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Composites Industry News

News for April 2000


Traditional Pool Cue Maker Ups Production to Compete

12th April 2000 0 comments

McDermott Cue Manufacturing Inc. sales have eroded to the point where new production methods, and federal assistance, are needed to survive, according to McDermott chief financial officer Steven J. Miller. It’s the quality of materials and the craftsmanship that attract the pros, company officials said. “Our cues are made from wood, while theirs are made out of composite material,” said Miller, whose company had $5 million in sales last year. “Their shaft material is not as good, and we have a three-piece butt construction, which has less likelihood of warping, whereas theirs is one piece. But we can’t compete. Imports are dropping prices, and we’ve got to make up in efficiency and productivity for that,” he said.

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Satellite Maker Signs Lease for Corona, Calif., Plant

12th April 2000 0 comments

Programmed Composites Inc., a $14-million-a-year company whose customers include Lockheed, Hughes Space and Communications and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, has signed a 10-year lease on a 100,950-square-foot building in Corona. Programmed Composites, which now occupies 50,000 square feet in Anaheim, needs more room, including 30-foot ceilings, to accommodate orders for much larger satellites made possible by the development of higher-powered launching rockets. Programmed Composites’ sales have been growing by 30 percent a year since the firm was acquired in 1995 by Pressure Systems Corp., a $60 million satellite parts manufacturer. Programmed Composites is involved in research and development as well as manufacturing and has earned a reputation in the construction of the main supporting structure of satellites.

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Fiberglass Recycling Firm Approved to Start Up in Morristown, Ind

12th April 2000 0 comments

Town leaders have endorsed a $10 million bond for a fiberglass recycling firm moving into the abandoned Detroit Steel factory. EFTEC will take waste from Knauf Fiber Glass and turn it into tiles used for acoustic insulation. EFTEC plans to open in about six months, creating 55 jobs, plant manager David Rhind said. “We initially will start up with one shift, then add a second shift in six months and a third shift in another six months,” Rhind said. The plant should have about 90 employees within three years. EFTEC will take about 11 million pounds of waste fiberglass from Knauf — material that formerly went to landfills — and turn it into a medium-density fiberglass board. The product is ideal for soundproofing movie theaters and directing sound in concert halls.

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Purchase of License for advanced RTM & in-situ molding technology.

12th April 2000 0 comments

Pinnacle Composite of Livermore, CA announced the purchase of a non-exclusive License and technology-transfer for Advanced RTM along with proprietary in-situ molding technology from Blaise LeWark, Sr. of San Diego. The technology-package is similar to that previously sold by LeWark to Boeing Aerospace Company. Technology applications under the license to Pinnacle cover multiple forms of Advanced RTM for commercial, military-defense, sporting-goods, and many other products. Process variations of the in-situ molding’ technology include advanced RTM, vacuum infusion, wet-wrap compression molding, vacuum-bag molding, pressure-bag molding and low-pressure RIM. Contact: schwartz@pinnaclecomposite.com

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Guardian Technologies Develops Composite Armor

18th April 2000 0 comments

As part of its armor business restructuring strategy, Guardian technologies is currently working with several composite material vendors in an effort to develop a lightweight ballistic material package that will provide an overall reduction in the material cost component of each vest. By doing this in conjunction with outsourcing manufacturing, Guardian expects to increase its gross margin while lowering its prices, making it more competitive.

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Alyn Corp. Announces Results for Fourth Quarter and Full Year 1999

18th April 2000 0 comments

Alyn Corp, the advanced metal matrix technology company, reported financial results for the fourth quarter and full year 1999. For the 12 months ended Dec. 31, 1999, Alyn reported a net loss attributable to common stockholders of $16,309,000, attributable to the transition process in which Alyn changed its strategy, restructured its operations and made considerable progress in introducing its innovative materials into the marketplace. Alyn Corp. as a company is being converted from an R&D company to a production company. Sales efforts are now focused at a number of larger volume key markets, and successes with the materials achieved during the last twelve months are the applications in robotics, automotive racing, nuclear shielding and sporting goods. Atlas Snowshoe launched the first pair of sub one pound snowshoes in January 2000 using the Boralyn(R) material. Boralyn(R) bicycle rims are beginning to appear in the market, as well as other bicycle components. In addition, Alyn’s first nuclear order (Trans Nuclear Inc.) was successfully completed in December 1999. During 2000, the company will remain focused on its primary goals of increasing sales and production in a timely manner, and at the same time achieving production and other operating efficiencies. Successfully accomplishing the company’s ambitious plan depends upon the continued effort of Alyn’s dedicated staff, company-wide commitment to quality and the customer base as well as the further development of a culture that is innovative and results oriented. For additional information, contact: rbrooks@alyn.com.

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Pan-African Nile Fiber to Establish a Plant to Produce Composite Panels

18th April 2000 0 comments

The Pan-African Nile Fiber is planning to establish a plant in Ethiopia to produce its patented non-wood fiber cane plantation, it was learnt this week. According to Mr. Ernet Altheimer, the CEO, and Mr. Michael Gebru, the president, the plant will produce pulp and paper products, composite panels and other value-added products. The venture is believed to create much needed jobs for Ethiopia and will help preserve Ethiopia’s depleted forests and eroded soil. A four-member team from Pan-African Nile fiber is planning to visit Ethiopia in the first week of May next month.

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Dura Products in Strategic Alliance With Canada Pallet Corporation

18th April 2000 0 comments

Dura Products announced an agreement to supply Canada Pallet Corp. with boards produced with Dura Products proprietary composite material. Canada Pallet will be manufacturing and marketing a unique new hybrid pallet, which will offer users the benefits of both wood and composite material. The new product series of hybrid pallets will be a traditional hardwood pallet with all leading edge boards being composite material. By utilizing composite lead boards, breakage will be left to a minimum, representing strong cost advantages to users. Dura Products International Inc. is an eco-efficient producer of a proprietary composite material made from a combination of recycled post consumer/post industrial plastics and cellulose fibre.

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Composites Unit Boosts Owens Corning

18th April 2000 0 comments

Owens Corning reported higher first-quarter profits that beat estimates by a penny, aided by a 20 percent jump in sales at its Composites Systems unit. The Toledo, Ohio-based company said profits rose nine percent to $48 million, from $44 million a year ago. Cost increases for asphalt and PVC resin constrained profits for its roofing systems and exterior systems businesses. In the composite systems unit, sales were up 20 percent to $284 million, while earnings increased 77 percent to $55 million, due to higher volumes, more favorable pricing, and productivity improvements. It said sale volumes increased in all key geographic markets, especially in the Asia Pacific region due to acquisitions in Korea and Australia last year. Owens said it sees strength across each of its geographic regions for composite systems and in all major market segments and will make additional capacity investments to meet growing customer demand. The company said it continued to leverage the Internet and had more than 6,000 visits to its www.owenscorning.com web site every day, which was up 240 percent over last year.

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Financing Raised to Commence Composite Crosstie Production

18th April 2000 0 comments

North American Technologies Group, Inc. announced the completion of $1.5 million in equity and short term debt financing to fund the startup of its new Houston manufacturing plant. Commenting on the funding, Henry Sullivan, Chief Executive Officer of NATK said, “We are pleased to have completed the acquisition of all the major process equipment for our first automated TieTek composite crosstie production line. We expect to begin operation in June 2000. Initial production will be used to satisfy the requirements of the recently awarded two-year, $10,000,000 contract with the Union Pacific Railroad. Product will also be available to meet additional demand.”

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