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400 Companies Scheduled to Exhibit at Plastics USA/98
Close to 400 exhibitors have already reserved more than 105,000 net square feet of exhibit space in Plastics USA/98 eight months before the exposition's scheduled dates of Oct. 6-8, 1998, according to show co-sponsors, The Society of the Plastics Industry Inc. (SPI) and Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE). The floor plan of the upper level of Chicago's McCormick Place East (renamed Lakeside Center) has been expanded from 100,000 to 125,000 net square feet to accommodate those exhibitors still seeking to reserve space.

The Plastics USA/98 exposition is designed for plastics equipment manufacturers, producers, users and processors in the North, Central and South American marketplace.

In conjunction with Plastics USA, the SPE will conduct four days of technical seminars, Oct. 5-8, featuring experts on a variety of topics ranging from practical processing to theoretical polymers. In addition, SPI will offer a two-day complimentary conference program, Oct. 6-7. The educational programs will be held in the Lakeside Center.

For more information on exhibiting, call Hall-Erickson at (630) 850-7779. For more information on attending, call SPI at (800) SPI-0015 or (202) 974-5235 or visit the Web site at


U.S. Demand For Acrylics Growing
According to a study from The Freedonia Group, a Cleveland-based industrial market research firm, U.S. demand for acrylic resins will expand 3.6 percent annually to 3.5 billion pounds in the year 2002, valued at $2.3 billion. Growth will continue to be spurred by greater use of acrylics in coatings, adhesives and paper and textile finishes, due to their compatibility with waterborne, high-solids and radiation curable products.

In adhesives, demand will benefit from the growing use of acrylate monomers in the production of water-based pressure sensitive adhesives, which are expanding their presence in a range of packaging applications. Other growth opportunities exist in such areas as medical products, where acrylics' toughness, clarity, biocompatibility and ability to withstand chemical or gamma radiation sterilization make them suitable for use in contact lenses, drug delivery systems and other medical instruments.

A full copy of the report is available from The Freedonia Group. Contact the company at (216) 921-6800; Web site:


Bayer Corp. Invests $25 Million in Isocyanate Facilities
To meet increasing demands in the high-performance coatings markets, Bayer Corp. announced its plans to invest $25 million in its Baytown, TX, coatings facilities this year. Of this investment, $18 million will be used to debottleneck and expand the production of four of its major products -- Desmodur H, Desmodur N, Desmodur W and Desmodur Z aliphatic isocyanates.

"The demand for more durable, attractive and high-performance coatings is rising faster than ever before, and polyurethane technology meets the more stringent specifications," said Rich Sabatine, marketing director of Bayer Corp.'s Coatings Business Unit. "This capacity increase will help supply necessary raw materials for the production of polyurethane coatings demonstrating Bayer's commitment to the industry."

Desmodur H, Desmodur N and Desmodur Z are key raw materials used in polyurethane coatings for the automotive OEM, automotive refinishing, industrial finishes and maintenance industries. Desmodur W is mainly used in manufacturing waterborne coatings and elastomeric coatings.

The remaining $7 million of the total investment will be used to make quality improvements and infrastructure enhancements to the Baytown facility, which started producing raw materials for polyurethane coatings in 1976. As polyurethane technology has expanded in existing markets and moved into new markets through the past several decades, Bayer has continued to increase its capacity for supplying quality raw materials to the marketplace.


Moll Industries Acquires Somomeca Group
In a strategic move to solidify its European plastics manufacturing platform and enhance the company's technical capabilities, Moll Ind. acquired Somomeca Group, a major supplier of injection molded plastic components to the automotive and appliance industries.

Moll serves such industries as automotive, appliance, telecommunications, packaging and business machines by offering engineering, design, prototyping, mold building and mass manufacturing on an international basis. With annual sales of approximately $90 million, Somomeca Group owns and operates eight facilities throughout France and Portugal, and is the second largest manufacturer of plastic molds in France.

Under terms of the agreement, Somomeca's plastics business will be renamed Moll Industries France, while the engineering, design and mold-building operations will continue to create and operate their design facilities under a separate name.


Thermoplastics Ride into Biking Industry
K2 was awarded the Product Award of Excellence at the International Composites Expo for its use of thermoplastic material in its Pro-Flex 5500 and 4500 Model mountain bikes.

The bikes were manufactured using TowFlex, a patented thermoplastic material produced by Applied Fiber Systems Ltd. K2 chose the plastic material over metal for its mountain bike frame to satisfy weight, durability and manufacturing requirements.


The Specialty Group Purchases Penn Fibre and Specialty Co.
The Specialty Group Inc. of Dunmore, PA, announced the purchase of Penn Fibre and Specialty Co. Inc. A privately-owned company, The Specialty Group is a major producer of such military equipment as combat helmets, combat packs and body armor, as well as aircrew survival vests, and other personal survival gear.

Penn Fibre is a leading manufacturer and supplier of a broad range of engineered-thermoplastic parts and materials, which are used in countless thousands of industrial applications throughout the U.S. and abroad. The company's production facilities are located in Greenwood, DE.

William E. Minogue, president of Penn Fibre, emphasized that all phases of the company's business remain unchanged. He added that, while the Specialty Group has assumed operating control, day-to-day customer contact, order service and production, plus the ISO 9002-governed product quality and overall responsiveness on which Penn Fibre's reputation has been built, are not affected by its recent purchase. "If anything," Minogue said, "the engineering skills and financial resources provided by The Specialty Group can only enhance Penn Fibre's leadership position throughout the many industries which we serve."


Compass Plastics Acquires MOS Plastics For $17 Million
Compass Plastics & Technologies Inc. announced the completion of its acquisition of San Jose, CA-based MOS Plastics Inc. for approximately $17.4 million. MOS Plastics' founder, Werner Schulz, will be joining Compass Plastics' board of directors.

Founded in 1974, MOS Plastics is an injection molding company that specializes in producing turnkey plastics parts and subassemblies. MOS has 150 employees and occupies a 60,000-square-foot manufacturing plant and 26,500-square-foot warehouse. The company has 35 molding machines and state-of-the-art mold-making capabilities.

The company's clients include Hewlett Packard, Apple Computer Inc., Silicon Graphics Inc., Lifescan Inc., Nellcor Inc. and Rockshox Inc., among others. The company achieved 1997 sales in excess of $18 million and EBITDA of over $3 million.

Compass Plastics, through its wholly-owned subsidiary, AB Plastics Corp., is a leading contract manufacturer and assembler of custom injection-molded plastic components in the western United States and Baja, Mexico. The company manufactures the plastic enclosures for computer monitors, televisions and electronic keyboards.


Plastics Machining & Fabricating
P: (847) 634-4347
F: (847) 634-4379
P.O. BOX 1400