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Short Shots: From the industry floor 20859

February 1, 2008

10 Min Read
Short Shots: From the industry floor

Sumitomo reported buying DemagOn Jan. 14, the online news service Bloomberg.com reported that Japan’s Nikkei newspaper had published a story the day before saying Japanese molding machine maker Sumitomo Heavy Industries Ltd. (www.shi.co.jphttps://www.plasticstoday.com/englishhttps://www.plasticstoday.com/) will acquire Demag Plastics Group (www.dpg.com), the Schwaig, Germany-based maker of injection machines. An agreement to buy all shares in DPG will be completed by SHI by March 31, Nikkei said. Nikkei did not say how it had obtained the information, but stated that the acquisition price will probably surpass 10 billion yen ($92 million). It also said owning Demag would give Sumitomo a market-leading share of 10%, but did not define the “market.”IMM previously reported that Demag had issued a press release on Jan. 11 confirming that it was talking to Sumitomo, noting that both companies believed the combination would benefit customers by a broad product portfolio, wide-ranging application experience, and a global organization. Demag has two factories in Germany, one in Chennai, India, and another in Ningbo, China. The company ceased manufacturing at its Strongsville, OH location last year. Besides its main factory in Chiba City outside Tokyo, SHI has a 40,000-ft2 manufacturing facility in Jefferson, GA 60 miles north of Atlanta, producing injection presses from 55-385 tons.Sumitomo’s molding machine range extends from 7.7-660 U.S. tons, and includes high-speed, multimolding, vertical, and optical disk models, with all its machines being fully electric. The Demag product range includes all-electric, hybrid, and hydraulic molding machines between 25 and 4000 metric tons of clamp force.—RN

Rapid Granulator opens rep office in BeirutTo take its “business to the next step in this important region,” per Rolf Gren, CEO of Rapid Granulator AB (Bre­daryd, Sweden; www.rapid granulator.se), the company has established a representative office for the Middle East and North Africa. Elias Gergi El-Kha­wand heads the office and handles accounts in Leb­anon and Syria. Algeria, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen are supported through local agents.—ACGammaflux, Syn­ventive team upHot runner manufacturer Syn­ventive Molding Solutions (Peabody, MA; www.synventive.com) and hot runner control supplier Gammaflux LP (Sterling, VA; www.gammaflux.com) have formed a private-label agreement in which Gammaflux supplies its LEC and TTC hot runner temperature control systems to Syn­ven­tive.—ACAtlas appoints new headRick Weiler has been named president and CEO of Atlas Material Testing Technology (Chicago, IL; www.atlas-mts.com). He was previously VP, GM of specialty and commercial lighting at PerkinElmer Optoelectronics.—ACHoffer helps with Habitat homeThe season of giving was full of the spirit of giving when, on Dec. 5, volunteers from family-owned custom molder Hoffer Plastics Corp. (South Elgin, IL; www.hofferplastics.com) joined nonprofit organization Habitat for Humanity International (www.habitat.org) and a St. Charles, IL family to help build a home there for the latter. Hoffer employees assisted with painting walls, ceilings, and trim as the house neared completion. “For over 50 years, Hoffer Plastics has been committed to enriching the communities where we live and work,” says William Hoffer, president and CEO. “Every bit counts in helping families in need of affordable homes to eliminate homelessness and fight poverty.”—ACHusky, Conair bottle up the world

A new agreement to jointly provide PET preform man­ufacturing systems has been formed between Husky IMS Ltd. (Bolton, ON; www.husky.ca) and Conair (Pittsburgh, PA; www.conairnet.com). The new agreement reportedly allows for closer integration and joint development of Husky’s injection molding systems and Conair’s plastics auxiliaries systems, including the latter’s Energy­Smart PET drying system, which it calls “the latest in PET resin drying technologies.”“We are excited to work with Husky, who, like Con­air, is committed to bringing the best technologies to customers, whether applied to a single line or a complete turn­key installation,” remarks Chris Keller, president of Con­air. And Jeffrey MacDonald, Husky’s VP of beverage packaging, adds, “This relationship strengthens our ability to offer customers a complete, fully integrated solution where all the elements are optimized to work together.”—CK

In addition to the many changes SPI is making to its triennial NPE trade show in 2009, it has created a new look for its marketing campaign, which includes its logo (top).

NPE 2009 exhibit space drawing in February kicks off countdown

The Society of the Plastics Industry (SPI; www.socplas.org) took advantage of its presence at K 2007 (Düsseldorf, Germany; Oct. 24-31, 2007) to let attendees know of its plans for the next big plastics trade show, NPE 2009 (June 22-26, 2009, McCormick Place, Chicago, IL). Most of the news was for potential exhibitors, who will draw for booth space Feb. 19-20 in the new McCormick West building’s ballroom. For the first time, SPI is putting aside its system of manually placing exhibitor names on a large floor plan and is reporting progress digitally on a screen visible throughout the ballroom as well as online for those participating around the world (although one rep per company still must be present).To prepare for the drawing, companies can now access the exhibitor section of www.npe.org to download a prospectus, which includes data on the NPE audience, floor plans, rules and regulations, an exhibit space contract, and an application form. To be considered for booth space, interested companies had to submit a contract and required deposit by Feb. 1.Also recently announced was an expanded educational program at the show. While the SPI continues its business and management conference schedule (but on a much larger scale), the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) is also broadening its technical conference program, which will be held in the McCormick West’s state-of-the-art meeting facilities. “We will develop a program consisting solely of original, peer-reviewed presentations ranging over a broad spectrum of technical interests,” says Susan Oderwald, SPE’s executive director. “There will be hundreds of papers, reflecting the diversity of SPE membership and the tens of thousands of visitors at NPE 2009.” Other new developments at the show:Emerging technologies pavilion. This SPI project covers nanocomposites, bioplastics, sustainability, and energy conservation or generation. A second pavilion will be announced later based on sponsor interest. Design competition. This event will be an expanded, globalized version of SPI’s Alliance for Plastics Processors’ annual competition. Plastics Hall of Fame. Look for this display in the Grand Concourse, highlighting the big names in plastics.The NPE 2009 planning team includes Bill Carteaux, president and CEO of SPI; Gene Sanders, VP of trade shows; Tracy Cullen, VP of communications and marketing; Alan Carter, trade show sales manager; Randy Pearson, chairman of the NPE 2009 Committee and president of Xaloy Extrusion; and John Effmann, vice-chairman of the NPE 2009 Committee and director of sales and marketing at Entek Mfg. Inc.—AC

