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New Fabricating Technology on Display
at Anaheim Fair

CNC routers, saws and cutting tool technology will be among the products on display at the Woodworking, Machinery and Furnishings Supply Fair, scheduled for July 29-Aug. 1 in Anaheim, CA.

Products and services offered by more than 725 exhibiting companies will be on display. As of April, show sponsors report that all five exhibit halls are sold out, and the Arena is 75 percent sold. Anaheim organizers are predicting attendance to be 22,000, plus an additional 6,000 exhibitor registrants.

"We have reached our goal of selling approximately 340,000 square feet of space, the full allowance of the Anaheim Convention Center," says Woodworking Fair Chairman Tom Orlando of CTD Machines. "We still have some space in the Arena and connecting corridors to accommodate those last minute exhibitors who are reserving space now."

The Arena will open one hour earlier and special promotions will be staged in the area throughout the day to entice attendees into the Arena.

Aside from the 725 exhibiting companies, more than 65 topics will be explored during educational sessions, including "Plastics Machining Basics." This session will detail a basic understanding of the properties of plastic materials, special requirements needed to successfully machine them, cutting tool basics, recommended feed speeds and more.

For further information on the 1999 fair, contact show management at (630) 434-7779, (800) 752-6312, or the show sponsor, Association of Woodworking Suppliers, at (800) 946-AWFS; www.woodworkingfair.org.

 


APC Becomes Full-Service Resin Manufacturers Association

The American Plastics Council's Board Chairman Jeffrey Lipton, president and CEO of NOVA Chemicals, announced that the organization has decided to make APC a full-service resin manufacturers' trade association. Lipton's announcement followed a special meeting of APC's Board and is the result of the failure of negotiations over the past three years between APC and The Society of the Plastics Industry Inc. (SPI) to establish a more formal alliance between the two organizations.

"We are looking forward to building on APC's strengths to create an even stronger and more effective association that represents the interests and needs of resin companies as well as customer," said Lipton in a statement to the press. "We are committed to continuing our issues management leadership while serving the greater industry.

On March 2, APC's executive committee resolved that APC should be a full-service resin manufacturers' association and asked that a comprehensive proposal be made to the full board of directors. The board accepted that proposal by a vote of 31 to 3. Full implementation of the plan is expected to begin by June 1.

According to Lipton, the APC Board would like to create a high-level coordinating committee with representatives from SPI's Board to look for further opportunities for coordination and cooperation between the two groups.

In other action, the APC board accepted the application of the Polystyrene Packaging Council to become a business unit of APC. Beginning June 1, PSPC will be a business unit of APC, continuing as a self-funded organization dedicated to preserving and promoting the polystyrene packaging market.


Marketing and Management Conference Planned

The Marketing & Management Division of the Society of Plastics Engineers will sponsor a conference aimed at marketing and management-oriented topics related to plastics. Entitled "Best Plastic Industry Practices for Bridging the Millennium," the one-day conference will be held in Newark, NJ, on Dec. 2, 1999. For more information on the upcoming M&M Conference on December 2, contact Jeffrey Tremonte, 14 Fairfield Drive, Brookfield, CT 06804-0403; Telephone: (203) 775-0471; Fax: (203) 775-8490; Web: www.4spe.org.


Elenac Establishes United States Subsidiary

European high-density polyethylene manufacturer Elenac has established its first subsidiary in the United States to serve customers throughout North America. The U.S. office is located in Southgate, MI.

The HDPE products marketed under the trade name Lupolen for automotive plastic fuel tanks and intermediate bulk containers, as well as polyethylene business with imported Elenac resins for pharmaceutical applications, PEX pipes, etc., will be handled by Elenac Inc. Michael Klamm has been named president of the North American company.

Elenac is a 50/50 joint venture of BASF and Shell for the production and sale of polyethylene products and the development of related technologies. The company employs approximately 3,100 people. Expected revenues in 1999 is $2 billion.

For more information on Elenac Inc., contact Klamm at (734) 324-2400, FAX (734) 324-2885 or write: Elenac Inc., 1 Heritage Place, Ste. 420, Southgate, MI 48195.


Antec '99 Focuses on Plastics Education

Billed as the world's largest plastics conference, ANTEC '99 will address all aspects of plastics engineering, including: design, processing, properties, production and product performance. Sponsored by the Society of Plastics Engineering, this year's technical conference will be held May 3-6 at the New York Hilton Towers in New York, NY.

Highlighting SPE's vast outreach in educating industry and non-industry persons about plastics through the exhibition of machinery, materials and related equipment, ANTEC '99 will devote an entire day to Education 2000. This program will encompass most of the educational programs currently available, as well as discussing the most effective ways to teach others about plastics.

The morning program will focus on how to teach plastics to school children, teachers and peers and the design of a university polymer program. In the afternoon, experts will present topics covering benefits of seminars to companies, computer-based training, learning via the internet, learning via video, operator training and training for plant workers.

