Your Business in Brief - September 2001

HPM Is SoldTaylor’s Industrial Services, LLC, Hobart, Ind., a firm specializing in large-component transportation and manufacture of mechanical stamping presses, has purchased the assets of HPM Corp., Mt.

HPM Is Sold

Taylor’s Industrial Services, LLC, Hobart, Ind., a firm specializing in large-component transportation and manufacture of mechanical stamping presses, has purchased the assets of HPM Corp., Mt. Gilead, Ohio. Taylor’s Industrial Services will keep the Mt. Gilead facility and operate HPM as a separate division. New president and CEO Christopher Filos says HPM will continue to manufacture and develop its injection and extrusion machinery and will upgrade its repair and spare-parts capabilities. Effective immediately, the company is offering 24-hr emergency service and spare-parts support.


Mannesmann Plastics Group Changes Hands

In July, the Munich-based Mannesmann Plastics Machinery Group (MPM) was sold to Apax Partners & Co. Ventures Ltd., a London-based private equity firm. MPM included Krauss-Maffei, Demag Ergotech, Netstal, Van Dorn Demag, Billion, and Berstorff. Shortly after the sale, Netstal was separated from the group and sold to a Swiss holding company.


Bayer Lab Adds Equipment for Long-Fiber SRIM Development

Bayer Corp.’s Polyurethanes Application Development Center in Pittsburgh has installed a fully automated Long Fiber Technology Lab to develop applications for SRIM composites of PUR and long glass or natural fibers. By chopping continuous fibers right in the mixhead, the technology allows use of lower-cost rovings rather than mats and eliminates the difficulties of handling mats. Other benefits include the ability to selectively vary the amount of reinforcement.
In addition to Bayer’s own capabilities in long-fiber technology, the new lab includes a Krauss-Maffei LFI (Long Fiber Injection) system with 150-ton press, in-mold coating equipment, and a robot to handle the mixhead and glass chopper.

Target markets include cars, trucks, and agricultural and construction equipment. Bayer sees this SRIM technology as an alternative for composite fabricators who find new federal styrene-emission limits a hindrance to spraying unsaturated polyester resins.

Meanwhile, Bayer’s Polyurethanes Div. and Owens Corning’s Automotive Solutions Business in Toledo, Ohio, have formed a global strategic alliance to develop SRIM and RRIM composite technologies for automotive uses. Both firms have already cooperated in the development of the one-piece SRIM composite truck box being commercialized on the GM Silverado. Owens Corning is developing plans to locate business solutions centers in both Detroit and Europe. Bayer already has a Detroit-area office and extensive R&D facilities in Pittsburgh and elsewhere. Initial efforts will be concentrated in the NAFTA region.


Cytec Acquires BP Carbon Fibers

Cytec Industries Inc., West Paterson, N.J., has agreed to buy the assets of BP’s carbon-fiber business. The sale includes two plants in Greenville and Rock Hill, S.C. Half of BP’s carbon-fiber sales go to Cytec’s Fiberite composites subsidiary.


Thermo Haake Buys Twin-Screw Maker

Thermo Haake in Paramus, N.J., has acquired Prism Consultants, a British maker of small twin-screw extruders for lab, pilot-plant, and QC applications. The U.K. firm, now called Thermo Prism, is introducing the USALab model with 0.6-in.-diam., split barrel that can be extended up to 40:1 L/D. Thermo Prism is part of Thermo Haake’s polymer technology business, which makes lab equipment such as rheometers, viscometers, and thermal-analysis instruments.


PerkinElmer Relocates

PerkinElmer Instruments, maker of spectroscopy, chromatography, and thermal-analysis testing instruments, has moved its headquarters from Norwalk, Conn., to 710 Bridgeport Ave., Shelton, CT 06484-4794. Phone number is (203) 925-4600.


Perrier Puts Fizzy Watern In Barrier PET Bottle

For a century, Perrier-Vittel has bottled its mineral water exclusively in glass. One reason is the product’s market identity, which is tied to specially contoured, translucent green bottles. Another reason is the bottle’s high-barrier requirement—Perrier is the most highly-carbonated water on the market.

