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Scholle and IPN unite to form global packaging concern

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Scholle Corporation and Netherlands-based IPN have jointly announced an agreement to combine their businesses to form a new diverse performance packaging company.
 
Employing over 2,000 people globally, the combined IPN/Scholle entity will provide performance-based packaging solutions from its multiple manufacturing locations in North America, Europe, Australia, Latin America, China, and India to the world’s largest brands. 

Malaysian filler maker hiking capacity on strength of Indian demand

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MUMBAI -- Malaysian calcium carbonate maker Zantat Sdn. Bhd. is doubling capacity at its Ipoh plant with an eye on increasing demand from the Indian companies.
 
The plant, in Perak, Malaysia, now has the capacity to manufacture 110,000 metric tons of calcium carbonate powder used in masterbatches. 

Polyurea solution potential for falling debris in unsafe buildings

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The threat of injury posed from falling debris when buildings collapse – such as occurred at the Apollo Theatre in London – has already been the focus of polyurea practitioners and the material could provide a solution.
 
Polyurea coatings are already being used to strengthen structures in war and earthquake zones – the British Army use the application in Iraq – is a subject that could gain some attention as accident investigators pick through the debris and evidence at the theater. 

Indiana's Parish Manufacturing expands capacity

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Parish Manufacturing Inc. recently invested over $1.5 million to purchase a new liquid bag-in-box manufacturing line, other machinery and revamp a 3,500 square foot space to accommodate the line.
 
“It’s all part of our growth. In addition to buying new machinery we had to create a new product room because we were out space,” said Daniel Cunningham, president and CEO of the Indianapolis-based company, in a telephone interview. 

Polymer probe sheds new light on cancer

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A nanoprobe fabricated from a copolymer that dissociates below a fixed pH level can highlight tumors with extreme accuracy, according to researchers at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. 
 
Cancerous tissues tend to be more acidic than healthy ones. The fluorescent nanoprobe responds to this increased acidity, allowing surgeons to verify that they have removed all of the tumor. It also enables early diagnosis of the disease. 

Private equity firm buys plastic liner specialist

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A private equity firm specializing in energy-focused companies has bought into Extreme Plastics Plus Inc., a company that uses plastics films and other technologies to protect petroleum well sites from soil contamination.
 
Hastings Equity Partners LLC said Dec. 10 that the investment is the first in its third fund series. It did not disclose terms of the deal. 

Composites company adding plant in South Carolina

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Composites company Materials Sciences Corp. will invest $1 million to open a new plant in Greenville, S.C., to design, engineer and develop parts for use in the defense, energy and recreation industries.
 
State officials announced the project in a Nov. 26 news release. MSC will employ 23 people in South Carolina, expanding beyond its headquarters in Horsham, Pa. The company will renovate an existing 13,000-square-foot building previously used by the textile industry, state officials said. 

JCI vows to make seats lighter

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A 5 kilogram reduction in weight of each front car seat is “realistic” in the next five years said Andreas Eppinger, group vice president for technology management at Johnson Controls Inc.
 
In an interview with Automotive News Europe managing editor Douglas Bolduc, Eppinger said: “I see a weight reduction of 30-50 percent over the next few years. There are significant weight reductions coming. I would say the 5 kg. reduction is realistic.”  

PendaForm closing two plants

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PendaForm Co. is closing plants in Ohio and Indiana and laying off a total of 79 employees in the upcoming weeks and into early 2014.
 
The New Concord, Ohio-based holding company was created in July when Penda Corp. acquired Fabri-Form Co. The two heavy-gauge thermoformers remain wholly owned subsidiaries. 

Turn losers into winners for awards competitions

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Let me ask you something,” a resin company representative said to me during the reception prior to this year’s SPE Automotive Innovation Awards gala. “We’ve had parts that make it to the finalists’ list, but what can we do to move higher?”
 
The answer, I warned him, is not simple. Obviously, the best place to start in getting a top award in the annual event begins with having an innovative part. However, every year I see plenty of innovation out there in plants and on cars that are never submitted. 

Cosmetics molder Hermann Koch sold to investment group

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German rigid packaging producer Hermann Koch Group has been sold to a group of investors for an undisclosed sum.
 
Dr. Schiller Treuhand Steuerberatungsgesellschaft sold 94 percent of the shares of Hermann Koch GmbH, based in Coburg, and its related company Kunststofftechnik Straufhain GmbH, based in Straufhain, to Velox GmbH & Co. KG, an investment group based in Munich. 

