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New Products Highlighted at Plastics USA '98
According to a survey conducted by the Society of the Plastics Industry (SPI), a large percentage of Plastics USA '98's 550 exhibitors will introduce new products or services during the triennial exposition at Chicago's McCormick Place Lakeside Center, Oct. 6-8.

Plastics USA '98 will cover more than 125,000 net square feet of exhibit space, making it the largest plastics industry exposition in North America this year. Co-sponsored by the SPI and the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE), it is expected to attract more than 18,000 industry professionals.

Approximately 71 percent of the of the respondents to the SPI survey identified their company's product line to be in the areas of primary processing machinery, controls, instrumentation, tooling/moldmaking, auxiliary and downstream equipment and robotics. Nearly 23 percent identified resins, plasticizers, stabilizers, additives, composites and processing techniques as the prime focus of their exhibits, with the remaining exhibitors focusing on a range of services such as plant location/relocation, testing systems, recycling and waste management, Internet services and software programs.

In addition to the exhibits, the SPI will have a complimentary two-day, eight-session conference for show attendees on Oct. 6 and 7. Session topics are injection molding, rotational molding, extrusion robotics, auxiliary equipment, the Internet, strategic partnering and workforce development. In addition, the SPE is offering four days of more than 40 technical seminars Oct. 5-8, featuring experts on a variety of topics ranging from practical processing to theoretical polymers.

SPE Hosts 1998 Thermoforming Conference
The 1998 Thermoforming Conference, sponsored by the Society of Plastics Engineers Thermoforming Division and co-hosted by the Tennessee Valley SPE Section, will take place from Sept. 19-22 at the Renaissance Hotel, Nashville Convention Center, in Nashville, TN. Educational programs will be featured on the agenda this year.

According to the SPE, this is the first year the Thermoforming Division is sponsoring long-range educational programs. The Division will award $10,000 in annual scholarship monies, which is now perpetually supported by a $150,000 investment fund. Student programs designed to expose college students to the thermoforming industry will receive another $20,000.

The SPE stated that its mission is to "facilitate the advancement of thermoforming technologies through education, application, promotion and research." It will carry this out with a series of events, including programs, guest speakers, chat sessions, workshops and awards dinners.

For more information on the conference, contact Deb Cawley at SPE Headquarters, (203) 775-0471, fax (203) 775-8490.

CIT Group/Venture Capital Acquire Omega Polymer Technologies
The CIT Group/Venture Capital Inc., a subsidiary of the CIT Group Inc., announced that it has completed the purchase of Omega Polymer Technologies Inc., a leading diversified specialty plastics holding company based in Aurora, OH. Additional investors include Founders Fund of South Carolina LP, a management team from Omega Polymer and other institutional as well as individual investors.

With 1997 revenues of $55 million, Omega serves a wide variety of industries including building products, transportation, electronics, medical products, commercial refrigeration, telecommunications, highway and utilities. Its three wholly-owned subsidiaries include Omega Pultrusions Inc., headquartered in Aurora; Viking Plastics Inc., based in Corry, PA; and Carsonite International Corp., located in Early Branch, SC.

Milacron Plastics Acquires Autojectors
Cincinnati Milacron's Plastics Technologies Group has purchased Autojectors Inc., a leading independent maker of vertical injection molding machines. Located in Avilla, IN, Autojectors employs 130 employees and posted sales of approximately $20 million last year. Its machines are widely used to produce automotive, medical and electrical components.

William Gruber, vice president of Milacron's U.S. Plastics Technologies Group, said that Autojectors' company name, image, brand, operations and separate channels of distribution will remain the same. Autojectors' President Bill Carteaux will continue to manage the business, which develops/produces a line of vertical injection molding machines from 10 to 400 tons, a high percentage of which are customized for end users.

Autec Inc. is renamed SCM Group USA
Autec Inc. has changed its name to SCM Group USA Inc. The Duluth, GA-based company is an affiliate of SCM Group SpA, of Rimini, Italy, and is the administrative branch representing SCMI and Tekna Advanced Technologies. SCM Group USA said it changed its name to heighten worldwide name recognition for SCM Group and for name identification symmetry. The names "SCMI" and "Tekna Advanced Technologies" will not be changed.

U.S. Polyethylene Resin Demand on the Rise
According to a study from The Freedonia Group Inc., demand for polyethylene resins in the United States. will advance 3.6 percent per year to 30 billion pounds in the year 2002. Growth will be driven by increasing demand for high-density polyethylene (HDPE) and linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE), while conventional low-density polyethylene (LDPE) and ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) will trail overall gains.

Polyethylene demand is highly concentrated in the packaging markets, used in a range of products including extruded films, blow-molded milk and juice bottles and injection-molded caps and closures. However, due to the relative maturity of the packaging market, growth will be more robust in other market segments, including insulation for electrical and electronic wire and cable and consumer markets such as toys and housewares.

For more information on the study, contact the Corinne Gangloff at the Freedonia Group, (440) 684-9600.