But now PET blow molder Schmalbach-Lubeca of Ratingen, Germany, has come up with a 0.5-liter, single-serve barrier bottle for Perrier that eliminates dependence on glass. The three-layer (PET/nylon/PET) bottle offers a one-year shelf life and matches both the traditional color and shape of Perrier glass bottles. It has been introduced for vending machines, service stations, and café retailing in several European countries. The bottle maker forecasts consumption of 15 million units in 2001 and 50 million by 2002. Introduction in the U.S. could boost demand to 150 million units/yr.


Cinpres Merges With Gas Injection Ltd.

BI Group Plc, the British parent of Cinpres, a leading supplier of gas-assist injection technology, has purchased another U.K. firm with related technology, Gas Injection Ltd. (GIL) The two have been merged into a new company called Cinpres Gas Injection Ltd. (CGI). In the U.S., the former Cinpres office in Ann Arbor, Mich., now is called Cinpres Gas Injection Inc. Whereas Cinpres focused on injecting gas inside plastic parts, GIL pioneered the technology for external gas molding (EGM) to prevent sinks. The two firms have also been developing water injection molding processes.


Leistritz Expands

Leistritz in Somerville, N.J., has expanded its production capacity for twin-screw compounding extruders. The firm acquired a 20,000-sq-ft plant adjacent to its process laboratory. The additional space for manufacturing and assembly will enable Leistritz to expand into machine refurbishing and gearbox rebuilding services.


Large-Diameter Pipe To Grow 4.9% a Year

U.S. demand for large-diameter plastic pipe (15 in. and over for PVC, 18 in. and over for HDPE) is forecasted to grow from 32.4 million ft in 2000 to 41.1 million ft in 2005, a 4.9% annual rate of increase. In 1990-2000, that growth rate was 8%/yr. According to a new study from Freedonia Group Inc., Cleveland, plastics’ share of large pipe will rise from 18.7% to 21.2% of total demand and will consume 1.1 billion lb of resin. PVC pipe has the best growth prospects. The 186-page report entitled “Large Diameter Pipe” is available for $3600 (tel. 440-684-9600).


New Name in Hydraulics And Pneumatics

Bosch Automation Technology and Rexroth have merged into a new firm called Bosch Rexroth Corp., based in Racine, Wis. The firm supplies industrial hydraulics, pneumatics, electric drives and controls, and assembly and automation technology.


Goodrich Sells Its Electronic Materials

Goodrich Corp., Charlotte, N.C., has sold its electronic materials div. in Brecksville, Ohio, to Sumitomo Bakelite Co. of Japan. The business is developing cyclic-olefin polymers for microelectronic applications. It will be managed by Erie Research LLC, a newly formed unit of Sumitomo Bakelite.


Genca Tooling Sold To Its Managers

General Cable Corp., Highland Heights, Ky., last month closed on the previously announced sale of its extrusion tooling business, Genca Corp., Clearwater, Fla., to SPNTech for $8.7 million. SPNTech is a holding company formed by Genca management for purposes of the buyout.


Ferro Acquires More Inorganic Pigments

Ferro Corp., Cleveland, will further strengthen its market position in inorganic pigments for plastics and coatings through an acquisition from Cleveland-based OM Group, Inc. The latter has agreed to sell to Ferro several businesses within Degussa Metals Catalysts Cerdec. The deal includes a plant in Washington, Pa., that produces mixed-metal-oxide pigments. Ferro is already a leading supplier of these heat-stable pigments, which are used primarily in rigid PVC and engineering thermoplastics.


Mark 2 Automation Gets Purchased

Injection molding robot maker Mark 2 Automation, Inc., Germantown, Wis., has been purchased by Elwood Corp. of Oak Creek, Wis. Elwood makes industrial sensors, controls, and other electronics. The purchase gives Mark 2 access to needed financial resources, as well as additional engineering and manufacturing capabilities. Mark 2 will move to Elwood’s 33,000-sq-ft plant in Oak Creek and will continue to operate with the same managers as Mark 2 Automation Group of Elwood Corp.