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Construction Plastics, PVC
Demand on the Rise
mand in construction products is forecast to
increase 3.5 percent per year to nearly 20 billion pounds in
the year 2001 -- a value of almost $14 billion according to
"Plastics In Construction," a new study from The Freedonia
Group of Cleveland, OH.
The study states that advances will be fostered by
growing new and retrofit construction activity, as well as
plastics' competitive advantages over wood, metal, glass and
other materials. Heightened residential repair and
remodeling outlays will create a favorable growth market,
while aftermarket demand will also be spurred by a
burgeoning do-it-yourself market and by the development of
innovative products and materials.
Further growth will be threatened by declines in total
housing starts, the greater durability of plastic materials
and the already high saturation level of plastics as
alternatives to traditional materials, according to the
Polyvinyl chloride will remain the dominant resin, based
on its excellent cost and performance efficiency in a wide
range of products. PVC demand in construction uses is
projected to expand to nearly 10 billion pounds in the year
2001 as a result of opportunities in large volume siding,
pipe, window, flooring and other applications.
Based on information in a related study, "World Polyvinyl
Chloride," use of PVC in construction markets accounts for
more than 60 percent of the PVC demand. This is forecast to
expand over 4 percent per year to nearly 27 million metric
tons by the year 2001. That number will maintain PVC's
status as the world's second largest volume thermoplastic
behind polyethylene, The Freedonia Group states.
Packaging is the next largest market for PVC, primarily
film and bottles. Global demand for plastic packaging will
continue to expand, particularly in developing regions, due
to the superior barrier properties, shatter resistance and
lower cost of plastics. Other major markets for PVC include
vinyl consumer goods (such as footwear, purses and clothing
accessories), and wire and cable jacketing.
"Plastics In Construction" and "World Polyvinyl Chloride"
are available for $3,300 and $3,800, respectively, from The
Freedonia Group. For further details, contact Corinne
Gangloff at (216) 921-6800 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
SPI Opposes Measures to Suspend
The Society of Plastics Industry (SPI) has stated its
opposition to two measures -- S 915 in the Senate and HR
1945 in the House -- which would have the United States
unilaterally suspend duties on imported plastics machinery
and parts retroactive to May 1, 1997. The two measures were
introduced by five members of South Carolina's
All U.S. duties on plastics and rubber extruders and
miscellaneous plastics equipment covered under Harmonized
Tariff Schedules would be suspended under the proposed
legislation. Tariffs for export into other countries would
not be affected by the measures.
Lori Anderson, SPI director of government affairs for
economic and international trade issues, sent letters to
South Carolina Senator Strom Thurmond and Representative
Floyd Spence expressing SPI's concerns. Anderson said while
SPI supports reducing tariffs worldwide, the proposals would
negatively impact U.S. manufacturers of plastics extrusion
equipment and parts.
SPI represents nearly 90 percent of U.S. plastics
machinery and equipment manufacturers who employ more than
13,000 workers and whose shipments were valued at more than
$2 billion in 1994.
Harrington Acquires Industrial
Harrington Industrial Plastics Inc. recently acquired
Industrial Plastics Technology Inc. (IPT), making Harrington
a national distributor of industrial plastic piping systems
and components for corrosive liquid handling. The company
will now operate under the name IPT-Harrington.
The acquisition increased Harrington's locations to 43
branches in 23 states with 580 employees.
Robert Bacon, the former president of IPT, has joined
Harrington in the capacity of regional vice president and
will be responsible for all IPT-Harrington locations. Bacon
will report to Paul Crist, president of Harrington, and will
be a member of the board of directors for Harrington.
"This acquisition was key to our strategic goal of
becoming a national distributor," said William McCollum,
chairman of the board of directors of Harrington, when
announcing the acquisition. "IPT has good geographic
coverage on the Eastern Seaboard, and, more importantly, has
well-trained people and excellent management. We only look
to acquire well-run businesses. Since the distribution
business is all about good people and great service to the
customer, we are fortunate that IPT brought both of these
ingredients with them."
IPT consisted of four separate companies until September
1996, when Plastic Piping Systems of Maryland, Carolina
Plastic Supply, Industrial Plastics Technology of Savannah
and of Florida were merged. Branch offices of IPT are
located in Columbia, MD; Boston, MA; Philadelphia, PA;
Richmond, VA; Charlotte, NC; Wilmington, NC; Greensboro, NC;
Greenville, SC; Savannah, GA; Jacksonville, FL; Orlando, FL;
and Miami, FL.
"It is not about being the biggest; it is about being the
best," McCollum said. "We will continue with our commitment
to training and customer service and having the best product
lines available to enable us to maintain that commitment
regardless of our size."
GlobalShop Dates Set
GlobalShop, the world's largest annual retail design
exposition, will be held March 28-30, 1998, at Chicago's
McCormick Place. The show features innovations in store
design, creative fixturing, construction materials and
merchandising, and is expected to attract more than 800
exhibitors and 15,000 attendees.
"The influence of retail design and brand marketing is
increasing worldwide as merchandisers continue to look for
innovative merchandising methods and ideas," said Doug Hope,
show producer. "The impact of retail design is clearly
evident in the fact that attendance at the show has tripled
since 1993. We expect 1998 to be our strongest show
In addition to the exhibits, GlobalShop features an
educational conference. Next year's scheduled speakers
include: Nicholas Negroponte, author of "Being Digital" and
senior columnist for Wired magazine; Faith Popcorn, chairman
of BrainReserve Inc.; Tony Mancini, vice president of retail
store development for Walt Disney Attractions Inc.; and
Adrienne Weiss, president and CEO of Adrienne Weiss
For more information on GlobalShop, call (800) 646-0091,
or access GlobalShop's web site at http://www.globalshop98.com.
