Two producers of thermoplastic molding and extrusion materials are shifting from in-house compounding to outside toll producers. First, Rhodia Engineering Plastics, Cranbury, N.J., is closing its nylon compounding operation in Mississauga, Ont., and transferring that activity to a toll compounder, Alloy Polymers, Inc. in Richmond, Va. Alloy Polymers will produce Rhodia's Technyl nylon 6 and 66 compounds for North America, effective June 30. Alloy Polymers has four plants in Texas, Ohio, and Virginia. Rhodia says it "remains committed to the North American polyamide market" and that this move "brings us geographically closer to our customers."
Meanwhile, biopolymer producer Cereplast, Inc., Hawthorne, Calif., is changing its focus from manufacturing to product development and marketing. Cereplast plans to partner with toll compounders to produce its materials, which are based on plant starch and/or polylactic acid (PLA), sometimes in alloys with PP or PE. Cereplast wants to reduce its manufacturing capacity. It has production facilities in Hawthorne and a yet-to-be-opened plant in Seymour, Ind.
Royal DSM N.V. in the Netherlands will quadruple capacity this year for its new type of nylon, PA4T, which was introduced in 2007. Named Stanyl ForTii, it is aimed at electronics. PA4T is a halogen-free, flame-retardant, high-temperature resin that withstands lead-free soldering and has low water absorption. Stanyl ForTii is available from DSM Engineering Plastics, Evansville, Ind.
ACS Group, Schaumburg, Ill., has acquired Walton/Stout, Inc., Lithonia, Ga. ACS—parent of the AEC, Sterling, Cumberland, and Colortronic brands—was most interested in Walton/Stout's large PET dryers and crystallizers, though it will continue to support other materials-handling equipment formerly produced by Walton/Stout. The Lithonia plant closed and the business moved to ACS's New Berlin, Wis., plant.
Meanwhile, three managers of Walton/Stout have joined Sly, Inc. in Cleveland, a producer of dust collectors and other air-pollution control equipment, and have formed Sly Process Systems, LLC to build plastics material-handling equipment. The new unit offers PET/PLA crystallizers, dryers, blenders, pneumatic conveying, silos, railcar unloaders, etc. It is headed by W. "H" Wilson, former exec. v.p./COO of Walton/Stout; Deborah Ellington, former national sales manager; and Patrick Jones, former CAD design manager.
Milacron Inc., Batavia, Ohio, has signed a definitive agreement to sell its assets to a company formed by affiliates of Avenue Capital Group and of DDG Capital Management LLC, as well as other investors that hold 93% of the company's senior secured notes. The deal follows the agreement in principle announced in March, when Milacron filed for Chapter 11 protection. The sale is subject to Bankruptcy Court approval.
DSM Thermoplastic Elastomers in Holland (U.S. office in Leominster, Mass.) just doubled capacity for Sarlink TPV in Belgium. This will increase availability of Sarlink in North America.