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e-Weekly News Briefs Nov. 5-9


Bayer opens PUR system house in Thailand

Bayer MaterialScience (Leverkusen, Germany) has inaugurated its first integrated polyurethanes (PUR) systems house in Thailand, with BaySystems ASEAN opening at the Bangpoo Industrial Estate in Samutprakarn province. BaySystems, which encompass custom-tailored combinations of both the polyol and iscocyanate components of PUR, include Baytherm for appliances, Baymer for construction, and Baydur, for furniture. For automotive interior and exterior applications, Bayer supplies Baynat and Baysafe.
According to the material manufacturer, in Thailand alone the size of the PUR market is expected to reach 90,000 tonnes by 2010, up from the 76,000 tonnes today. Thailand accounts for more than 50% of the total systems business in the ASEAN region. BaySystems ASEAN joins Bayer’s Asia-Pacific systems houses in China, India, Japan, and Taiwan.
In related news, Bayer acquired UCSC Ltd. (Phoenix, AZ), which supplies rigid polyurethane spray foam roofing and spray foam perimeter wall insulation to the U.S. commercial and residential construction industry. It will be integrated into Bayer’s BaySystems global network. The value of the acquisition was not disclosed. Bayer will retain the UCSC facilities and its approximately 50 employees.


SPE and SPI team for technical presentations at NPE

Expanding collaboration begun at NPE 2006, the Society of the Plastics Industry (SPI; Washington DC) and the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE; Brookfield, CT) will again work together at NPE 2009 on a widely expanded technical conference to feature hundreds of new peer-reviewed papers to be presented during the triennial event in Chicago. SPI and SPE believe the collaboration will result in the largest technical educational program ever offered in conjunction with an international plastics trade show. The program, which was announced during the K in Düsseldorf, will be held in the new McCormick West building, which NPE will occupy in 2009 instead of the East or lake side hall. McCormick West has 250,000 sq ft of meeting space split among 61 rooms, in addition to 470,000-sq-ft of gross exhibition space. NPE 2009 will take place from June 22-26.


ePAK triples Shenzhen site

Tripling production space from 200,000 sq ft to approximately 600,000 sq ft in September on the basis of 36.2% growth in the integrated circuit industry it serves, ePAK Resources Ptd. Ltd. has expanded its manufacturing site for semiconductor transfer and handling products in southern China. The Shenzhen operation has ISO 9001:2000 and 14001 certifications, with capabilities in injection molding, extrusion, vacuum forming, submicron cleaning, assembly, and materials compounding.
In July 2007, ePAK entered into a definitive agreement to be purchased by Ascend Acquisition Corp., with the deal to close in the first quarter of 2008. ePAK’s primary products include components and assemblies for front-end wafer handling, back-end integrated-circuit transport, and end-system sub-assembly handling. ePAK’s global headquarters are in Austin, TX.


Frimo, Jenoptik ink partner for laser cutting

Frimo (Viersen, Germany), a manufacturer of punching and trimming tools primarily for use in finishing of plastic automotive applications, has teamed with Jenoptik (Jena, Germany) on the use of laser cutting in plastics processing. The two will work to integrate Frimo’s machinery with Jenoptik’s laser-cutting technology.
Frimo also offers equipment for water-jet cutting, blade cutting, milling, and more, but identifies laser cutting as increasingly important. Laser cutting is a non-contact process characterized by high speed and precision. Jenoptik’s laser technology provides integrated laser beam guidance through all robot axes, enabling a user to mount a laser permanently outside of a robot, which helps extend the useful life of the laser system.


Lyondell plus Basell equals LyondellBasell

The company resulting in the planned merger between polyolefins power Basell and chemical giant Lyondell will be called LyondellBasell Industries. On Nov. 20, shareholders will vote to accept the merger, which was proposed initially on July 16. If the deal is approved, marketing of the new, combined brand will begin in the fourth quarter. Basell maintains headquarters in Hoofddorp, Netherlands, with Volker Trautz as CEO, while Lyondell is based from Houston, TX, with Dan Smith serving as chairman, president, and CEO.


Sidel sells 200,000th mold

Stretch blowmolding machine manufacturer Sidel (Octeville sur Mer, France) has sold its 200,000th stretch blowmold to Nestlé Waters, the world’s leader in bottled water and one of Sidel’s key customers. The mold will be used to form 0.5-L bottles. The sale of the 200,000th mold was recognized at a celebration held in Octeville, France attended by two Nestlé Waters representatives: Steve Bendix, VP of operations, and Laurent Kuboj, global purchasing manager.
In 1990, Sidel says it made 1700 molds, a number that grew to 18,000 by 2006, with about 70% of all molds produced for the aftermarket. Sidel has also reorganized its moldmaking operations in the last years and now has a network of five mold-manufacturing facilities located in Octeville sur Mer and Paris (both France), Atlanta (U.S.), Shanghai (China), and Sao Paulo (Brazil).


Briefs

Custom thermoformer Fabri-Form Co. (New Concord, OH) has been recognized with a Masters of Quality award from Freightliner LLC, an award reserved for the top 1% of the company’s suppliers, with prizes distributed to fewer than 50 of Freightliner’s 3000 suppliers. Fabri-Form maintains manufacturing facilities in Byesville, OH and Bluffton and Pekin, IN, in addition to its corporate headquarters in New Concord.
Additives supplier Eliokem (Villejust, France) acquired the Polymer Division of India’s Apar Industries Ltd. for $27.5 million, subject to regulatory approvals.
Apar’s Polymer Division is the sole Indian manufacturer of nitrile rubber, with end-use applications in automotive parts and industrial goods such as rice rollers, hoses, or shoe soles. The purchase includes the single production site at Valia, about 400 km north of Mumbai.


Names in the News

Less than one month after leaving injection molding machine supplier Demag Plastics Group (DPG; Schwaig, Germany) where he served as president of U.S. operations, Brian Bishop is once again working within the U.S. plastics machinery industry, joining Milacron Inc. (Cincinnati, OH) as the VP of marketing, global plastics machinery. At Milacron, which in addition to industrial fluids and machinery and mold components, manufactures injection, blowmolding, and extrusion equipment, Bishop will report to Bob Simpson, president of Milacron’s Global Plastics Machinery division. Prior to his work with DPG, Bishop had experience with injection machinery suppliers HPM and Engel.
Aramid fiber supplier Teijin Aramid has appointed Rob Woudman as application development engineer/technical account manager at the composites marketing and sales department.


The Global Plastics Bulletin Board

The American Chemistry Council’s (ACC; Arlington, VA) Center for the Polyurethanes Industry (CPI) is now accepting nominations for papers and posters to be presented at the Polyurethanes 2008 Technical Conference (Sept. 29-Oct. 1., 2008; San Antonio Marriott Rivercenter, San Antonio, TX). Submission instructions can be found at www.americanchemistry.com/polyurethane, with paper abstracts due by March 1, 2008, and poster abstracts accepted until Sept. 1, 2008. For a poster to appear in the conference program, it would have to be submitted by April 1, 2008.


Weekly futures activity from the LME

LME Plastics Evaluated Prices (US$ per tonne) for Oct. 29-Nov. 2

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