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Plastics Machining & Fabricating:
Industry News

SPI Report Shows Decline in Molder Shipments

The Committee on Equipment Statistics of the Society of the Plastics Industry Inc. reports declines in shipments of injection molding machines, blow molding machines and auxiliary equipment.

According to the recently published report, shipments of injection molding machines totaled $162,899,000 in the first quarter of 2001, compared to $307,017,000 for the same period in 2000, a decline of 47 percent. The 908 injection molding machines shipped in 2001 represented a 42 percent reduction from the 1,562 shipped during the first quarter of 2000. Compared with fourth quarter 2000 data, injection molding shipments for the first quarter of 2001 were down 45 percent in dollar value from the $297,416,000 previously reported, and down 42 percent from the 1,566 units shipped in that time frame.

Shipments in blow molding machines also showed a decline. There was a 9 percent reduction in dollar value from $27,546,000 in the first quarter of 2000 to $24,943,000 for the first quarter of 2001. The number of units shipped during the first three months of 2001 totaled 35, 8 percent less than shipped during that same time period a year earlier. Compared with fourth quarter figures in 2000, blow molding shipments were down 16 percent in dollar value in the first quarter 2001. The 35 blow molding machines shipped during the first three months of 2001 represented a 16 percent decline from the 42 shipped in the fourth quarter 2000.

For auxiliary equipment, the CES data reports that net bookings for the first quarter 2001 totaled $77,590,239, a 34 percent reduction from the $118,295,900 reported for first quarter 2000, and an 11 percent reduction from the $87,562,615 racked up in fourth quarter 2000.

The data was compiled for the SPI by a confidential, third-party fiduciary. Additional quarterly equipment information as well as the association’s 2001 annual report can be obtained from the SPI Economic Report. For more information on the SPI, visit www.plasticsindustry.org.


CMS Sponsors Manufacturing Tour for American Thermoformers

The group was introduced to the CMS Easy2 CNC machining center with a 30° working table was developed for the machining of thermoformed components of both large and small dimensions. The inclined working plane allows easier loading and unloading of work peices, according to the company. Pictured from left to right: Marino Chiappa, Managing Director, Plastic & Aluminum Div., CMS; Roger Fox, The FoxMor Group; Charles Gloge, H.T. Bauerle Assoc.; Chad Sypkens, Assoc. Editor, PM&F; Bob Carrier, President, C&K Plastics; Ronald Cross, Vice President, Mayfield Plastics; Richard Freeman, President, Freetech Plastics; Paul Schuch, CMS North America; David Morgese, The FoxMore Group; Mike Lowery, President, Premier Plastics.
CMS SpA, Italy hosted a group of thermoformers from the United States and members of CMS North America’s staff on May 7-9 at their manufacturing plant in Bergamo, Italy.

A tour of the CMS factory and its new showroom, the introduction of CMS’ PK and Easy machines, a digitizing arm demonstration and visits to two Italian plastics manufacturing plants, Ruberti SpA and Map SpA, highlighted the trip. Coverage on the visits to the Italian plants will be featured in an upcoming issue of PM&F.

Since 1969, CMS, which employs more then 500, has been operating in the mechanical industry, developing and producing computerized numerically controlled machines for a wide variety of industries, including plastics, wood, aluminum, marble, stone, granite and glass. With over 3,000 machines in the market today, CMS produces 350 machines a year.

“The biggest reason for our growth is our possibility to produce custom machine for our customers and access so many different markets,” said Marino Chiappa, managing director of the Plastics & Aluminum Division, CMS.


U.S. Window and Door Demand to Reach $24.6 Billion by 2005

Demand for windows and doors in the United States is expected to expand more than 2 percent annually, including price increases, reaching $24.6 billion in 2005. U.S. shipments of windows and doors will grow at the same pace as demand, reaching $24 billion.

According to the Windows and Doors study by The Freedonia Group, growth in net imports over the same time period will decelerate as export opportunities for U.S. producers improve. This is due in part to the rebound of construction markets that suffered downturns due to economic difficulties in Latin America and the Asia/Pacific region in the late 1990s. According to the study, outright declines in housing starts and weakening in most non-residential construction markets will also inhibit growth.

Vinyl and other plastic window and door demand is forecast to advance almost 6 percent annually through 2005, boosted by its strength in residential markets. According to The Freedonia Group, vinyl and other plastics are already the leading materials in the residential replacement window segment in terms of units sold and are expected to surpass wood windows in the new residential construction segment by 2005.

Vinyl windows have increased their market share due to minimal maintenance requirements and lower prices. The development of composite materials using wood fibers and plastic resins will provide competition with wood windows in higher-end residential applications.

A healthy repair and improvement market will compensate for slackening new home construction, Freedonia says. While representing about 10 percent of residential demand, manufactured housing will offer the best opportunities in this area. In non-residential window and door markets, metal products will retain a majority of demand, but vinyl and other plastic materials will enjoy the most favorable advances as they increase their niche in the market. Repair and improvement markets will outpace new construction demand in this period. Window and door demand will advance fastest in industrial markets due to maintenance and upgrading on existing stock.

