News Briefs: Nov. 9, 2010

DSM, Kemrock form joint venture; Rutan to retire from Scaled; Firehole becomes Firehole Composites; Hall acquires Sexton & Co. Inc., RheTech promotes Hopkins; Citadel promotes Huff.

Resin manufacturers DSM Composite Resins AG (Schaffhausen, Switzerland) and Kemrock Industries & Exports Ltd. (Vadodara, India) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to form an India-basede joint venture for the manufacture of unsaturated polyester and vinyl ester specialty resins in India. Through the alliance with DSM, Kemrock is expected to fortify its expertise in composites manufacturing and align it to global standards. DSM is expected to strengthen its presence in India.  

Burt Rutan, founder of aerospace research firm Scaled Composites (Mojave, Calif., USA) in 1982, has announced his plans to retire in April 2011. He currently serves as Scaled’s chief technical officer and following his retirement, Rutan will assume the title of founder and chairman emeritus. Rutan has worked in California's Antelope Valley for more than 45 years, initially as Flight Test Project Engineer for the U.S. Air Force, and in 1974 he founded the Rutan Aircraft Factory to develop experimental aircraft for homebuilders. Of late, Scaled has worked most notably with Virgin Galactic to develop composites-intensive aircraft that will provide low-earth orbit flight services. “Burt is known worldwide as a legendary genius in aircraft design in the aviation world. I am very fortunate and proud to have worked by his side for the past 28 years,” said president Douglas B. Shane. “We wish Burt and his wife, Tonya, the very best the future holds for them.”

Composites software and simulation specialist Firehole Technologies (Laramie, Wyo., USA) has changed its name to Firehole Composites — a name that the company believes better conveys its mission and focus. No other changes were announced as a part of this renaming.

Hall Technologies Inc. (St. Louis, Mo., USA) has announced the acquisition of Sexton & Co. Inc. (Cincinnati, Ohio, USA). Sexton & Co. Inc., a specialty chemical distributor, has been serving the graphic arts, paints, coatings, and plastics industries for more than 40 years. The acquisition expands Hall Technologies Inc.’s coverage range into Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, West Virginia, Southwestern New York and Western Pennsylvania. Chris Sexton and Nathan Sexton have joined the Hall Technologies Inc. sales team. Timothy A. Sexton will continue to operate those portions of the business that were not purchased by Hall Technologies Inc.

RheTech Inc. (Whitmore Lake, Mich., USA), a privately held, reinforced thermoplastics compounder, has promoted Andrew R. Hopkins to executive vice president, where he is responsible for all commercial, marketing, and technical and new product development activities. Hopkins joined RheTech three years ago as senior vice president and chief technical officer. Prior to RheTech, he spent 11 years at Owens Corning where he held a succession of increasingly responsible positions, most recently as director, Strategic Marketing.

Mike Huff, formerly CEO of Bulk Molding Compounds Inc. and COO of Citadel Plastics Holdings Inc. (West Chicago, Ill., USA), has been promoted to the position of CEO of Citadel. He will also join the Citadel Board of Directors. “Mike has demonstrated his leadership skills and deep understanding of our markets, customers and operations, and as CEO he will have an even larger impact on Citadel,” stated Mike Fitzpatrick, chairman of Citadel and former CEO. Fitzpatrick will remain engaged in the company and Huff will continue to report to him.