General Electric Co., Fairfield, Conn., has agreed to sell its GE Plastics business, based in Pittsfield, Mass., to Saudi Basic Industries Corp. (SABIC) of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, for $11.6 billion. GE is a $6.65-billion global supplier of engineering thermoplastics. SABIC is one of the world’s largest petrochemical manufacturers and the fourth largest polymer producer. It makes PE, PP, PVC, PET, PS, EPS bead, and melamine. The parties hope to conclude the deal by the end of September. SABIC Americas is based in Houston. For more information visit Sabic Industries Corp.'s PT Online Showroom.
Moldflow Corp., Framingham, Mass., has decided to focus on its CAE Design Analysis Solutions business and sell off its Manufacturing Solutions Div. Its core CAE Design unit focuses on its Moldflow injection molding simulation products. The Manufacturing Solutions Div. offers Altanium hot-runner controls, Moldflow Plastics Xpert injection molding process automation tools, Celltrack Production Management software (also known as a manufacturing execution system, or MES), and Shotscope process and production monitoring systems. Most of these products came from recent acquisitions. For more information visit Moldflow Corp's PT Online Showroom.
Smart Sourcing Inc., Farmingdale, N.Y., is one of several firms that help U.S companies find a range of manufacturing services, from primary processing to finishing and assembly, in low-cost regions like China. The company has a network of 80 pre-qualified vendors in China and a team of 30 product-management and quality-control personnel there. They can provide product management, source selection, engineering coordination, quality assurance, and logistics. “We provide a hands-on approach that is less risky than going there directly or setting up a joint venture or alliance,” says Brian Strebel, v.p. of marketing. Most of its customers are small- to medium-size firms in the lawn/garden, automotive, and foodservice industries that have high labor content in their operations. Smart Sourcing says it can offer a cost savings of up to 50%. Tel: (888) 235-0500 • www.smart-sourcing.com
Another firm, Titoma in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., offers U.S. electronic suppliers savings of more than 30% in product development and manufacturing in China and Taiwan. Titoma says the greatest savings are realized when product design is done in close cooperation with Chinese toolmakers and molders. What Titoma calls “Design for Asian Manufacturing” (DFAM) is done in collaboration with a network of Chinese suppliers. Current U.S. customers are makers of wireless and handheld computing devices.
An example of what DFAM means is seen in soft-touch parts made of ABS and TPE, says Titoma president Case Engelen. In the U.S., companies invest in complex two-shot injection machines and molds. But in China the ABS parts are simply placed manually in a second mold and overmolded with TPE, reducing machine and tool costs while the additional labor costs only pennies. “The way to save money in China is to design in more labor, exactly the opposite of what cost engineers in the U.S. have been doing for the last 20 years,” explains Engelen. Tel: (954) 578-4043 • www.titoma.com.tw
Victrex USA, Inc., supplier of Victrex PEEK specialty engineering thermoplastics, has moved its U.S. headquarters from Greenville, S.C., to West Conshohocken, Pa. Tollfree number is still 800-VICTREX. For more information visit Victrex USA, Inc.'s PT Online Showroom.
Wittmann Canada, Inc., formerly called Nucon Wittmann, in Markham, Ont., has acquired the M-Tek materials-handling and blending equipment line from Mould-tek Industries, Inc., Scarborough, Ont. The acquisition of M-Tek gravimetric blenders is “a key piece that we were missing,” according to Rob Miller, president of Wittmann Canada. The M-Tek materials-handling/blending line also includes volumetric blenders, hopper loaders, pumps, central filters, feeders, controls, and silos. Mould-tek’s business now is representing injection machinery from Kawaguchi and Chen-Hsong. Wittmann: (905) 887-5355/www.wittmann-ct.com • For more information visit Mould-tek Industries' PT Online Showroom.
Lubrizol Corp. now calls its Noveon, Inc. subsidiary in Cleveland Lubrizol Advanced Materials, Inc. The unit supplies Estane and Thermedics TPUs, Temp-Rite CPVC, and Stat-Rite conductive polymers. For more information visit Estane Engineered Polymers – (Div of Lubrizol), Inc.'s PT Online Showroom.