Your Business In Brief - April 2000

Parkinson Buys Marshall and WilliamsParkinson Machinery of Woonsocket, R.I., has purchased Marshall and Williams Plastics, Providence, R.I., from the Harbour Group of St.

Parkinson Buys Marshall and Williams

Parkinson Machinery of Woonsocket, R.I., has purchased Marshall and Williams Plastics, Providence, R.I., from the Harbour Group of St. Louis. Marshall and Williams makes textile machinery and equipment for biaxial orientation of polypropylene film and polystyrene sheet. Parkinson, a manufacturer of winders and other web-handling equipment, is affiliated with Key Filters, a maker of screen changers. The new acquisition will operate as the Marshall and Williams Plastics Div. of Parkinson Machinery. Its machinery and laboratory equipment will be moved to Parkinson's recently expanded facility in Woonsocket. A 100-ft biaxial orientation lab line will be set up there.

Harbour Group, the corporate parent of the AEC/Sterling group of companies and of Cumberland Engineering, purchased the assets of Marshall and Williams in February. The textile-related business of Marshall and Williams remains part of Harbour Group's Textile Machinery Group.


Mold-Masters Plans Detroit Auto Center

Mold-Masters Ltd. of Georgetown, Ont., a major supplier of hot-runner technology, plans to launch an Automotive Service Center in the Detroit area by mid-year. The Center will be staffed with applications and sales/service engineers.


R&B Mold & Die Design Opens U.S. Office

R&B Mold & Die Design Ltd., an Israeli developer of CAD software for plastic mold design, has opened its first U.S. office in Cave Creek, Ariz. Its two main software products, MoldWorks and MoldCreator, are aimed at mid-range CAD systems. R&B Mold & Die Design USA can be reached at (480) 473-0840 (480) 473-0840.


DuPont and BP Amoco Share New PE Technology

DuPont Co., Wilmington, Del., and London-based BP Amoco have cross-licensed each other to use their new non-metallocene single-site catalyst technologies for making polyethylene. Each independently discovered iron and cobalt catalysts, but DuPont has received patents in both the U.S. and Europe. DuPont has now licensed its Versipol catalysts to BP Amoco for use in HDPE production. Versipol catalyst is said to make HDPE with improved stiffness and gas permeability. BP Amoco is conducting Versipol pilot tests in the U.K. It plans to make commercial runs there or in France later this year.

DuPont technology director David A. Holmes says his company believes Versipol technology can produce resins with property/performance profiles surpassing those of metallocene polymers. DuPont is interested in applying the technology to its Surlyn ionomer specialty products, but not to making commodity polymers, says Versipol business manager James Smith. "Our intention is to broadly license the technology to other polyolefin suppliers. Versipol catalysts are potentially useful in gas-phase, solution, and slurry-loop processes, and development is under way in all three."


Entek Extruders to Open New Compounding Lab

Entek Extruders of Lebanon, Ore., plans to complete its $.5.5 million expansion by April. The company is building two new additions, a 17,000-sq-ft space for the engineering staff and a 20,000-sq-ft twin-screw extruder laboratory for customer trials and testing. The company builds twin-screw compounding extruders and replacement barrels, shafts, and screw elements.


Chevron Licenses Innovene PE Process

Chevron Chemical Co., Houston, has purchased the first license to use the Innovene gas-phase polyethylene process of BP Amoco. Chevron will also use new metallocene catalysts based on Dow Chemical's Insite technology. Chevron's experience with the new technology indicates that it produces resins with "dramatic improvements in heat sealability, processability, and a revolutionary combination of shrink and toughness properties," according to a company statement. Chevron expects to commercialize the new resins by early next year. Chevron is making capital investments to utilize the new technology at Orange, Texas, and its Cedar Bayou plant near Baytown, Texas.


JSW Opens Midwest Technical Center

Injection molding machinery maker JSW Plastics Machinery Inc., Anaheim, Calif., recently opened a 16,500-sq-ft technical center in Elk Grove Village, Ill. It will provide training, continuing education, mold testing, and process-optimization services. The center will also serve the Midwest with technical service and parts distribution.

The center is equipped with four all-electric injection machines of 60, 120, 200, and 385 tons, as well as two hydraulic molding machines of 110 and 310 tons. In each quarter, JSW will offer three-day continuing-education sessions as part of an on-going series. Four programs will be held each quarter covering machine maintenance, set-up and operation, plastics processing, and new processing technologies.


Two Conferences Focus On Compounding & Extrusion

PLASTICS TECHNOLOGY magazine has planned two conferences for the fall. The first is the "Continuous Compounding Conference," which will be held November 14-15 at the Cleveland Marriott East in Beachwood, Ohio. Second, the "Wood-Plastics Conference" is scheduled for December 5-6 at the Baltimore Marriott Inner Harbor Hotel in Baltimore.

Both of the two-day programs will include technical presentations and a tabletop display area. For more information, contact event coordinator Melissa Lynch of Polymer Process Communications at 908-790-0209.


M.A. Hanna Moves to Market-Focused Teams

Cleveland-based M.A. Hanna Co. is moving to eliminate its formerly product-focused commercial organization and replace it with a market-oriented structure. As explained last month by Michael L. Rademacher, Hanna's new senior v.p. of Plastics Americas, this means that in the future, customers will no longer have to deal with separate entities like the present M.A. Hanna Engineered Materials and M.A. Hanna Color in order to obtain resin compounds and additive concentrates, respectively. Instead, they will obtain all Hanna products and services through a single "customer-focused team" that specializes in their market.

The first of these teams was M.A. Hanna Cable Systems, formed in 1998-99. This was followed at the start of this year with the formation of M.A. Hanna Automotive. Rademacher said the next two years will see the formation of eight to 10 more teams aimed at market segments like business machines/electronics, pipe, and film packaging.
Each business team will have its own sales, marketing, customer-service, technical-service, and application-development personnel. All the teams will share the company's four dozen manufacturing operations, which are themselves being focused on particular resin or compound types and order-size capabilities.