Your Business In Brief - December 2008

New Top Global Player in AcrylicsMitsubishi Rayon Co., Ltd. of Tokyo, Japan, is set to acquire Lucite International Group Ltd. of the U.K. by the end of January.

New Top Global Player in Acrylics

Mitsubishi Rayon Co., Ltd. of Tokyo, Japan, is set to acquire Lucite International Group Ltd. of the U.K. by the end of January. The deal reportedly will make Mitsubishi Rayon the world leader in acrylics, as it already is in Asia. It has facilities in Japan, Korea, China, and Thailand. Lucite, the current world leader in methacrylates, has 14 operations in Europe, Asia, and the U.S. (based in Cordova, Tenn.). With seven U.S. plants, Lucite International supplies Lucite and Perspex acrylic monomers, resins, and sheet. Mitsubishi Rayon (U.S. office in N.Y.C.) supplies Acrypet acrylic resins and monomers and Shinkolite acrylic sheet and film. With this acquisition, Mitsubishi gains Lucite’s new Alpha technology for making methyl methacrylate (MMA) monomer, which is said to have a 40% cost advantage over conventional MMA technology. The first Alpha MMA plant just started up in Singapore.

For more information visit Mitsubishi Rayon Co., Ltd's PT Online Showroom.
For more information visit Lucite International Group Ltd's PT Online Showroom.


SABIC Announces 20% Production Cutback

In an unprecedented announcement, SABIC Innovative Plastics declared early last month that it was cutting back production across its engineering plastics portfolio by up to 20%, effective immediately. The move was attributed to “significantly softening resin demand caused by the global economic slowdown.”
For more information visit SABIC Innovative Plastics' PT Online Showroom.


Kiefel Moves to N.H.

Last month, blown film extrusion equipment supplier Kiefel Inc. moved from Wrentham, Mass., to join sister company Kiefel Technologies Inc. in Hampton, N.H. Kiefel Technologies supplies thermoforming machinery.
For more information visit Kiefel Technologies' PT Online Showroom.


New Name in Auxiliary Equipment

Vactec is a new company started by Chuck Thiele, former president and CEO of Motan and senior consultant to Conair. Located in Kalamazoo, Mich., Vactec designs and builds equipment to solve specific problems. Its first products will be a new style of vacuum pump that reportedly can cut energy consumption by up to 50%, three automatic material-selection assemblies for pneumatic conveying, and a “fast, simple, and inexpensive” mold-change system, says Thiele. Vactec will be exhibiting at NPE 2009 next June in Chicago. For more information visit Vactec's PT Online Showroom.


Conair Sells Its Half Of Sepro America

Conair, Cranberry Township, Pa., has sold its 50% share of Sepro America, LLC, Pittsburgh, to its joint-venture partner, Sepro Robotique of France. Sepro America, which has over 350 customers with over 3000 robots installed, is now 100% owned by Sepro Robotique. For more information visit Sepro America, LLC's PT Online Showroom.


Reduction Engineering Buys Scheer Pelletizers

Reduction Engineering, Inc., Kent, Ohio, has purchased the pelletizer business of C.F. Scheer & Cie, GmbH in Germany. Now operating as Scheer Reduction Engineering GmbH, it is said to be the world’s largest maker of strand pelletizers. Reduction Engineering, a maker of pelletizers, pulverizers, and rotomolding equipment, has been beefing up its pelletizing capabilities. It bought the Conair line of strand pelletizers in 2006 and in 2007 began providing sales and service for underwater pelletizers from Econ GmbH of Austria. For more information visit Reduction Engineering, Inc.'s PT Online Showroom.


Michigan Plastics Machinery Moves

Michigan Plastics Machinery (MPM), a maker of downstream equipment for pipe and profile extrusion, has moved from Kawkawlin, Mich., to nearby Bay City. Address is 3300 Wheeler Rd., Bay City, MI 48706. Phone and fax numbers remain the same. MPM is a subsidiary of Conair Group, Cranberry Twp., Pa. For more information visit Michigan Plastics Machinery's PT Online Showroom.


Zoltek Starts Up Mexican Carbon Fiber Plant

Zoltek Companies Inc., St. Louis, recently started up production of carbon fibers and acrylic precursors at its Zoltek de Mexico plant in Guadalajara. It can product more than 59 million lb/yr of carbon fiber, which will enable the company to meet expected major increases in demand in wind blades, aerospace, automotive, and deepwater oil exploration. For more information visit Zoltek Companies Inc.'s PT Online Showroom.


SABIC Starts Up World’s Largest PP Train

What’s said to be the world’s largest single PP train has a nameplate capacity of 1.1 billion lb/yr of homopolymers and random copolymers. It was started up recently in Al Jubail, Saudi Arabia, by Saudi European Petrochemical Co. (Ibn Zahr) a joint venture of Saudi Basic Industries (SABIC). The plant uses Unipol PP gas-phase technology licensed from Dow Technology, a unit of Dow Chemical Co., Midland, Mich. This is the third Unipol PP facility of Ibn Zahr in Al Jubail, and when another plant being built in Yanbu comes on stream, SABIC will have annual PP capacity of nearly 4 billion lb. SABIC Americas, Inc. is in Houston. For more information visit SABIC's PT Online Showroom.


New Dow Automotive Unit for Commercial Transportation

Dow Automotive, Auburn Hills, Mich., has formed a dedicated team of sales and application development specialists to serve commercial transportation markets. The new Commercial Transportation Group will focus initially on bus and truck applications for interior and exterior composite panels, seating foams, and other components, as well as further uses for Dow’s glass/plastic bonding technology. For more information visit Dow Automotive's PT Online Showroom.


Velsicol Unit Changes Name

Genovique Specialties Corp., Rosemont, Ill., is the new name for the Plastic Additives, Benzoic Acid & Derivatives business of Velsicol Chemical Corp. Location and contact information are unchanged. Genovique produces specialty plasticizers for PVC, adhesives, sealants, and coatings—namely Benzoflex benzoate ester plasticizers, Geno-vique monomeric plasticizers, and Admex polymeric plasticizers. Velsicol itself now produces only chemical intermediates used as flame retardants and crosslinking agents. For more information visit Velsicol Chemical Corp's PT Online Showroom.