To take advantage of the electrical conductivity and mechanical strength afforded by carbon nanotubes (CNT), Bayer MaterialScience AG in Germany (U.S. office in Pittsburgh) and Clariant Masterbatches (U.S. office in Winchester, Va.) signed a long-term cooperation agreement for development, production, and sales of CNT/thermoplastic compounds and masterbatches. Bayer will supply its Baytubes multi-wall CNTs for Clariant to use in its new “CESA conductive” products. Potential uses include machinery parts and packaging for delicate electronic components. (For more on CNTs, see our feature article last July at www.ptonline.com/library). For more information visit Clariant Masterbatches' PT Online Showroom or Bayer MaterialScience's PT Online Showroom.
Americas Styrenics LLC, The Woodlands, Texas, is the new 50/50 joint venture between Dow Chemical Co., Midland, Mich., and Chevron Phillips Chemical Co., The Woodlands. It began operations May 1. With a capacity of 2.45 billion lb, the JV will be the largest producer of polystyrene in the Western Hemisphere.
Americas Styrenics produces g-p crystal PS and HIPS at eight plants in the U.S., Brazil, and Columbia. Product trade names will remain unchanged. For more information visit Americas Styrenics LLC' PT Online Showroom
CAD software supplier Autodesk, Inc., San Rafael, Calif., has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Moldflow, Framingham, Mass., the leading supplier of injection molding simulation software. The deal was expected to close by June 30.
Germany’s Baerlocher (U.S. headquarters in Dover, Ohio) has acquired the proprietary organic-based heat stabilizer (OBS) business of Chemtura Corp., Middlebury, Conn., for rigid PVC applications. Baerlocher says the move strengthens its position in the fast-growing market for calcium-based one-pack heat stabilizers for rigid PVC. Chemtura will focus on OBS technology for flexible PVC, though it also sold Baerlocher a license for use of its OBS patents and know-how in flexibles.
With its expertise in one-pack systems, Baerlocher plans to continue the development of OBS technology. OBS products are said to be particularly well suited to pipes and fittings, where Europe is moving rapidly away from lead stabilizers. For more information visit Baerlocher' PT Online Showroom or Chemtura Corp's PT Online Showroom.
EPCO Machinery LLC, a remanufacturer of injection and blow molding machinery, has moved from its former Freemont, Ohio, plant to the Brown Machine facility in Beaverton, Mich. The relocation follows the January purchase of Pacific Press Technologies, parent of Brown, Epco, and Pacific Press, from Madison Capital Partners by Spell Capital Partners, Minneapolis. Epco has been realigned as a separate product line within Brown.
Bayer MaterialScience AG (U.S. office in Pittsburgh), which recently sold its share of the Exatec joint venture to partner SABIC Innovative Products (formerly GE Plastics), has created a new umbrella brand for its auto-glazing activities. BayVision is the name representing its full range of expertise in glazing materials and know-how in molding, engineering development, and coatings. The first vehicle to bear the BayVision logo is the i-mode concept car (photo), developed with Hyundai and unveiled at the 2008 Geneva Auto Show. It has 11 glazing components of Bayer’s Makrolon polycarbonate. For more information visit Bayer MaterialScience's PT Online Showroom.
Rapid Granulator, Inc. will move from Rockford, Ill., to share the new Cranberry Township, Pa., headquarters of The Conair Group. Both Rapid and Conair are parts of International Plastics Equipment Group, Inc., (IPEG). One reason for the move is that IPEG’s manufacturing facility for Conair in Franklin, Pa., is better equipped to build larger granulators for Rapid, which are a growing market opportunity. Rapid and Conair will retain separate sales and marketing activities.
Hot-runner equipment supplier Mold-Masters Ltd., Georgetown, Ont., is moving its U.S. service center from Spartanburg, S.C. to Romeo, Mich. The new location has “closer proximity to our greatest concentration of customers,” said exec. v.p. Patrick Bennett. The move should be complete by this month.
Auxiliary equipment supplier Matsui America, Inc. has moved from Elk Grove Village, Ill., to larger facilities at 5825 Turnberry Dr., Hanover Park, IL 60133-4398. Phone number is unchanged: (847) 290-9680.
German hot-runner systems maker Ewikon Heisskanalsysteme GmbH has appointed Ewikon Molding Technologies, Inc., East Dundee, Ill., to be its exclusive independent distributor and service center for North America. Previously, Ewikon had a direct sales subsidiary, Ewikon Hotrunner Systems of America, at the same location.
A new compounding alliance, expansion in liquid colors, and two new business units are the latest headlines from PolyOne Corp., Cleveland. The most recent announcement was that PolyOne signed a market-development agreement with Eastman Chemical Co., Kingsport, Tenn., to be the exclusive North American compounder of filled systems using Eastman’s new Tritan proprietary copolyester (details in our Dec. ’07 issue). Tritan boasts unusual toughness and heat resistance for a copolyester, plus chemical resistance and easy processing. PolyOne will work with its customers and Eastman to develop specialty niche applications for Tritan compounds.
PolyOne also recently expanded its liquid color concentrate production capacity by up to 50% at Massillon, Ohio. Upgraded mixers and grinding mills there reportedly also will increase quality and consistency.
In addition, PolyOne has designated a new business segment called Specialty Engineered Materials, which includes the recent GLS Corp. acquisition, plus the former North American Engineered Materials operating segment.
Finally, Geon Performance Polymers is the new name of the company’s Vinyl Business segment. The name indicates the shift toward performance and specialty materials in this segment over the last two years. For more information visit PolyOne's PT Online Showroom.
BASF AG in Germany (U.S. office inFlorham, N.J.) plans to expand its capacity for Ecoflex biodegradable aliphatic copolyester from the current 30 million lb to 132 million lb/yr by the third quarter of 2010. Ecoflex is fully biodegradable but is made from petrochemical raw materials. However, BASF also plans to boost capacity for its Ecovio blend of Ecoflex and 45% PLA biopolymer.
Dukane Intelligent Assembly Solutions, St. Charles, Ill., has opened an automotive technical center in Wixom, Mich. The new facility doubles the size of Dukane’s application development area and expands technical support for automotive customers in vibration, ultrasonic, and spin welding and heat staking. For more information visit Dukane's PT Online Showroom.