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e-Weekly News Briefs, Jan. 1-4

January 4, 2008

7 Min Read
e-Weekly News Briefs, Jan. 1-4

Plastic molding and trim set for growth

Demand in the building and construction market for molding and trim materials is forecast to grow 2.1% per annum through 2011 to $10.9 billion, according to a new report from The Freedonia Group, a Cleveland-based industry research firm. While wood materials will continue to represent the largest category in 2011, all other major material types will offer more favorable growth prospects. Demand for molding and trim made from plastic materials will experience the fastest gains, driven by the material’s desirable performance characteristics and maintenance requirements. Additionally, increasing acceptance of these products by consumers and building professionals, and ongoing product developments that improve aesthetics and performance, will bolster demand. Pricing pressures will impact all raw materials for molding and trim products, including wood, metal, and plastics, and a weak new-housing environment in the residential market will limit value demand.

Battenfeld Extrusiontechnik wins extruder piracy suit in China

After 4 years of litigation, pipe, profile and sheet extrusion line manufacturer Battenfeld Extrusionstechnik (Bad Oeynhausen, Germany) says evidence revealed in a Dongguan court shows that Donghua Machinery Ltd., Dongguan Cosmos Machinery Co. Ltd., and Dongguan Welltec Machinery Ltd., have unlawfully used confidential internal documents concerning the manufacture of pipe extrusion lines that are the property of Battenfeld China. Battenfeld began machinery production in Shunde, China in 1998, with the product piracy suit against the Cosmos Group companies filed in September 2003.

As part of the ruling, the Cosmos companies have been ordered to destroy illegal copies of drawings and other technical information, as well as all copied pipe-extrusion equipment manufactured using the Battenfeld blueprints that are currently in production or already on the market. The production, sale, and marketing of such products have now been prohibited, and a fine has also been imposed. Battenfeld Extrusion Systems Ltd., the firm’s Chinese subsidiary, has more than 200 extrusion lines installed at better than 120 customers in China.


Berry Plastics (Evansville, IN) has purchased bottle maker and closure molder Captive Plastics Inc. (Piscataway, NJ) for $500 million, adding 13 plants spread across the U.S. Berry, which is a portfolio company of Apollo Management and Graham Partners, purchased Captive from First Atlantic Capital Ltd. Days prior, Berry announced that it acquired cap and closure molder MAC Closures Inc. MAC, which was owned by Novacap Investments Inc., operates two manufacturing sites in Canada, located in Waterloo and Oakville, ON. MAC focuses on closures for pharmaceutical, nutraceutical, personal care, amenity, and household and industrial chemical industries.

Only 45% of China’s growing demand for injection molding machinery is fulfilled by the growing number of domestic machinery suppliers, according to a new report. China Injection Molding Machine Market Report 2007 says that the eastern provinces of Guangdong, Jiangsu, and Shandong account for 88% of the total injection molding machine manufacturing industry in China. Since 2000, the market capacity of the entire industry has climbed from Yuan 4.598 billion ($632 million) to Yuan 14.578 billion ($2 billion) in 2006. The largest producer and consumer of injection molding machines in the world, China’s injection industry is seeing strong growth in Zheijang, which added 14 businesses, according to the report.

Growth in carbon-fiber demand is projected to increase by 10% annually over the next 5 years with most of the leading suppliers projected to lose market share, while SGL, Toray, and Zoltek are actually forecast to increase market share. Those figures are found in a new report from Lucintel (Dallas), which also stated that in terms of product range, Toray ranked number, with MRC tops in net income to revenue and Hexcel leading in return on equity. For more information, go to http://www.lucintel.com/marketcarbonleadership.asp.

German injection molding machinery manufacturer Arburg (Lossburg) last month celebrated the official opening of new offices for its subsidiary in Greve, Denmark, as well as the 10-yr anniversary of the firm’s subsidiary there. The new location in Greve is near Copenhagen’s airport and just 11 miles from the previous location. It includes offices, a spare-parts store, and a show room with space for four of the manufacturer’s machines. Eddie Oswald, managing director of Arburg’s Danish subsidiary, has represented the firm in Denmark for almost 30 years.

