Your Business in Brief - April 2007

Lyondell Sells Its Millenium TiO2 UnitLyondell Chemical Co., Houston, has agreed to sell its Millennium Inorganic Chemicals subsidiary in Hunt Valley, Md., the world’s second-largest producer of titanium dioxide.

Lyondell Sells Its Millenium TiO2 Unit

Lyondell Chemical Co., Houston, has agreed to sell its Millennium Inorganic Chemicals subsidiary in Hunt Valley, Md., the world’s second-largest producer of titanium dioxide. The buyer is National Titanium Dioxide Co., Ltd. of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, which has been producing the white pigment in that country since 1991. Its product is trade named Cristal.


Long-Fiber Thermoset Compounds Acquired

Sumitomo Bakelite Group of Belgium has acquired Neopreg AG, a Swiss producer of long-fiber thermoset molding compounds. Neopreg makes Kinel and Neonite compounds of epoxy, melamine, polyimide, and bis-maleimide. Its products will be available here from Sumitomo Bakelite North America, Manchester, Conn. Neopreg will be integrated into Sumitomo’s Vyncolit N.V., subsidiary in Belgium. Tel: (860) 533-6674 •


Acquisitions in Composites

Cleveland-based Glastic Corp., long-time molder and pultruder of composites, has been acquired by Rochling Engineering Plastics of Germany. Meanwhile, Core Molding Technologies of Columbus, Ohio, has ended its bid to buy another old name in composites, Premix Inc., North Kingsville, Ohio.


SMS GmbH to Sell Two Extrusion Machinery Groups

After selling its Battenfeld injection molding division to private investors in October, SMS GmbH in Germany announced another step in its withdrawal from the plastics machinery field with plans to sell most of its extrusion business to Triton, a European private investment firm. SMS aims to focus henceforth on metallurgical machinery. The deal includes Battenfeld Extrusionstechnik and SMS Extrusion Kempen in Germany; Battenfeld Extrusion Systems in China; American Maplan Corp., McPherson, Kan.; and Cincinnati Extrusion in Austria, China, and Erlanger, Ky. For now, SMS retains Battenfeld Gloucester Engineering, Gloucester, Mass.


Husky Considers a Sale

Last month, Husky Injection Molding Systems Ltd., Bolton, Ont., announced that it has initiated a review that will include the possibility of selling part or all of the company’s shares or forming a strategic combination with another company. This review is based on founder and chairman Robert Schad’s decision to consider selling his shares, which constitute more than 44% of those outstanding.


Dynisco Acquired

Roper Industries, Inc., Duluth, Ga., has purchased Dynisco LLC from Audax Group. Dynisco, headquartered in Franklin, Mass., supplies software, melt-pressure sensors, and a variety of polymer testing instruments. The acquisition includes Dynisco Polymer Test, located with Alpha Technologies (acquired by Dynisco in 2004) in Akron, Ohio; and Dynisco GmbH in Germany. Dynisco becomes part of Roper’s Energy Systems & Controls segment. Roper is a diversified industrial company involved in energy, radio-frequency medical, water, and other industrial sectors.


Dow Gears Up for 3Q Launch of Infuse OBC

Dow Chemical, Midland, Mich., is gearing up for full-scale manufacturing of its new Infuse OBCs (thermoplastic olefin block copolymers) at Freeport, Texas, in the third quarter. The company recently completed its first large-scale developmental trial run of these novel TPEs, first unveiled last June at NPE 2006. The new production facility can also produce Affinity olefin plastomers and Engage olefin elastomers.

Lauded as a breakthrough in olefinic elastomers due to their unique block structure, Infuse OBCs consist of linear MDPE hard blocks and Engage-type ethylene-octene soft segments. They are said to deliver novel combinations of properties and processability at a use cost competitive with TPVs. TPUs, and styrenic block copolymers. Infuse OBCs are also said to offer performance advantages over EVA and flexible PVC. Tel: (800) 441-4369 •


New Organization for Bayer PUR Systems

Bayer MaterialScience AG in Germany has created a new umbrella organization for all of its polyurethane systems, called BaySystems. It is meant to distinguish between the PUR chemicals and systems businesses. Within BaySystems, Bayer will retain product brands such as Bayfit, Bayflex, Baydur, Multitec, etc. BaySystems North America is in Houston. Tel: (281) 350-9000 •


