Further consolidation of thermoforming equipment makers was announced at NPE 2000 last month. Brown Machine LLC and Lyle Industries, Inc., both of Beaverton, Mich., plan to merge into North America's largest supplier of forming machines. Both firms are leaders in roll-fed, in-line machinery, while Brown also makes cut-sheet equipment. Lyle also produces bottle trimmers. The new marketing alliance between Lyle and Gabler of Germany will continue after the merger.
Hong Kong-based Chen Hsong Machinery Co., Ltd. will open a North American sales office in Toronto. The firm makes injection machines from 20 to 3200 tons. The Chen Hsong Group, which includes companies in Taiwan and mainland China, is reportedly the world’s largest injection machine builder, with output of 9000 presses a year. For details, e-mail email@example.com.
At least 24 internet-based e-commerce ventures exhibited in Chicago last month, and new e-initiatives were announced daily at the show:
Two more resin suppliers are joining the e-business site (www.omnexus.com) to be launched Oct. 1 by BASF, Bayer, Dow, DuPont, and Ticona. One is M.A. Hanna Co., Cleveland, which is about to merge with Geon into a firm called PolyOne. Also joining Omnexus is the Solvay Group of Brussels, Belgium.
Advanced Elastomer Systems, Akron, Ohio, joined the e-commerce site (www.elastomersolutions.com) that Bayer, Crompton Corp., DSM Elastomers, DuPont Dow Elastomers, Flexys, M.A. Hanna Rubber Compounding, and Zeon plan to launch by September.
Two resin suppliers that announced new e-commerce portals for plastics are Bayer Corp.of Pittsburgh, and Ticona of Summit, N.J. Bayer says its BayerONE service is the first to include polyurethanes. It will be extended to coatings, colorants, and additives this summer. Ticona calls its service Buy Ticona Direct.
Toshiba Machine Co., America, Elk Grove Village, Ill., launched www.toshiba-machine.com. Molders can order spare parts, request a machine quote, apply for credit, and register for training classes.
Chicago-based fob.com launched www.fobplastics.com, an electronic “purchasing hub” for buying resins, sheets, films, and profiles. The site has a database of 32,000 plastic products for purchase.
A new e-commerce portal for buying screws, tips, barrels, and nozzles is www.feedscrews.com. It was started by AmericanManufacturers.com, Cocoa, Fla., following its recent purchase of screw and barrel maker Flite Technology, Inc. in Cocoa. It complements the e-commerce site (www.AmericanManufacturers. com) started in March to help users find customers or suppliers in 34 markets, including plastics. New at NPE was an electronic request for quote (eRFQ).
London-based MachinePoint.com made its U.S. debut at NPE. It’s a year-old electronic forum for buying and selling used molding machines and auxiliaries. The site (www.machinepoint.com) reportedly lists an average of 2000 machines and sells some 187 machines a month. Click on the type of machine you seek and then search listings that note manufacturer, age, technical specs, and perhaps even a photo.
Milacron, Inc., Batavia, Ohio, has bought the business and all the technology rights of Akron Extruders, Inc., Canal Fulton, Ohio. The acquisition (now called Akron Milacron) bolsters Milacron’s single-screw extrusion portfolio, as well as its aftermarket barrels and screws. In particular, this move gives Milacron a presence in the commodity-priced segment of the market. Its own Apex single-screw extruders are higher-priced custom machines.
With demand for two engineering resins growing at double-digit rates, two suppliers are adding capacity.
Ticona of Sumit, N.J., will more than double Vectra LCP capacity to 17 million lb/yr at Shelby, N.C., by early 2002. DuPont Engineering Polymers, Wilmington, Del., will more than double Zenite LCP capacity at Chattanooga, Tenn., in two stages It will boost capacity from 8 million to 12 million lb/yr in the third quarter of 2001 and then to 18 million lb in 2002.
Ticona will also gain 4 million lb/yr of Fortron PPS by the end of this year. The 33% capacity increase at Wilmington, N.C., will come through debottlenecking.
Caco Pacific Corp., Covina, Calif., and Otto Hofstetter AG of Uznach, Switzerland, both makers of precision multi-cavity injection molds, have formed a partnership to make and sell PET preform molds in North America. Caco Pacific will start by selling Hofstetter preform molds with up to 96 cavities. Then, Caco Pacific will set up facilities to build these molds using Hofstetter’s patented technology.
Last month, Elf Atochem North America Inc. in Philadelphia took the new name Atofina Chemicals, Inc. At the same time, Fina Oil & Chemical Co. was renamed Atofina Petrochemicals, Inc. It is moving its headquarters from Dallas to Houston. Both are part of Atofina, based in Paris, which resulted from the merger of two French oil and chemical companies, TotalFina and Elf Aquitaine.
Demag Ergotech USA, a German-based producer of injection molding machines, is creating an independent North American presence separate from its sister company, Van Dorn Demag Corp. of Strongsville, Ohio. The two will now become competitors in North America, although Demag Ergotech in Germany still builds some machines for sale by Van Dorn Demag.
Demag Ergotech plans to move from Van Dorn Demag headquarters to its own 26,000-sq-ft facility in Strongsville.
On July 5, Phillips Petroleum Co., Bartlesville, Okla., and Chevron Corp., San Francisco, completed the merger of their chemical businesses. They received Federal Trade Commission clearance on June 30. The new 50/50 joint venture is called Chevron Phillips Chemical Co. and is based in Houston. It is one of the top five worldwide producers of polyethylene.