Engineering thermoplastics trader and consultancy Man&Materials N.V. (M&M; Kapellen, Belgium) has added polyphenylene ether (PPE) to its product portfolio. It also trades PC, PBT, PA, ABS and polyester-TPEs. M&M has acquired distribution rights in Europe and the Americas for PPE supplied by China’s Blue Star New Chemical Materials Co. (Beijing). PPE typically sees use as a blend to enhance other thermoplastics’ thermal, mechanical and flammability performance, and to reduce the smoke density of final compounds. M&M is run by Uwe Wascher and Anneliese Monden, a husband-and-wife team who were senior executives in GE’s European operations in the 1980s and 1990s.

Global Plastics Bulletin Board

Extrusion consultant Allan Griff, in conjunction with Omnexus and SpecialChem will offer a two-part online training session for extrusion. The first session will take place on Jan. 16, with the second session scheduled for Feb. 5. The sessions feature a one-hour presentation and 30 minutes for questions. For more information, go to http://www.omnexus.com/tc/etraining/register.aspx?id=564&lr=griffex.

The Society of the Plastics Industry’s (SPI; Washington, DC) California lobbyist, Joe Ackler of Ackler & Associates, will head up a panel including Tim Shestek, of the American Chemistry Council (ACC), and Gavin McHugh with the California Manufacturers & Technology Assn. (CMTA). In addition, Rob Stutzman, former deputy chief of staff and communications director for California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. The California Update will take place at the Fairmont Hotel, located at 4500 MacArthur Blvd., Newport Beach, CA. Later in January, SPI will take part in the conference session of Plastec West (Jan. 29-31; Anaheim Convention Center, Anaheim, CA). Plastec is organized by owner, Canon Communications LLC.

Names in the News

Corrugated plastic pipe processor Advanced Drainage Systems Inc. (ADS; Hillard, OH) announced that Frank Eck, the processor’s chairman of the board, passed away Dec. 13, 2007 from complications following open heart surgery. He was 84.

Born and raised in Red Bank, NJ, Eck earned a B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering in 1944 from the University of Notre Dame, where he was a member of its track team. Upon graduation, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy serving as an officer aboard a landing ship tank. Following the war, he was accepted and graduated from the Harvard School of Business in 1949. He began his business career in the petrochemical industry in the 1950s.

In 1973, Frank Eck joined ADS as VP sales and marketing, and helped grow the firm from a small regional manufacturer for the agricultural market to the world''s largest producer of corrugated high-density polyethylene (HDPE) drainage pipe. “There is no adequate way to describe Frank’s contributions to ADS and our industry,” stated Joseph Chlapaty, current president and CEO of ADS.

Eck was a noted philanthropist. Among other educational institutions he supported, he was the principal benefactor at the University of Notre Dame for the construction of the Eck Hall of Law, set to open in spring 2009; the Eck Tennis Center and Baseball Stadium; and the Eck Center at Notre Dame, which houses the book store, national alumni headquarters, and visitors’ center.

Nylon supplier and compounder Nylon Corp. of America Inc. (Nycoa; Manchester, NH) has named a new president and CEO. Gregory Biederman comes to Nycoa with 27 years of chemical industry management experience, most recently serving as vice president for specialty intermediates at polyester supplier Invista, a subsidiary of Koch Industries, and prior to that at the DuPont Co..

Canterbury Engineering Co. has hired Bruce Kozak as its director of new business development, with an initiative in place to expand sales in injection molding, Kozak comes to Canterbury with more than 30 years of experience in plastics, including the last 3 years with Spirex as VP of global sales and marketing and more than 20 years at Milacron. Canterbury manufactures screws, barrels, check valves, nozzles, end caps, adapters, and more.

Entek Manufacturing (Lebanon, OR) has hired Dean Elliott as its extrusion lab manager, joining the manufacturer of twin-screw extrusion lines after prior experience with wood-plastic composite manufacturers Kroy Corp. and CertainTeed. Dean will lead customer lab trials for Entek, as well as offering support.

Weekly futures activity from the LME

LME Plastics Evaluated Prices (US$ per tonne) for shortened Dec. 27-28 trading week


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