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News Briefs, e-Weekly Sept. 17-25, 2008

Helix Medical (Carpinteria, CA) achieved ISO Class 7 & 8 cleanroom certification for its Carpinteria operations. The manufacturer of and supplier to medical device, health care, pharmaceutical, biotech, and IVD industries also reported that its APEC Asia subsidiary based in Shenzhen, China has been granted ISO 13485:2003 certification. Helix Medical LLC is a subsidiary of Freudenberg-NOK’s general partnership.

Helix Medical (Carpinteria, CA) achieved ISO Class 7 & 8 cleanroom certification for its Carpinteria operations. The manufacturer of and supplier to medical device, health care, pharmaceutical, biotech, and IVD industries also reported that its APEC Asia subsidiary based in Shenzhen, China has been granted ISO 13485:2003 certification. Helix Medical LLC is a subsidiary of Freudenberg-NOK’s general partnership.

Injection molder China Array Plastics (Pittsfield, MA) will have a Class 100,000 clean room installed at its Wuhan, China facility, targeting medical and other markets requiring environmentally controlled manufacturing. The company, which specializes in running high-heat thermoplastics like polysulfone (PSU), polyetherimide (PEI), polyetheretherketone (PEEK), and polycarbonate (PC), says it offers multinational medical OEMs operating in China advantages over importing parts, including higher quality, faster delivery, lower costs, and highly trained U.S. and local expertise.

DuPont is accepting entries for the 21st DuPont Awards competition, highlighting achievements in sustainable packaging. Winners of the 20th DuPont Awards included Kraft’s salad dressing bottle that cut weight by nearly 20% while improving transport efficiency; Marks & Spencer's renewably sourced, compostable confectionary package inserts; and Larsen Danish Seafood’s single-serve ambient food packaging that helps reduce food waste. Entries for the 21st DuPont Awards will be accepted until Feb. 13, 2009, and they do not need to include a DuPont product to be eligible.  For additional information and entry materials go to www.packaging.dupont.com

Automotive systems supplier Mann+Hummel (Ludwigsburg, Germany) will open its fourth facility in China in Jiading, a district of Shanghai housing one of the largest automotive parts parks in Asia. The new facility will mainly manufacture filter systems and filters for the automotive OEM and aftermarket, with production expected to start up by January 2010. The new site also will be the company’s China headquarters and the base of its Asian research and development (R&D) center.

Vinythai, the Thailand-based affiliate of plastics supplier Solvay (Brussels, Belgium), has increased its polyvinyl chloride (PVC) production capacity at its plant in Map Ta Phut by 70,000 tonnes to 280,000 tonnes/yr. Vinythai plans to lift the annual PVC production capacity stepwise to a total of 400,000 tonnes. “The PVC market in South East Asia is growing fast”, says Jean-Pierre Pleska, General Manager of the Strategic Business Unit Vinyls. Vinythai is owned by Solvay (49.99%), PTT Chemical Public Co. Ltd. (24.98%), and Charoen Pokphand Group (11.87%). VNT is the second largest chlor-alkali and vinyl supplier in South East Asia.

Shelbyville, Indiana’s Common Council granted tax abatements to two of its local molders, according to a report in the Shelbyville News. PK USA Inc., an automotive supplier molder, had its abatements continued, with previous ones used to expand facilities and purchase stamping and injection molding machines, robots, and assembly equipment for use by its 533 employees. In related news, PK USA, which is owned by Japanese company Press Kogyo Co. released 40 workers.
A $342,348 tax abatement was granted to Plastic Moldings Co. LLC, which plans to use the money to purchase a 385-ton all-electric injection molding machine. Plastic Moldings employs 157, with those workers brining home more than $4 million in salaries according to CEO Thomas R. Gerdes.

The Indiana Business Journal reports that Global Tool & Automation’s (GTA) Fort Wayne, IN plant will close, eliminating about 40 jobs. Prior to this move, some of GTA’s assets were sold to X-Y Tool & Die (LaOtto, IN). GTA makes tooling for thermoforming and injection molding. Elsewhere, Wabash Magnetics (Wabash, IN) is closing its moldmaking plant, eliminating 72 jobs, according to the Fort Wayne Journal.
 

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