Representatives from SPE, the Society of the Plastics Industry, the American Plastics Council, the National Plastics Center and Museum and corporations along with teachers and professors , will show attendees how to make plastics easy to teach and in some cases lots of fun to learn.

Some of the Seminar Topics include:Thermoplastic Elastomers, Thermoforming Technology for Industrial Applications, The Fundamentals of Injection Molding Automation and Thermoforming Technology.

Seminars will also be devoted to marketing and management techniques. Among the speakers will be Harry Urban, publisher of Plastics Machining & Fabricating, who will speak on "How To Work With The Trade Press &emdash; 8 Ways To Getting Your Releases and Paper Published."

Following the '99 show in New York, future ANTEC dates and locations are: May 7-11, 2000, Orlando, FL; May 6-10, 2001, Dallas, TX; May 5-9, 2002, San Francisco, CA; May 4-8, 2003 Nashville, TN; and April 25-29, 2004, Chicago, IL.

For more information on ANTEC, contact the SPE at (203) 775-0471; Fax: (203) 775-8490; www.4spe.org.

 


DSM to Sell Its Transparent Sheet Business to Bayer

DSM and Bayer have reached an agreement under which Bayer will acquire DSM's global transparent sheet business, which produces and sells transparent polycarbonate and polyester sheet for use in building/construction, communication and industrial markets.

The transparent sheet business, which forms part of DSM's business group, DSM Engineering Plastic Products, has annual sales of Euro 120 million and employs about 300 people. The business is comprised of two operating units; Axxis NV, based in Tielt, Belgium, and Sheffield Plastics, based in Sheffield, MA. The transaction is subject to approval by regulatory authorities and was expected to be completed in February.

DSM says it has decided to divest the transparent sheet business since it is not a core activity. DSM is not active in the production of the raw materials used in these sheets and further growth would require additional investments. According to DSM, this divestment is part of its corporate strategy aimed at reinforcing its core activities in order to strengthen or maintain leadership positions.

With this acquisition, Bayer says it will strengthen and globalize its position in the market of transparent polycarbonate sheet. Bayer is a leading producer of polycarbonate resins, and engineering thermoplastics is one of the core businesses of the Bayer Group showing above-average growth rates for the year.

 


MAAC Breaks Ground on New Illinois Facility

MAAC Machinery Corp., Itasca, IL, has unveiled plans to break ground for a new facility on a 3.1 acre site in nearby Carol Stream. The new plant is expected be fully operational by the fall.

The new thermoforming machinery manufacturing facility will be twice as large as the current MAAC facility, with triple the production/manufacturing space, and is designed to increase efficiency by as much as 30 percent.

Also included in the plans of the new building are a state-of-the-art manufacturing training facility with a 40-person capacity, which will include a complete selection of working thermoforming machines and auxiliaries for hands-on training. In addition, the increased production space will provide MAAC with the ability to manufacture and operate thermoformers up to 80 feet in diameter.

Once the Carol Stream facility is open, MAAC plans to expand its sales, engineering and technical staffs for additional support.


Welch's Names Graham Packaging
"Supplier of the Year"

Graham Packaging is the recipient of the "Welch's Supplier of the Year" award for 1998. A global plastic container producer and supplier to the juice industry, Graham Packaging was presented with the award by Welch's president and CEO Dan Dillon at Welch's Headquarters in Concord, MA.

Selected from more than 200 suppliers, the winner was chosen for its service, pricing, quality and technological innovation. Graham supplies four sizes of PET plastic containers for Welch's bottled juices at three filling locations. Most recently, Graham played a key role in helping Welch's develop its newest packaging innovation, the patented plastic can.

This new container, which marks the first packaging innovation for frozen juice concentrates since the introduction of the peel strip some 20 years ago, presents Welch's frozen concentrate consumers with convenience and affordability through the plastic can's microwaveability and competitive pricing. The cans are recyclable, easy to open and go from freezer to pitcher in less than two minutes.

 


Clariant, Sang Ho Form Joint Venture

Clariant Masterbatches Division has agreed to form a joint venture with Sang Ho Mercantile Co., a plastics compounder headquartered in Ynagsan, Kyongnam Province, South Korea. Clariant will hold a 55 percent equity position in this new venture, which will be called Sang Ho Mercantile Co. Ltd.

The joint venture will establish a strong market presence for masterbatches and engineered compounds in South Korea and Japan, which are the number two and one plastics markets in Asia. The new firm will expand the companies' existing capabilities which currently focus on the production of colored automotive compounds in Korea and masterbatches for the Japanese market, especially blacks and whites.

There are also plans to grow the masterbatch business in polypropylene, polystyrene/acrylonitrile-butadiene styrene and engineering polymers, as well as specialty polyethylene terephthalate masterbatches for film and sheet. Initial target market sectors for the new company will include automotive, appliance, fibre and food packaging.


