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Supplier of injection moulding machinery and services, Husky, has been acquired by Global Investment firm, Platinum equity.

The deal, for an undisclosed fee, will see members of Husky's management team remain significant investors in the business through continued equity ownership.

"In Platinum, Husky has found a partner that brings a wealth of experience, a highly capable team, and a shared enthusiasm for building great companies. I am confident that by working together we will find new and exciting ways to serve our customers," said John Galt, Husky's President and CEO.

Platinum Equity will be purchasing the company from Boston-based private equity firm, Berkshire Partners LLC, and OMERS Private Equity Inc., the private equity arm of OMERS, the defined benefit pension plan for Ontario's municipal employees. Berkshire Partners LLC and OMERS acquired Husky in June of 2011.

Demand for Husky's products and services is primarily driven by growth in the beverage packaging segment, as well as in plastics consumables. Approximately 75 percent of Husky's sales are generated outside North America.

In addition to complete injection moulding solutions, Husky provides aftermarket services and parts to a large and growing installed base of systems globally. Husky's management team will continue to lead the company.



Milacron has expanded its Quick Delivery Program (QDP) for Injection Moulding Machinery to include the European market. With deliveries reported in as little as two weeks - equalling Milacron's delivery times in the Americas--the company says this is "an industry leading delivery achievement."

The QDP has been a successful program for Milacron in the Americas since 2015. June 2017 marked the European launch of QDP and early results have been positive, Milacron says. The quick delivery timelines have allowed numerous customers in both regions to quickly ramp up to meet production needs, and, in some cases, take delivery of a machine the same month they ordered it.

"The Milacron QDP program is one more example of Milacron listening to our customers and helping them get what they want, when they need it," explained Shawn Reilley, Milacron's President of Advanced Plastics Processing Technologies.

"Our QDP stock machines are preconfigured machines with a standard set of widely used options required to support the majority of moulders injection moulding needs. Options such water manifolds, core pull, valve gates, and three-stage air are available when needed, similar to ordering a car for example. Our customers customise the models and with upgrades and additional features with very little impact to delivery timelines. This is a major driver in the success of the program. If our customers choose to upgrade later, our Milacron field service staff can perform upgrades right at the customer's shop."

In Europe, Milacron offers its QDP program for the Milacron Elektron EVO All-Electric - QDP Tonnages from 50 to 200 tonnes, and Tie Bar Spacing from 300 x 300 mm to 870 x 830 mm.



ARBURG has appointed Paul Bryan as its sales agent in Ireland.

Bryan has recently formed a new company, P3 Solutions, and, in addition to looking after ARBURG's interests, he will also be representing Isocool products and undertaking consultancy work.

His focus for ARBURG will be on sales of ARBURG machines and associated technologies.

Bryan brings a wealth of experience built up over 30 years in the plastics industry, having worked in various sectors of the market including the multi-component, packaging, medical device, automotive and consumer electronics sectors.



Linecross Group, a Midlands-based manufacturer of vacuum-formed thermoplastic, polyurethane and injection moulded components, has made a [pounds sterling]3.1 million investment in plant and equipment.

With the latest investment at its South Luffenham site, the company says it is working on the development and expansion of new, innovative products for several global brands, such as developing new lightweight materials that use compression moulding technology, which will enable it to produce automotive wheel arch liners and fabric covered interior trim components.

Significant investments have been made in three vacuum forming machines, one of which will be dedicated to twin sheet forming. A waterjet trimming centre has also been relocated from the Linecross Cannock site to form part of a manufacturing cell for a large new automotive programme.

"Linecross has been at the forefront of advancements in the industry for 50 years and has established long-term partnerships with many iconic British manufacturers, including Lotus, Bentley and JCB - all leaders in their respective fields," explained David Austin, Chairman of Linecross Group.

"Our latest investment in infrastructure and technology at our Rutland headquarters demonstrates our commitment to remaining at the forefront of new plastic and composite materials and technology."



Sumitomo (SHI) Demag UK's lead packaging expert, Kevin Heap, has revealed how the injection moulding industry is working to improve accessibility to packaging.

Bottle caps and pack wraps that are difficult to open prevent customers with musculo-skeletal disabilities, such as arthritis, multiple sclerosis or muscular dystrophies from opening seals. However, strong pack closures are needed to keep products fresh and untampered.

Heap and others have been working on moulding solutions to provide safe and easy opening packaging: "As well as introducing complex security measures and child resistance closures, injection moulders serving the packaging sector need to offer packaging functionality for target consumers."

Child-resistant packaging has sophisticated opening mechanisms, such as flip top lids that can be opened one-handed or packs that need pressure on to two points. Other recent examples involve developing a two-piece combination tamper evident closure for pharmaceutical syrups, and lockable flip tops.

Heap said: "Players within the pharmaceutical and life sciences industries are rapidly getting to grips with the impact of mandatory safety features. We have observed a number of moulding companies using the latest precision moulding techniques to address counterfeiting and product security. At the same time they are taking the opportunity to consider future packaging designs, without stereotyping older generations."

One concept being widely deployed for counteracting counterfeiting and product tampering are caps containing sophisticated valve technology. Used by premium drink and pharmaceutical manufacturers, this technology can control the dispensing of product, while also preventing containers being refilled

A recent example developed on a Sumitomo (SHI) Demag IntElect system was a combination aluminium-and-plastic, tamper evident, snap-on security closure. Comprising a non-refillable valve for high-risk markets, it also includes an innovative tamper evidence mechanism that provides an irreversible opening event to leave permanent evidence of initial opening. The cap is produced in high volumes and is modular by design, so that trade customers can adapt it to different brands.

This cap works by releasing a plastic part when each bottle is opened. It is impossible to reinsert this part back into the cap's neck and when it drops down it reveals a highlighted ring to indicate that the bottle has been opened.

"As we look to the future and changing demographics, it's important to balance product security with easy opening packaging. It's also critical to remember that young people are just as likely to experience the challenges of difficult to open packaging as older generations. Thanks to our innovative injection moulding community, the UK is at the forefront of combatting packaging cap and wrap rage," Heap concluded.

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Publication:British Plastics & Rubber
Date:Jan 1, 2018
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