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ANTEC '99 Slated For May 2-6
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
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
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 -- 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;
Bull Market Predicted for 1999
Contract, Store Fixture Sales
Plastic fabricators who supply the contract furniture and
store fixture/point-of-purchase industries should benefit
from 1999 sales growth projected by the association heads of
the Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturers Assn.
(BIFMA)-International and the National Association of Store
Fixture Manufacturers (NASFM).
Office Furniture Sales Growing
"After realizing an incredible 14 percent growth in
shipments during 1997 [eclipsing $10 billion for the
first time], the industry is currently enjoying a still
impressive 8 percent growth in shipments through September
1998," said Thomas Reardon, executive vice president of
BIFMA - International. "Incoming orders are up about 5
percent for the first nine months as compared to the same
period of 1997."
Through the first six months of 1998, the Southeastern
states and the North Central region experienced the largest
shipments growth, while the Northeast had the slowest
According to Reardon, the outlook for 1999 is also
positive. "The variance between the growth rate of incoming
orders [5 percent] and shipments [8 percent]
is primarily due to the large backlog of unfilled orders
present at the beginning of this year," Reardon said. "Once
the unfilled order backlog drops back to traditional levels,
shipments growth should approximate orders growth, at about
5 percent." He added that the recent drops in interest rates
are reflected in the projections.
Positive Outlook for Fixture Industry
The store fixture industry enjoyed an 8.8 percent growth in
sales, according to the 1998 NASFM Profit Survey. "But the
overall profitability of a typical NASFM member in 1997
[measured by pre-tax profit margin] declined to 4.1
percent, down from 4.7 percent for 1996. The median sales
growth of 8.8 percent for '97 was an increase over the
median growth of 2.5 percent in 1996," said NASFM executive
director Klein Merriman.
"The Profit Survey profiles the industry's financial
performance using information from 99 NASFM member
companies, said Merriman. "Those 99 members reported 1997
sales of more than $1.3 billion. Members of the NASFM are
part of an industry doing more than $7 billion in annual
revenues, according to Merriman. NASFM members operate more
than 750 plants here and overseas and represent over 80
percent of the revenue in the industry. Merriman said that
while their studies show that sales are up, profits went
down. "We attribute that to tight profit margins."
Merriman added that the outlook for 1999 is positive and
can be partially attributed to a trend for increased global
business as American customers establish stores overseas.
Stores tend to use the same fixture makers when they expand
into other countries, Merriman said, to give a uniform,
consistent look and image and also to assure quality in the
Window Demand for Plastics to
Reach 1.2 Billion Pounds by 2002
The demand for plastics used in the manufacture of
windows and doors in the United States is projected to grow
5.6 percent annually, reaching 1.2 billion pounds in the
year 2002. Plastic advances will be stimulated by cost and
performance advantages over wood and metal and by product
improvements in dimensional stability and impact and
ultraviolet light resistance.
According to a study by The Freedonia Group, strong
demand is anticipated in the new construction sector,
despite declining housing starts, as a result of growing
contractor acceptance of plastics and consumer demands for
Polyvinyl chloride will remain the resin of choice based
on widespread use in window and door glazing because of
their light weight, shatter resistance and design
flexibility compared to glass. PVC demand in window and door
production will increase 6.5 percent per year, to 650
million pounds in 2002. Vinyl's primary use is as a framing
material in single-hung and double-hung windows.
The fastest-growing application for plastic resins will
be in plastic profiles and other structural components,
including framing, sashes and cladding material.
For further details about Plastics in Windows &
Doors, contact Corinne Gangloff at The Freedonia Group,
(440) 684-9600, FAX (440) 646-0484, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Full text of the study is also available online through
commercial database companies and the www.freedoniagroup.com
Zeon Chemicals to Acquire DSM's NBR
Effective Jan. 31, 1999, Zeon Chemicals will have
acquired DSM Copolymer's NYsyn NBR and NYsynblak NBR
(nitrile butadience rubber) business. The transaction is to
include business assets such as customer lists, product
technology, contractual arrangements and trademark
DSM Copolymer manufactures NBR at its Baton Rouge, LA,
production site. Its current NBR capacity is 15,000 tpa.
Under the terms of the contract, Zeon will have the
exclusive right to purchase NBR products from DSM Copolymer.
The manufacture of these products will continue to take
place in the DSM facility. Zeon will be responsible for
worldwide marketing and selling these products as well as
for customer and technical service.
Headquartered at Lousiville, KY, Zeon is a producer of
specialty elastomers in the United States.
Bisphenol Low-Dose Exposure Hazards
A new animal study of bisphenol A, a chemical used in the
production of certain plastics, has failed to provide
evidence of treatment-related effects from low-dose
exposures. This is the second major animal study released
within the past two months that has been unable to reproduce
earlier claims of effects at low doses.
The new study, sponsored jointly by the Global Bisphenol
A Industry Group of the Society of Plastics Industry (SPI),
and the European Chemical Industry Council (CEFIC), was
designed to investigate the potential effects on male
reproductive organs from low-dose exposure to bisphenol A,
using a protocol for treatment. This special protocol was
designed to detect potentially permanent effects on male
reproductive capacity caused by exposure during fetal and
early life stages.