Anaheim Fair Focuses on Plastics
Fabricator's Needs

New technology for machining plastic sheets and formed parts will be exhibited at the 1999 Woodworking, Machinery and Furnishings Supply Fair, scheduled for July 29-Aug 1 in Anaheim, CA.

According to the show sponsors, Association of Woodworking & Furnishing Suppliers, space is quickly being filled.

"Over 90 percent, or approximately 300,000 square feet of the main halls of the Anaheim Convention Center have already been sold," says Woodworking Fair Chairman Tom Orlando of CTD Machines. "We will have an additional 16,000 square feet with the arena and arena lobby to accommodate those exhibitors who are reserving space now."

Show organizer Hall Erickson says there is still limited space remaining within the other areas of the Anaheim Convention Center, but the arena may turn out to be one of the prime areas of the show. "We will be opening the arena and lobby one hour earlier and staging special promotions throughout the day to entice attendees into the arena," says Paul Graller, show director at Hall Erickson. "And, it's directly attached to Hall A and the rooms used for seminars, so the flow of traffic will be uninterrupted."

Exhibit sales are close to exceeding 1997 levels of 325,000 square feet of space. "This year, we will most likely need every bit of space available and expect to occupy approximately 340,000 square feet by the time the show opens on July 29," Orlando says.

Anaheim organizers are expecting to attract record numbers of attendees as well. "Based on our research, we're increasing our marketing efforts to reach out more solidly in the U.S., Canada and Mexico," Graller says. A new Web site, www.woodworkingfair.org is also attracting attendees. "We've already gotten many inquiries from people browsing our site," said Graller. "As we get closer to the show, we'll have extensive listings from all our exhibitors, organized by company name, subject and activity, along with links to company web sites. Show attendees can use the site to plan their time at the fair for maximum benefit. People can also register or book housing right on the web site as well."

For further information on the 1999 fair, contact show management at (630) 434-7779.


Study Predicts Bull Market for US. Thermoplastics Demand

U.S. demand for thermoplastic resins is forecast to rise 3.8 percent per year, to 87 billion pounds in 2003. According to The Freedonia Group study, "Private Companies in Thermoplastic Compounding," the price and performance advantages of plastics relative to wood, metal and other materials will continue to spur advances, although material substitution as a factor in growth will be moderate due to the high saturation level in many end-use markets.

According to the study, the growing use of engineered thermoplastics and improvements in commodity resins will

also broaden plastics' range of applications. While commodity resins will remain dominant, demand for lower-volume resins, such as engineered plastics, will experience faster growth because of niche opportunities such as high-heat, under-the-hood motor vehicle components.

Resin producers account for the majority of thermoplastic compounding activity in the United States, followed by processors and independent compounders. Thermoplastic compounding is defined as the mechanical mixing of two or more materials, at least one of which is a thermoplastic resin, to gain performance properties and other characteristics different from the original resin. In addition to aiding resin performance, compounding results in lower cost, improved processability and heightened visual appeal, as well as other characteristics. According to The Freedonia Group, rapid advances for thermoplastic compounding have been predicted due to the high cost of developing new polymers and increasing needs for high performance, cost-effective polymers to replace wood, metal and other plastics.


Independent Compounding

The study also found that thermoplastic compounding performed by independent firms will increase 4.3 percent annually to 7.2 billion pounds (resin content only) in 2003, a value of nearly $6 billion. Independent compounders accounted for 8 percent of the total thermoplastic compounding demand in 1998.

Polyvinyl chloride is the largest single independently compounded resin, accounting for 30 percent of independent compounding demand in 1998. Engineered thermoplastics, Freedonia Group says, accounted for an additional 20 percent, and will see faster growth through 2003.

For further details about Private Companies in Thermoplastics, contact Corinne Gangloff at The Freedonia Group, (440) 684-9600, FAX (440) 646-0484, e-mail pr@freedoniagroup.com.

 


Nova Chemicals Acquires Huntsman's Styrenics Business

Nova Chemicals has completed the purchase of the major portion of Huntsman Corp.'s styrenics business, making it one of the world's leading styrenics players and the largest in North America. The transaction, completed on Dec. 31, excluded two North American expandable polystyrene plants from the deal.

In the transaction, set at $637 million plus working capital, Nova Chemicals acquires one styrene manufacturing plant with 1.25 billion pounds of annual production capacity and six polystyrene plants, four in North America and two in Europe, with a combined 1.8 billion pounds of annual capacity.

"We are poised to deliver rapid cost reductions and to begin to build the most customer-oriented and cost-efficient styrenics business in the world," said Jeffrey Lipton. "This acquisition dramatically upgrades our styrenics business. Now that the deal has closed, we will work quickly to integrate operations and capture synergies.""


Plastics Machining & Fabricating
P: (847) 634-4347
F: (847) 634-4379
EMAIL: hfrankurba@aol.com
P.O. BOX 1400
LINCOLNSHIRE
ILLINOIS 60069