastics holdings into International Automotive Components. IAC North America came in second in the 2013 rankings, with nearly $1.6 billion in sales. The only holdover name in the top five from 1990 to 2013? Magna International Inc. The bulk of its plastics were then under the operating name Decoma International, which was ranked fourth in 1990 with $156.9 million in sales. For 2013, it was ranked at the top with an estimated $1.8 billion in sales.
Molders are taking some mold making off shore, typically to low cost areas in Portugal and Taiwan. One molder says he prefers Portugal, but said Taiwan is improving.
The plastics industry says it is in a race to find and train new employees. Industry leaders say the problem is a declining birthrate, which means there are fewer workers available, a declining education level for trained skills and a poor image for plastics processing.
The two major players in a legal battle over gas-assisted injection molding — GAIN Technologies Inc. and Cinpres Ltd. — may have reached an agreement in Europe, which should clear the way for greater use of the process. The conclusion of the legal issues over the technology will actually continue on for nearly 20 years.
The U.S. troops in the Persian Gulf may be drinking a lot of water, but bottled water companies maintain they aren't running low on bottles for U.S. buyers. Perrier Group says it sent 36,000 bottles to the Persian Gulf, but that is a “drop in the bucket” for its production base. Triton Water Co. shipped 100,000 gallons in HDPE containers, but said it would have no problem getting more bottles.
Fuji film announces it will begin selling its 35 millimeter film in paper canisters, rather than PE plastic. “Over the last few years, we've heard from trading consumers that they want environmentally friendly products,” the company says. Thanks to the digital revolution, the company wouldn't have those questions of packaging for its film much longer.
One study says the Halloween market is becoming a big one for plastic companies, with sales increasing 20 to 30 percent annually through the 1980s, with plastics used for everything from masks to trick or treating pails to outdoor decorations,
Boeing Co. announces it will use carbon fiber composites on the tail of its new 777 jets. The 777 will be the second commercial airline to use carbon fiber developed by Toray Industries Inc. Airbus put it on a vertical stabilizer.
Mack Molding Co. is buying competitor Fame Plastics Inc., which will make it the “largest full-service molder of computer and business equipment in the United States” with annual sales of up to $100 million.
Both Coca-Cola and Pepsi announce they will begin using recycled PET in bottles, but the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has warned that it will have to sign off on any use of recycled materials in products with food contact.