Compounders Expand

Four compounders are adding capacity:

  • Infinity Compounding, Logan Township, N.J., a two-year-old compounder of engineering thermoplastics, recently installed its third compounding line. Started by seven former employees of LNP Engineering Plastics, the firm makes conductive, lubricated, electrostatic, structural, and precolored compounds. Tel: (856) 467-3030 •
  • PolyOne Corp. just opened a 100,000-sq-ft specialty compounding plant at its headquarters in Avon Lake, Ohio. It has six lines and room for six more. It will produce TPEs, TPOs, TPVs, and FDA, lubricated, electrostatic, flame-retardant, high-modulus, high-temperature, heat-conductive, and high-gravity compounds. Tel: (866) 765-9663 •
  • Americhem, Inc., Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, a specialist in color and additive concentrates for fibers, will add more than 15,000 sq ft to its plant in Dalton, Ga., by this spring. A new production line will make performance-enhancing additives for nonwovens. Tel: (800) 228-3476 •
  • Dyvex Industries, Inc., Carbondale, Pa., is upgrading its production lines and adding two more. One new line has a Coperion twin-screw compounder. The other is for cryogenic grinding of nylon and PP powders for rotomolding and powder coatings. Dyvex produces concentrates and compounds of fragrances, odor suppressants, fibers, minerals, antistats, antifog agents, biocides, and other additives. Tel: (800) 697-2989 •


Novatec & Advantage Team Up

Two suppliers of auxiliary equipment have joined forces to offer a broader portfolio. Novatec, Inc., Baltimore, and Advantage Engineering, Inc., Greenwood, Ind., have formed Auxiliary Systems Group (ASG) to provide single-source project-management services for procurement, installation, and technical support of complete auxiliary equipment systems. ASG can supply dryers, blenders, loaders, materials-conveying, and process-cooling equipment. It aims to sign up additional partners to provide robots, granulators, and more. ASG is located at Novatec’s site. Tel: (866) 252-6370 •


SPI Creates Medical Products Section

The Society of the Plastics Industry, Washington, D.C., has launched the Medical Products Section of the Alliance of Plastics Processors (APP). It is open to processors, materials and machinery suppliers, moldmakers, and OEMs involved in medical products. For information, contact Karen Miles, assistant director of the APP. Tel: (202) 974-5247 • e-mail:


New Name in ERP Software

M2M Holdings, parent of Made2Manage Systems, Inc., Indianapolis, has changed its name to Consona Corp. Consona ERP is the new name of the business unit supplying Made2Manage ERP software. Consona Industry Solutions includes the DTR business unit that supplies DTR Plastics, a specialized ERP solution.


More Carbon Fiber Coming

Three more recent announcements join a host of projects worldwide to ease shortages of carbon fibers in the face of runaway demand growth of 15%/yr:

  • Toray Industries, Inc., of Tokyo is adding capacity for PAN-based Torayca fiber at three sites in Japan, France, and the U.S. The additional aircraft-grade fiber will be needed for production of Boeing Co.’s new B787 next year. The expansions, due for completion in early 2009, will add 3.96 million lb/yr at Toray Carbon Fibers America, Inc., in Decatur, Ala., and a total of 4.84 million lb/yr in France and Japan. Toray is also adding 5.8 million m² of prepreg capacity at Toray Composites America, Inc., Tacoma, Wash., and a similar amount in Japan.
  • Cytec Industries Inc., W. Paterson, N.J., has chosen Greenville, S.C., as the site for a 33% expansion in capacity for Thornel T300, T650, and T40/800 fibers used in military, aerospace, and industrial applications. It is due in 2010.
  • SGL Carbon, Wiesbaden, Germany, has a new fiber production line due on stream in Inverness, Scotland, in August and is planning another line there to be ready in 2008. A third new line, due next year, is planned as part of a joint venture with Lenzing AG in Germany. Together, these additions will triple SGL’s capacity to 13.2 million lb/yr. SGL just completed in December a plant for carbon-fiber prepreg in Meitingen, Germany. One use of this product is in wind-energy blades. And in January, SGL Carbon bought a majority interest in a joint venture with F.A. Kumpers GmbH for making multiaxial carbon-fiber fabrics used in wind-energy and automotive composites. U.S. sales are through SGL Technic Ltd., Gardena, Calif.