The silicones, quartz, and ceramics businesses of the former GE Advanced Materials, Wilton, Conn., are now called Momentive Performance Materials. They were acquired recently by Apollo Management, L.P., and include the former joint ventures GE Bayer Silicones and GE Toshiba Silicones.
Paris-based Rhodia (U.S. office in Cranbury, N.J.) will soon close the sale of its global silicones business to China National BlueStar Corp. of Beijing. Rhodia’s silicones unit, including two U.S. plants in Rock Hill, S.C., and Ventura, Calif., consists primarily of silicone rubber for moldmaking as well as silicone fluids and silanes, including a mold release for polyurethanes. A large state-owned chemical company, China National BlueStar Corp. is a major silicone producer. It also makes engineering plastics and TDI. Tel: (609) 860-4000 • www.us.rhodia.com
Mold components supplier DMS (North America) has moved from Windsor, Ont., to a new 10,000-sq-ft building in Oldcastle, Ont.
Last month, the Society of the Plastics Industry, Washington, D.C., alerted members to two new occupational safety initiatives by federal agencies. On Oct. 27, OSHA reissued its National Emphasis Program (NEP) on Amputations. It replaces the 2002 program in which plastics processing (SIC 3089) was among 10 industries targeted for workplace inspections regarding amputation hazards. OSHA is now looking at users of any machinery likely to cause amputations. Prior NEP inspections focused on machine guarding, but now they include lockout/tagout provisions and mechanical power transmission apparatus.
OSHA’s list of 40 Standard Industrial Classifications (SICs) associated with high rates of amputation includes the following:
Machinery targeted as sources of amputations include extruders and injection machines, milling machines, conveyors, mixers, blenders, saws, printing presses, drill presses, grinding/abrading machines, and packaging/wrapping equipment. The NEP (Directive CPL 03-00-003) is posted at www.osha.gov.
On Nov. 9, the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB), which advises OSHA, reported on its investigation of combustible dust hazards and recommended new measures to avoid explosions and fires. CSB identified 291 combustible dust incidents between 1980 and 2005. Forty incidents, or 14%, involved ignition of polymer powder or dust. Twenty-one incidents, or 8%, occurred at rubber or plastics processors, causing 19 deaths and 219 injuries.
CSB recommended that OSHA issue new regulations on combustible dust and implement a Special Emphasis Program. The Combustible Dust Hazard Investigation report is online at www.csb.gov.
One of the oldest names in U.S. composites is due to be sold. Core Molding Technologies, Inc., Columbus, Ohio, has signed a letter of intent to purchase Premix, Inc., North Kingsville, Ohio, a 46-year-old compounder and molder of glass-reinforced thermoset SMC, BMC, and TMC. Premix also owns Quantum Composites in Bay City, Mich., which makes high-performance thermoset molding compounds.
Core Molding Technologies is a compounder and molder of SMC and also uses RTM, spray-up, and hand lay-up to produce composites for cars, trucks, and personal watercraft. It has four plants in the U.S. and Mexico.
In July, Saint-Gobain Group of France announced plans to form a joint venture combining its global fiberglass and composites businesses with those of Toledo-based Owens Corning. Since then, it was decided that Saint-Gobain Vetrotex America would not be part of the new venture. As a result, the business, based in Wichita Falls, Texas, will be sold.
Vero International Software Inc., Wixom, Mich., supplier of the VISI-Series CAD/CAM/CAE software package, has acquired Plastics & Computer Inc. of Milan, Italy (U.S. office in Dallas). Headed by Giorgio Bertacchi, Plastics & Computer was a 25-year-old supplier of the TMconcept series of injection molding simulation programs. Vero has renamed the software VISI-Flow, which complements its VISI-Mold package for mold design. VISI-Flow has three major modules: Filling, Shape (pack and hold analysis), and Thermal (cooling analysis).
Krauss-Maffei Corp., Florence, Ky., recently opened its Detroit Competence Center in Novi, Mich., intended to provide increased local support for polyurethane processors serving automotive and specialty markets. The facility is equipped for trials, prototyping, and training. It is set up to operate the full range of the company’s PUR metering equipment, including spray systems and RIM presses. Additional capabilities include color dosing, air nucleation, and CO2 blowing. Among future additions will be a 1300-ton MX injection molding press and foam scoring/trimming systems.
Krauss-Maffei has also partnered with EPW, Inc. of Elkhart, Ind., a RIM molder and PUR moldmaker for RIM and glass encapsulation, to provide expertise in foam molds and tooling. The partnership is focusing initially on automotive and is working out of the Detroit Competence Center. K-M plans to expand its tooling offerings into additional PUR applications.
RPM International Inc., Medina, Ohio, parent company of DayGlo Color Corp., Cleveland, has purchased The Dane Group in Manchester, U.K. Dane produces fluorescent, phosphorescent, and thermochromic (changing hue with heat) pigments. Dane will operate as a stand-alone business within the DayGlo Group.