Saint-Gobain buys German precision molder

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Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics is continuing to add to its portfolio, buying German molder LS Kunststofftechnologie GmbH. The acquisition, announced by Saint-Gobain on Dec. 4, is the third for the group this year and the fourth in the past 13 months.
 
LS, based near Frankfurt in Wertheim, Germany, has two production sites — one in Wertheim and another in Neuhaus — molding high-precision parts using high-temperature resins for automotive, medical and industrial applications. It has 220 employees. 

Compounding extruders looking strong

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More cars and trucks getting assembled equals more plastic material being used — a big reason why the compounding extruder business remained solid in 2013, machinery leaders said.
 
Bob Urtel, president of Century Extrusion, said automotive lightweighting is pushing more plastic into cars. New under-the-hood plastics applications need recipes of engineering resins, elastomerics and additives, and that puts an emphasis on compounding.

Auto supplier invests $11 million in Indiana molding plant

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Injection molder Adkev Inc. is investing $11 million in an expansion that will double its production capacity in Monticello, Ind.
 
The expansion, announced during a press event in Monticello with Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, will add 40,000 square feet of manufacturing space to its existing 183,000-square-foot plant, Adkev officials said in a Dec. 3 news release.

Materialise joins Chinese 3D printing alliance

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Materialise NV, the Leuven, Belgium-based additive manufacturing group, has formalized its partnerships in China by becoming a member of the China 3D Printing Technology Industry Alliance.
 
The company said in a statement: "Through the newly signed partnership agreement, Materialise, as a member of the alliance, commits to support other members of the China 3D Printing Technology Industry Alliance through software and training while the Alliance commits to promote the legal use of Materialise's software." 

Quadion closing South Dakota molding plant

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Quadion Corp., d.b.a. Minnesota Rubber & Plastics, plans to shutter its Watertown, S.D., facility by the fourth quarter of 2014.
 
The Minneapolis-based company said it has significant excess capacity in its worldwide manufacturing operations, and that the Watertown plant is located in an aging building, which was built in 1966, with antiquated manufacturing equipment. 

Automotive has bearing on Plastics Capital outlook

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Plastics Capital, the Aim-listed plastics manufacturer, has posted a half-year pre-tax profit of £1.3m, up from £0.9m, while revenue was £16.4m, up from £15.7m.
 
The company also reported that it had continued to pay down its debt while also increasing investment. Moreover, with a raft of new business coming on stream – especially for bearings for the automotive sector – Plastics Capital is well placed for growth, it added.

Sabic commits $500 million to technology centers in India and China

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Saudi Basic Industries Corp. is boosting its research and development efforts in two rapidly expanding markets, with new technology centers in India and China.
 
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia-based Sabic opened an 187,000-square-meter technical center in the south Indian city of Bengaluru on Nov. 29. In a few days it will open another center in China. 

Cosmetics molder HCP expands in China, eyes doubling size from TPG investment

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Chinese cosmetics packaging molder HCP Holdings Inc. is planning a sizable expansion of its facility in Suzhou, China, part of a series of investments the company is making after its purchase last year by American private equity firm TPG Capital LP.
 
Shanghai-based HCP plans to add 50 injection molding machines and 10 metallization and painting lines in Suzhou, during an upgrade that will also let it expand lean manufacturing programs there, according to HCP President and CEO Eddy Wu.

Styrolution partners with research group and academia

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Styrolution, the Germany-based compounder, has entered into a partnership with Neue Materialien Bayreuth GmbH (NMB) and the University of Bayreuth. Styrolution will complement its existing R&D efforts by tapping into the broad intellectual and infrastructural polymer research resources of its new partners.
 
The company claims the partnership goes beyond traditional models of corporate cooperation with academia in that NMB and the university are making their infrastructure easily accessible to Styrolution. 

Clariant launches masterbatch show home

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Muttenz, Switzerland-based Clariant International Ltd. has opened its first "Project House" – a technological showcase for its masterbatch business unit, in Pogliano, Italy.
 
The Project House is a 400 square meter facility in Pogliano, Italy, which will house chemists and technicians as well as equipment, including extrusion machinery and analytical equipment. Its key objective is to pursue breakthrough concepts and solutions in masterbatch products and processes. 

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