Window and door demand is expected to rise slightly faster in the West than in other U.S. regions through 2005, but the rate of increase will not be greatly different from the national average. Demand in the West will profit from the region’s leading the nation in terms of population, construction and economic growth.

For more information about the study, contact Corinne Gangloff, The Freedonia Group, at (440) 684-9600 or e-mail pr@freedoniagroup.com. Information may also be obtained through www.freedonia.com.


Motionmaster Moves into Forming, Acquires an Interest in Vector

Scott Bollar, president and owner of Motionmaster Inc., announced that he has purchased a significant equity interest in Vector Machinery Inc., a manufacturer of thermoforming machinery for the heavy-gauge plastics industry.

California-based Motionmaster is a manufacturer of CNC routers for the plastics, wood and composites industries. Bollar said Motionmaster has a strong customer base in the thermoforming industry, where its 5-axis routers are used to automate trimming operations required on formed parts.

Founded by Richard Brashier in 1998, Vector Machinery’s products include single-station shuttle, double-ended shuttle, and rotary equipment. It specializes in precision high-speed pressure-forming machines, including twin-sheet formers.

Under the agreement, Bollar will direct sales and marketing for Vector. Brashier will remain president, directing product development, engineering and operations. Currently under development for Vector is a new line of single-station forming machines, which will be introduced at September’s Thermoforming Conference in Milwaukee, WI.


Large Attendance Expected at Germany’s K 2001

More than 265,000 visitors are expected to attend K 2001, to be held Oct. 25-Nov. 1 at the fairgrounds in Düsseldorf, Germany.

K is the world's largest and leading trade fair for the plastics and rubber industries. More than 2,600 exhibitors from 52 countries are scheduled to participate. Approximately 60 companies from the United States will be exhibiting in the two U.S. pavilions at the show, which are organized by Messe Düsseldorf North America and co-sponsored by the Society of Plastics Industry.

According to show management, K '98 attracted more than 250,000 visitors from 103 countries.  Fifty percent of the '98 visitors came from outside Germany. Two-thirds of the foreign visitors arrived from other European countries, but many of the overseas attendees were from Asia (11 percent) and the United States (7 percent). 

2,635 exhibitors from 49 countries participated in K '98.  Of these, 165 were from the United States. With 387 companies, Italy was the leading foreign exhibitor nation, followed by the United States, Great Britain with 136 companies, France with 132 exhibitors, and Switzerland with 80 companies.

For more information on attending or exhibiting at the show, contact Messe Düsseldorf North America at (312) 781-5180, e-mail: info@mdna.com or visit www.mdna.com


Chevron Phillips, Solvay to Construct New HDPE Plant

Chevron Phillips Chemical LP and Solvay Polymers Inc. announced the construction of a 700-million-pounds-per-year, high-density polyethylene plant at Chevron Phillips’ Baytown, TX, facility. The official startup is scheduled for fourth quarter 2002.

Each company will own 50 percent of the plant, share its production of general-purpose blow molding HDPE resins and market their share of production independently. The site of the loop slurry plant will be the Cedar Bayou chemical complex, one of Chevron Phillips’ major manufacturing sites and an OSHA VPP STAR site.

Chevron Phillips’ technology will be used in the operation. The companies plan to build a second shared facility in the 2005-2007 time frame as market demand grows.


Klein Receives Patent for Left Hook Mixer Design

Plastics engineering developer Ron Klein, president of Scientific Process & Research, Somerset, NJ, has earned patent number 6,152,592 for the design of the Left Hook Mixer which delivers uniformity at high rates with low shear.

The Left Hook Mixer is designed for use on extruders, injection molders and blow molders running polyethylene, polypropylene and PVC plus a range of other materials, colorants and additives.

The mixer features a repeating pattern of raised, L-shaped elements arranged in rows at right angles from each other. The L-shaped elements face upstream with a curved, concave contour that intercepts and disrupts the melt flow, then forces it downstream, either laterally or over the element, in a continuous, cascading action that provides a high degree of turbulence. The Left Hook may be retrofitted on existing screws or can be added during screw manufacture.

For more information, contact Klein at (732) 846-3477 or e-mail: infor@spar.com.


Clark Wins Award

Jeffrey G. Clark was named the 2001 recipient of the John W. Hyatt Award for Service to Humankind, which was sponsored by Dow Plastics and awarded by the Society of Plastic Engineers during ANTEC.

Clark, vice president of research and development for Closure medical Corp., Raleigh, NC, was acknowledged for his role in leading Closure Medical’s efforts to develop and manufacture medical-grade adhesives, now known as Dermabond Topical Skin Adhesive. Dermabond was the first cyanoacrylate medical product to receive approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for closing lacerations and incisions.


BC Saw & Tool Named Onsrud Cutter's Canadian Distributor of the Year

BC Saw & Tool Inc. was named Onsrud Cutter's Canadian Distributor of the Year for its sales of router bits and cutting tools. BC President Doug Reid, right, receives his award from Onsrud Cutter representative Rich Lee.


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