Ted Lapres, president and CEO of Nypro Inc. (left) presents a symbolic check for $250,000 to Martin T. Meehan, chancellor of UMass Lowell, representing Nypro’s sum contribution to the university over four years.

Nypro supports UMass Lowell

A symbolic $250,000 check was presented by Ted Lapres, president and CEO of Nypro Inc. (Clinton, MA; www.nypro.com) to Martin T. Meehan, chancellor of the University of Massachusetts Lowell (Lowell, MA; plastics.uml.edu) at a ceremony capping a four-day summit on opportunities in emerging injection molding technologies that was convened in December 2007 at the Wannalancit Mills office and research space operated by UMass Lowell in Lowell. Al Cotton, Nypro’s director of corporate communications, says the check represented Nypro’s sum contribution to the university for four years’ worth of scholarships, internships, specific research and project grants, and program studies that UMass Lowell has overseen for a variety of Nypro companies.According to Robert Malloy, chair of UMass Lowell’s Dept. of Plastics Engineering, the four-day global technology summit was attended by chief engineers in such diverse fields as medical, consumer electronics, and packaging from Nypro Clinton and from Nypro’s global facilities. The conference primarily focused on three hot-button areas: LIM; environmentally friendly technologies such as bioresins; and nanotechnology. An entire day was reserved for each topic. Select suppliers also were involved in the presentations and discussions, as were UMass Lowell students. Malloy estimates there were about 85 attendees in total.“It was informative and intriguing, exposing them to the newer things out there,” says Malloy. “Actually, this summit was more like a retreat. We’re grateful for Nypro’s continued support of our programs. We believe the check presentation ceremony was a good way to strengthen the bond between the industry and the University, and was symbolic of our mutual commitment to learning.”—CKSurvey says: Manufacturers are slashing energy usageIf you’ve been looking for ways to reduce energy usage in your plant to cut costs, rest assured that much of the industrialized world is doing the same. According to the International Business Report survey from Grant Thornton International (London, England; www.gtuk.com), manufacturers from Turkey to Mexico are concerned about energy costs in the next 12 months. “When we asked manufacturers what they were doing, almost two-thirds reported taking measures to reduce their energy consumption,” says Alex MacBeath, GT’s global head of privately held business services. “They reported installing energy-saving lighting, motion detectors, insulation, and measures to ensure that IT equipment is turned off while not in use to cut down on usage and costs. Over half of responding manufacturing businesses are investing in energy-saving plants and machinery.”Turkish manufacturing companies are the most concerned about energy costs, with 82% of respondents expecting them to have a major impact on cost pressures over the next 12 months. Another concerned country was Mexico, (61%), with Brazil (23%) and Australia (20%) coming in as the least concerned.—ACBerry acquires Mac, approaches CaptiveDecember was a busy month for Berry Plastics Corp. (Evansville, IN; www.berry plastics.com), which announced its acquisition of Mac Closures Inc. (Waterloo, QC; www.mac.ca) and its intent to acquire Captive Holdings Inc., the parent company of Captive Plastics Inc. (Piscataway, NJ; www.captiveplastics.com).Mac, a plastic cap and closure manufacturer serving the pharmaceutical, nutraceutical, personal care, amenity, and household and industrial chem­ical industries, was added to the packaging giant’s stable as part of its strategy to expand Berry’s “North American position by combining with industry-leading companies to provide a full product offering of plastic packaging to our customers,” according to Ira Boots, Berry’s chairman and CEO.Berry again advanced its total-solution-provider strategy by entering into a definitive agreement to acquire 100% of the outstanding common stock of Captive Holdings Inc. Berry will pay $500 million in cash for Captive; the deal is expected to close in Q1 2008. Captive makes bottles and closures for the food, healthcare, spirits, and personal care end markets. Berry Plastics has 58 manufacturing facilities worldwide and employs about 12,900.—ACAMBA joins TMTAIn a move that members hope increases the political clout of both organizations, the Amer­ican Mold Builders Assn. (AMBA, Medinah, IL; www.amba.org) has added its ranks to the membership of the Tooling, Manufacturing & Technologies Assn. (TMTA, Farmington Hills, MI; www.thetmta.com). TMTA’s pres­ident and CEO Robert J. Dumont believes AMBA’s 300 member companies “will make an even greater impact towards our advocacy efforts for trade reform legislation that has crippled all areas of domestic manufacturing,” while the AMBA praises TMTA’s efforts in tacking problems of “multi­nationalism and unfair trade policies that have affected the domestic moldmaking in­dus­try,” and wants to be a part of it, says executive director Melissa Millhuff.—AC

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