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1/27/2009 | 5 MINUTE READ

News briefs -- Jan. 27, 2009

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Gurit reports 2008 earnings; Resinal to distribute Chroma products in Mexico; NetComposites launches composites industry jobs site; Royal Cosun, Avantium announce bioplastics initiative; Duoline promotes Tim Stewart to FRP supervisor; High Modulus names Paul Goddard CEO; Huntsman announces job cuts; Hypertherm expands sales team in Western Canada; IPS names Karen Brock Amoah sales and marketing manager; Jet Edge begins selling used equipment online; Menzolit names Roberto Lazzari sales manager for Italy and Southeast Europe; Materials & Sensors Technologies to host NDT seminar April 20-22.

Gurit (Wattwil, Switzerland), a developer and manufacturer of high-end composite materials and technologies, announced on Jan. 27 that it increased sales based on unaudited figures in its target market areas by 17.6 percent at constant December 2008 currency translation rates. In reported Swiss francs, the increase was 6.5 percent to CHF 420.6 million ($369 million USD) for the three target markets Wind Energy, Transportation and Marine. Total Group sales comprising all consolidated activities including the winter sports business during the first eight months of 2008 increased by 1.5 percent to CHF 455.5 million ($400 million USD). Gurit also confirms that it exceeded the 4 percent EBIT goal for 2008.

Chroma Corp. (McHenry, Ill.) and Resinal SA de CV (Mexico City, Mexico) have entered into an agreement where Resinal becomes a stocking distributor and sales agent for the entire line of compounded products offered by Chroma. This includes concentrates, precolor, glass-filled compounds, photoluminescent and the entire line of products designed for the rotational molding community, which includes ground precolor, dry colors, standard line of granite colors and foam products. Resinal has two warehouses, one in Mexico City and the other in Monterrey, Mexico.

NetComposites (Chesterfield, U.K.) has launched a new recruitment business, Composites People, to meet the staffing and recruitment needs of the composites industry. Composites People brings together a team of consultants from both the composites and recruitment industries who will deliver a industry-specific service to composites clients around the world. Visit www.compositespeople.com for more information.

Royal Cosun (Amsterdam, The Netherlands) and Avantium (Amsterdam) announced on Jan. 21 the start of a collaboration between the two companies. The companies join forces to develop a specific process for the production of a new generation of bioplastics and biofuels from selected organic waste streams. Avantium is developing these bioplastics and biofuels under the name Furanics. Within the collaboration, Cosun will focus on the selection, isolation and purification of suitable components from agricultural waste streams. Avantium will continue to focus on the development of an efficient, chemically catalyzed production process. The duration of the first phase of the collaboration will be approximately two years. With positive results, the companies intend to scale-up the production technology and implement it on commercial scale.

Duoline Technologies (Odessa, Texas), a manufacturer of fiber-reinforced plastics (FRP) products for oil exploration and drilling applications, has promoted Tim Stewart to FRP supervior. Stewart started at the company as material handler and then worked as an engineering technician. Prior to joining Duoline, Stewart worked for more than 15 years in retail management and warehouse distribution. He attended Tarleton State University and served four years in the United States Army.

High Modulus (Auckland, New Zealand) has appointed Paul Goddard CEO. He will focus on the structure and development of High Modulus International (including a New Zealand headquarters-based management team) and provide strategic direction and functional support for each regional operation: High Modulus Europe, High Modulus Australia and High Modulus Asia. Richard Downs-Honey, former CEO, moves into the role of international sales director, with a focus on growing global group sales.

Huntsman Corp. (The Woodlands, Texas) has announced a company-wide initiative to reduce costs across its divisions and functions. Including steps begun during the fourth quarter of 2008, the company will reduce its full-time employment by approximately 1,175 positions by year-end 2009 — more than 9 percent of Huntsman’s 12,770 employees. Full-time contractors working in the company’s divisions and functions will be reduced by an additional 490 positions. Together, these reductions will result in operating cost savings to the company of approximately $150 million. Huntsman also announced that its Pigments Division plans to close its titanium dioxide plant located in Grimsby, U.K. The Grimsby plant, the division’s oldest and least efficient manufacturing facility, has an annual production capacity of 40,000 tonnes of titanium dioxide. Pigment production at the plant would cease during the first quarter of 2009. Approximately 200 full-time employees and contractors work at the site. Annual operating cost savings resulting from the plant’s closure would be approximately $28 million.

Hypertherm (Hanover, N.H.), a manufacturer of plasma arc metal cutting technology, is responding to significant business growth in Western Canada with the addition of increased sales support to the region. Jamie Lowrie, formerly a consumable sales manager for Hypertherm, will join Vince Tucker as a district sales manager for Western Canada. Lowrie will support distributors in the Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Northern Alberta provinces; Tucker will work with distributors in Southern Alberta and British Columbia.

IPS Corp. (Compton, Calif.) has named Karen Brock Amoah sales and marketing manager for its WELD-ON structural adhesives. In her new position, Brock Amoah will focus on expanding WELD-ON structural adhesives into new markets as well as supporting products in current market position in marine, transportation, building and construction and product assembly. She has a B.S. degree in mechanical engineering from Worcester (Mass.) Polytechnic Institute and has held various technical, sales and marketing positions in the plastic, chemical and adhesive industries. Most recently she was executive vice president of Global Solutions Services LLC, responsible for new business development and global strategy.   

Jet Edge Inc. (St. Michael, Minn.), a manufacturer of ultrahigh-pressure waterjet and abrasivejet systems for precision cutting, coating removal and surface preparation, is now posting used waterjet equipment for sale on its website. Jet Edge’s used waterjet equipment inventory includes ultrahigh-pressure water jet intensifier pumps, motion systems, accessories and mobile cleaning and cutting equipment. Click the Jet Edge link at right to access the company's website.

Menzolit Compounds International GmbH (Heidelberg, Germany), maker of bulk and sheet molding compounds and thermoset resins, has named Roberto Lazzari sales manager for Italy and Southeast Europe. In this position, Lazzari will be responsible for customers in Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia, Greece, Romania and Bulgaria. With that Menzolit is focusing on the business development of these geographical zones, which are major growth markets, especially for automotive, electrical, sanitary and construction.

Materials & Sensors Technologies Inc. (Glen Burnie, Md.) has announced an Ultrasonics for Composites Testing Seminar, April 20-22 in Baltimore, Md. This is an open technology review and is based on technical literature, industrial and academic experience of the instructor collected from more than 30 years of composite work. The seminar is designed to technically untangle this complex subject, and is presented in a way to comprehend the issues in a relatively short time. Cost is $895 per person before March 30. For more information, click the Materials & Sensors Technologies link at right for access to the company's site.