Krauss-Maffei AG announces it is taking over competitor Netstal. The companies had planned to make the announcement at NPE 1991, but couldn't complete the deal in time.
How's this for surreal? Salvador Dali has a plastics connection. A. Reynolds Morse, who founded Injection Molding Service Co. in 1949 and helped establish Van Dorn Plastic Machinery Co. in 1945 was a long-time fan of the Spanish painter and he and his wife, Eleanor, became friends with Dali. (Maybe those melting clocks were a reflection on warpage issues?) The Morses donated their Dali paintings to the city of St. Petersburg, Fla., for a museum. The museum, now in its second home, has more than 350,000 visitors each year.
Chrysler Corp.'s upcoming Viper sports car will be a test vehicle for lightweight vehicle production. “Viper is a means to our development of new technology,” says Roy Sjorberg, executive engineer for the project. “There are 18 areas in which we are using the project, such as developing materials, processes and product design [to help Chrysler pursue] an evolution in technology.” In addition to RTM and SMC, the Viper will be one of the first vehicles to put carbon fiber on the road.
Cyclist Greg LeMond may not have won the 1991 Tour de France — he finished fourth after falling behind in the Pyrenees — he does have the lightest bike. His primary bicycle in the race has a carbon fiber composite frame made by Carbonframes Inc. of San Francisco.
Want to make buying resins easier? Three different firms have opened, each offering on-line resin buying. The Electric Plastics Warehouse, Network Resins Inc. and The Resin Wire all offer buyers the chance to electronically search for resins available for sale — at least those offered through their sites. The electronics e-commerce boom will begin deflating in the early 2000s.
Little Tikes founder Thomas Murdough is hoping to create toy magic a second time as he launches toy company Step 2 two years after selling Little Tikes to Rubbermaid (and after his non-compete agreement expires). “So many people speculated that I would try to somehow ‘get back at' Rubbermaid,” he says. “That's not what happened at all.” Murdough says he wanted to provide “new and better” products at Step 2.
Owens-Corning Fiberglas Inc. warns that composites sales are way down for the year. It has seen its shipments drop 12.7 percent compared to 1990.
The Soviet Union is failing to keep up with consumer demand for polymer production, experts say. Polymer production actually fell by up to 8 percent between 1988 and 1990. “The picture of the state of the USSR national economy, and the chemical industry in particular, is not very optimistic, but it is not hopeless,” one economist says.
Pen maker Bic Corp. places one of the biggest single injection molding machine orders of the year when it buys 48 presses. The presses will go to into a Connecticut plant as the company adopts a new manufacturing method for production cells that include robotics and automation.
Many molders who were burned (metaphorically) by hot runners when they were first introduced in the 1970s are warming up to them now that the technology has improved. “The suppliers addressed a lot of the problems quite well,” says one molder.
Think wind power is new? Improvements in blade technology are leading to increased interest a decade after wind power had its first peak in the 1980s. Blades now are up to 30 feet long, made of fiberglass using a hand layup technique. (The carbon fiber blades of the 2010s wind power generation are up to 300 feet long.)