To date, none of the alleged effects from oral exposures
to low doses of bisphenol A in mice or rats has been
reproducible. The SPI/CEFIC study found no effects on the
male offspring of female rats exposed to bisphenol A at
0.01, 0.1, 1.0 and 10.0 part per million concentrations in
drinking water. In addition, no adverse effects were
observed for maternal toxicity or reproductive
The study is being submitted for publication in a
peer-reviewed scientific journal.
PPI Receives SPE
Industrial Enclosure Award
Productive Plastics Inc. was awarded the 1998 Society of
Plastics Engineers' Industrial Enclosure Award for a
two-part heavy-gauge card personalization system enclosure.
The top cover has a +15-inch depth of draw with six moving
parts to facilitate undercuts in the forming tool. The
award-winning component has a 1-inch perimeter undercut on
both the top and bottom pieces, creating a matching feature
held within a +/-0.20-inch tolerance.
Produced from fire-retardant ABS material, the product
meets UL 94-5VA rating. The unit also features interior
bosses and inserts for attachments of LCD and switch
interfaces. Starting thicknesses begin at 0.365 inch.
SPE's judging criteria included technical mastery,
creativity, surface finish, distinct quality, market
viability, original thought, material difficulty, mold
complexity and secondary operations. The SPE's "Showcase of
Parts" was held in Nashville last fall.
Plaskolite Buys Replex
Plaskolite announced it has purchased the flat mirrored
acrylic sheet business segment of Replex Plastics of Mount
"Purchasing Replex is all about our commitment to the
mirror sheet market," said James Dunn, Plaskolite president.
In four short years we have become, and will continue to be,
the leading supplier of quality mirror products in the
With the addition of the Replex line, Plaskolite now
offers more than 30 color variations, including a wide
assortment of custom colors and sizes.
United Southern Ind.
President Receives SPI Service Award
Joseph Bennett, president of United Southern Industries,
received the first SPI Southern Region Distinguished Service
Award during the Society of the Plastics Industry Inc. (SPI)
Southern Region's first annual conference in Seabrook
The award recognizes outstanding dedication and
initiative in promoting plastics in the South. Bennett has
been involved with the plastics industry for 36 years as an
active supporter of workforce education and training
initiatives. He established and directed several programs
that have promoted plastics industry education nationwide
including a curriculum for plastics programs at the
Isothermal Community College in Forest City, NC. Bennett
also contributes to two local scholarships to help students
pursue careers in plastics.
Bennett helped found United Southern Industries in 1970
and has been its president since 1979. In 1992, he
co-founded Everbhan Inc., a precision injection molded
Spartech acquires Lustro Plastics
for $10.4 million
Spartech Corp. has bolstered its market share in
glycol-modified PET sheet by acquiring Lustro Plastics Co.
for $10.4 million. PET represents only about 2 percent of
the 500 million pounds of material that Spartech Plastics,
the company's extruded sheet and roll stock division, uses
every year. More than 95 percent of Lustro's sheet and film
are made using PETG. Spartech expects to retain all 125
employees at Lustro's six extrusion line plant in Evanston,
The investment of $1.5 million to $2 million will involve
replacing some existing lines with newer equipment. With
annual sales of about $28 million, Lustro also serves the
electronic and medical packaging markets. The Evanston
facility will be added to Spartech Plastics' existing 17
Spartech employs about 1,600 and operates nearly 100
sheet production lines. The firm uses about 500 million
pounds of ABS, polystyrene, polyethylene, polycarbonate,
acrylic and PET to make sheet and film for industries
ranging from food packaging to appliance, automotive and
Madison Buys John Brown Plastics
Machinery For $62 million
Madison Capital Partners, a Chicago investment group that
owns several plastics processors and other equipment
companies, is paying $62 million for five of John Brown
Plastics Machinery's six units. The deal includes five
businesses: Brown Machine, a maker manufacturer of
thermoforming machinery in Beaverton, MI.; Epco of Fremont,
OH, which remanufactures plastics machinery; Cumberland
Engineering of South Attleboro, MA, a granulator supplier;
Berlinger, which makes pelletizers and screen changers in
Marblehead, MA; and Leesona, which makes textile winders in
Those companies generate total sales of about $100
million a year. Madison elected not to purchase the other
John Brown business, injection molding press builder Negri
Bossi SpA of Milan, Italy.
Madison owns several other machinery companies. The
largest ones are Holcroft, a Detroit company that makes
heat-treating furnaces for automakers, and Pacific Press
Technologies in Mount Carmel, IL, which builds presses for
metal stamping and compression molding of plastic
Madison's subsidiary, Plastics Group, owns four
processors; Pawnee Rotational Molding Co. of Maple Plains,
MN.; blow molders Borse Industries of Willowbrook, IL;
Fremont Plastic Products of Freemont, OH, and blow molder
and rotomolder Wedco Moulded Products of Boucherville,
Madison Capital will run the John Brown plastics
equipment businesses while Plastics Group will continue to
focus on processors.
Plastics Technology Certification is for plastics
professionals who have the ability to apply math, physical
science and engineering principles to technological problem
solving. There are two requirements for certification: pass
the 250-question exam and amass six education and/or
Special one-day review sessions will be held: Feb. 21 at
the (Houston) Polyolefins Conference; March 12 at the
(Greensboro) Processors Conference; April 30 at ANTEC in New
York; and Sept. 24 at the Thermoforming Conference in
Chicago. For more information contact Laurie McDougal,
certification assistant, Institute for Plastics
Certification, at (203) 775-0471.
Plastics Machining & Fabricating
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