APC Records Slight Increases in
Plastic Bottle Recovery
Figures recently released by the American Plastics Council
(APC) show that plastic bottle recovery increased from 1,272
million pounds in 1995 to 1,307 million pounds in 1996. PET
and HDPE resins account for most of this poundage.
The Association of Postconsumer Plastic Recyclers (APR)
reviewed the figures and, while encouraged by the numbers,
said the country could be recycling a lot more plastic. The
APC report shows that 656 million pounds of HDPE were
collected in 1996. There is currently enough capacity in
place to process almost twice as much resin.
"Most plastic recyclers cannot get enough material to
keep their plants running at capacity," said Gerry Claes,
general manager of Graham Recycling Co. of York, PA. "A few
years ago, the problem was finding end markets. Today, there
is plenty of demand for recycled plastic but not enough is
The APR said it is urging more communities to collect
plastic. Those communities that are currently collecting
plastic are being encouraged to expand their menu of
For example, two-liter bottles have been a major source
of recycled PET. However, a number of recent conversions to
PET, such as single-serve juice and soft drink bottles as
well as multi-serve juice bottles, means there are a wide
variety of new PET bottles available for recycling that end
up in the trash.
According to the APR, plastic recycling is a maturing
industry and will see significant growth if communities
increase their collection of plastics.
Reichhold Acquires Jotun,
Marshall Industries Composites
Officials of Reichhold Chemicals Inc. of Research
Triangle Park, NC, recently completed the acquisition of
Jotun Polymer, the polyester resins business of the Jotun
Group of Norway, as well as the acquisition of Marshall
Industries Composites (MIC) of Lima, OH.
The agreement between Reichhold and Jotun Polymer was
originally announced on July 11 this year. The purchase of
Jotun Polymer provides Reichhold with a strong share of the
European unsaturated polyester market, complementing its
position in the North American market, a company spokesman
As a result of the acquisition, Reichhold will now market
the Norpol line of polyester resins throughout Europe. The
former Jotun polyester facilities will operate under the
Reichhold name as part of the company's European
organization. Roar Alfheim has been named managing director
for Reichhold's European unsaturated polyester
Reichhold's acquisition of MIC was announced on Oct. 15.
Marshall gained prominence for its development of processes
for the manufacture of C-BAR reinforcing rods for concrete
SPE Thermoforming Conference Termed a
The 1997 SPE Thermoforming Conference was held Sept.
13-16 in College Park, GA, with officials calling it "very
"We ended up with 876 paid registrations, 246 first-time
attendees and had 128 exhibits," said Gwen Mathias,
promotion chairman. "From all of the survey forms the
exhibitors passed back to us, they thought it was a great
success going to the convention-type format."
Mathias said the conference had 162 more attendees than
in 1996, as well as more than 70 additional exhibitors.
Universal Protective Packaging Inc. of Mechanicsburg, PA,
won the People's Choice Roll Fed Award for its industrial
packaging transceiver tray and lid, while Arrem Plastics
Inc. of Addison, IL, took home the People's Choice Cut Sheet
Award for its ultrasound cart enclosure.
The 1998 Thermoforming Conference will be held Sept.
19-22, 1998, at the Renaissance Hotel & Nashville
Convention Center in Nashville, TN.
Polyethylene Bioreefs Help
A grant from the American Plastics Council is enabling a
Florida-based research agency to test the placing of
injection molded polyethylene into the ocean as part of a
special cleanup effort and to also protect several species
of small fish.
The Marine Habitat Foundation of Sanibel Island, FL, has
created bioreef habitats using injection molded virgin and
recycled polyethylene to replace the natural ocean habitat
destroyed by coastal development. The bioreefs will be
placed in and along estuaries to provide protection for
young fish and a mechanism for clearing water with
over-abundant algae caused by nutrient pollution.
"When nutrient pollution from agricultural fertilizer and
human wastes reach the ocean, it creates an environment in
which algae thrive. The algae grow out of control and block
the sun from penetrating the water," said Mike Calinski,
founder of the MHF and director of the experiment. This
ultimately results in the loss of seagrasses and bacteria
which make up the bottom of the food chain.
The plastic bioreefs will also be used as "surrogate
homes" for the small fish that traditionally used mangrove
tree roots, said Jim Locascio, research assistant for the
MHF. Increased urbanization along Florida waterways is
resulting in the removal of these trees from estuaries.
Previous plastic bioreef experiments in the spring of
1996 were conducted on a small scale, in areas containing
5,000 to 10,000 gallons of water. "We used two containment
booms of 20,000 gallons of water each in a dead-end,
controlled experiment," Calinski said. "Each held a 2-foot
by 2-foot habitat. Within 48 hours, the control boom had 3
feet of visibility and the experimental boom had 40 feet of
Funding by the American Plastics Council will allow the
foundation to begin work on a large-scale project of
approximately 1 million gallons of water. According to the
MHF, a bioreef the size of a kitchen sink can filter more
than 150,000 liters of water a day.
"This has enormous potential to benefit not only other
wildlife like dolphins, but also the sport and food fishing
industries," Calinski said. "We could put the injection
molding technique to use anywhere -- the Chesapeake Bay, the
San Francisco Bay, the Biscayne Bay," Calinski said. "The
habitats also have great potential for helping poorer
-- Barbara Nordby
Plastics Machining & Fabricating
|P: (847) 634-4347
F: (847) 634-4379
|P.O. BOX 1400