Biz Briefs: HPC November 2012

News briefs from Vexxel Composites, Associated Industries, MTorres, BAE Systems and EADS.

The Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development reported on Sept. 16 that Vexxel Composites LLC, a sister company to HyPerComp Engineering (Brigham City, Utah), has invested $4 million in capital improvements toward the manufacture of compressed natural gas (CNG) tanks. Vexxel Composites focuses on composite-overwrapped pressure vessels and manufactures CNG pressure vessels in numerous sizes to support the high growth in the use of CNG vehicles. Vexxel reportedy has developed strategic alliances with highly reputable companies to seize this opportunity and plans to manufacture pressure vessels for the U.S. military and commercial applications. “The U.S. has an abundance of natural gas. Converting vehicles to CNG will reduce our dependence on foreign oil. Secondly, CNG is a clean burning fuel, thereby reducing vehicular emissions. And thirdly, we will be bringing high-paying manufacturing jobs to Brigham City,” says Vexxel CEO and president Wayne Clark.

Associated Industries (Wichita, Kan.) announced on Sept. 14 that it is now an authorized distributor for Henkel Corp. (Rocky Hill, Conn., and Bay Point, Calif.). The company now carries Henkel’s trademarked Hysol structural adhesives and surface treatment products that include the Alodine 871 and 1132 Touch-n-Prep pens, Multan metalworking fluids and Turco paint strippers. Additionally, Associated Industries has been added to Henkel’s exclusive BMS Time and Temperature-approved distributor list, which includes aerospace distributors that have approval to sell Boeing-specified time- and temperature-sensitive materials. Associated Industries is ISO 9001:2008- and AS9120:2002-certified and serves aerospace industry customers in the Wichita area.

MTorres (Torres de Elorz, Spain) and Pacifica Engineering Inc. (Seattle, Wash.) have signed an agreement, announced on Sept. 7, under which MTorres will acquire 100 percent of Pacifica Engineering shares. The final closing of the transaction is pending regulatory approvals. Pacifica provides tool design, engineering and design/build services to the aerospace and defense industries. The company is AS 9100-certified, ITAR-registered and is a key supplier to The Boeing Co. (Chicago, Ill.). With its experienced and highly qualified staff of 55 people, Pacifica Engineering reportedly supports composite and mechanical tool design; structural, mechanical and electrical engineering and design; and FEA/stress analysis, simulation and design for manufacture (DFM). With manufacturing facilities in Spain and offices in Germany and the U.S., MTorres has a workforce of 500 people and maintains business lines in aeronautics, paper converting and wind energy. The combination of the two companies’ technologies and personnel is expected to enhance the reach of their overall product offerings, which together cover most of the aerospace manufacturing and assembly processes, and increase the level and quality of the services that MTorres and Pacifica now provide to their clients based in the U.S.

BAE Systems (London, U.K.) reported that it and European aerospace manufacturer EADS (Leyde, The Netherlands) have ended discussions about a possible merger. The potential combination, announced Sept. 12, would have created a world-leading international aerospace, defense and security group with substantial centers of manufacturing and technology expertise in the U.K., France, Germany, Spain, Australia, India, Saudi Arabia and the U.S. In an open letter to its employees and all stakeholders, dated Oct. 11, BAE chairman Dick Oliver and CEO Ian King said the two companies believed the “bold” plan had the potential to offer significant benefits to all stakeholders and offer opportunities greater than the sum of their individual business strategies, which each is executing well. However, they pointed out that, from the outset, the merger posed significant challenges, and that it had been BAE’s position that the new company should “be free from undue political influence” and would need to be one “where all shareholders — big and small, government and private — enjoyed equal rights whilst at the same time properly safeguarding the national security interests of the various governments involved.” They went on to explain that “despite our best efforts ... we have not been able to achieve that goal.”