Plaskolite to Purchase American Mirror Co.
Plaskolite Inc., an acrylic manufacturer in Columbus, OH, announced that it has agreed to purchase the American Mirror Division of the American Louver Co. of Chicago, IL. Upon completion, Plaskolite will have acquired three acrylic mirror manufacturers in the last four years.

James Dunn, president and CEO stated that, "Plaskolite entered the mirrorized sheet market with the purchase of Mir-Acryl of Bellville, MI, in 1994. With this latest acquisition of American Mirror, I think we are sending a message to our distributors that we are serious about being the leader of mirrorized sheet in the marketplace."

Yushin Precision Equipment Opens New Factory in Japan
Yushin Precision Equipment Co. Ltd. recently opened its third factory, which boasts 56,000 square feet of floor space. This new facility is located on the same site as Yushin's head office in Kyoto, Japan.

The new factory will be 23,000 square feet larger than the last factory Yushin built in Japan, and managers estimate that the larger facility, combined with innovative operating procedures, will double Yushin's current production capacity and improve delivery. A feature of the five-story building will be an automated warehouse, supplying parts and components to the three floors dedicated to assembly. Traverse robots, sprue-pickers and other products will be assembled and inspected on the three floors designated for production.

Composites Association Now Accepting 1998 ACE Entries
The Composites Fabricators Assn. (CFA) is accepting entries for its 1998 ACE (Award for Composites Excellence) competition. This competition recognizes technical innovation, market viability and quality in manufacturing as part of the criteria used to evaluate the finished composites products submitted for display and judging.

The 1998 ACE competition will be held during COMPOSITES 98, Oct. 21-24, in San Antonio, TX. More than 3,500 people are expected to attend the convention and trade show.

Prize money totaling $9,000 will be presented to recipients in five different award categories: Best of Show, Technical Innovation, Quality in Manufacturing, Market Viability and the People's Choice Award. Convention attendees will be asked to vote on their favorite product entry for the People's Choice Award. A panel of industry experts will judge the products and select winners for the four remaining categories.

Completed applications must be received by Sept. 21. To receive an application or for more information on the competition, please contact the CFA at (703) 525-0511; fax (703) 525-0743; e-mail:; address: 1655 North Fort Myer Drive, Suite 510, Arlington, VA 22209.

Medical Technology Workshop at K'98
A new workshop program on plastics and rubber in modern medical technology will be held during K'98, the 14th International Trade Fair for Plastics & Rubber. K'98 will be held Oct. 22-29, at the fairgrounds in Dusseldorf, Germany. The workshop,"K'98 Medical Technology Special," will be Oct. 26-29.

Topics to be covered during the workshop include: "Innovative Production Technologies," "Polymers for Medical Applications" and "Medical Technology Criteria for Polymer Materials."

An estimated 2,500 exhibitors from 49 countries are registered for K'98, with 1.48 million square feet of net exhibition space already reserved in all 15 halls of the fairgrounds.

The Foster Group Acquires Papago Plastics
The Foster Group LLC has announced the acquisition of Papago Plastics Inc., a 16-year-old Rochester, NY-based company that manufactures prototype plastic tooling and parts for the automotive, business product, medical, computer and communications markets. According to Foster Group President Gary Foster, "This move ensures growth in the next millennium."

The acquisition follows the Foster Group's long-term strategy of acquiring businesses that complement the high-volume injection molding and tooling design/build capabilities already in place. The Foster Group will now be a complete, single source operation, from prototype to finished product.

Herman Miller Chair Wins Award at SPE 1998
The Aeron chair from Herman Miller Inc., incorporating AlliedSignal Plastics' Petra recycled PET resin, won the 1998 SPE International Plastics Consumer Products Design Award, one of eight international awards presented annually by the Society of Plastics Engineers.

The award recognizes the Zeeland, MI, office furniture manufacturer for its "high degree of technological innovation through its combination and use of materials (that) produced a chair with unique aesthetics and kinematic motion."

Precision Gage Acquires Sheffield Gaging Products
Precision Gage & Tool Co., Dayton, OH, has acquired the Gaging Systems Operations from Giddings & Lewis Inc.-Sheffield Measurement and will now manufacture, market and repair the entire Sheffield gaging product line.

Already a major producer of gaging product equipment, Precision Gage will supplement its line with such well-known Sheffield gaging products as Precisionaire and Micronaire instruments, electronic columns, paper and bearing gages, air gage tooling, manual and automatic gaging fixtures and SOFT 2000 computer systems.

Kafus, SCAC Form Joint Venture for Biodegradable Plastics
Kafus Environmental has executed an interim agreement with SCAC Holding Corp. of Ireland which could result in the formation of a new joint venture company, 75 percent owned by Kafus and 25 percent owned by SCAC.

Under the agreement, SCAC will transfer to the new company, "Newco," its global interests and exclusive development, marketing and production rights to SCAC's proprietary SOLPLAX range of biodegradable plastics and related products. Kafus will be responsible for preparing, managing and financing a comprehensive development business plan for "Newco" to optimize the eventual global development of the SOLPLAX range of plastic.


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