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news RPC Group acquires Helioplast

UK-headquartered rigid plastics packaging firm RPC Group has bought Helioplast, the leading supplier of injection moulded packaging in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Helioplast manufactures injection moulded packaging,

Johnson Controls to sell its auto electronics

Johnson Controls is to sell its automotive electronics business, which manufac- tures instrument clusters, infotainment and display systems and body electron- ics, to automotive compo- nents Tier One Visteon for $265m. The move follows the

sale of the Johnson Controls Homelink electronics business unit to Gentex Corporation in September last year and is part of the company’s plans to focus on core activities. “Visteon is a good

strategic fit for the business and will provide the right level of commitment and the best long term value for our customers and employees,” said Alex Molinaroli, Johnson Controls chairman and CEO. The deal will be

completed in the second quarter of this year, the company said, subject to regulatory approvals. ❙

4 Ford goes natural for new MKX

Ford Motor Company has opted to use a cellulose fibre-reinforced PP compound for the floor console armrest substrate in its latest Lincoln MKX crossover car. While Ford has included

cellulose-reinforced PP in a number of concept vehicles in the past, this structural component is its first commer- cial use of the material. The part is being manufactured by Johnson Controls.

The cellulose fibres, which

are sourced from trees, are supplied by Weyerhaeuser and used in place of glass. Ford claims it has realised a 6% weight saving on the component. ❙

US machine shipments up by 20%

US injection machine ship- ments for the third quarter of 2013 were up by 20% on the same period in 2012, according to the latest statistics from the Committee on Equipment Statistics (CES) at the Society of the Plastics Industry (SPI). Injection machinery shipments reflected the overall upward trend in prime plastics machinery shipments in the US this year as the economy continues to strengthen. The CES data shows shipments of injection, extrusion blow

INJECTION WORLD | January/February 2014

moulding and thermoforming equipment totalled $327.6m in Q3 2013, up by 20% on both the previous quarter and on the same period in 2012. Ancillary equipment sales were up by 12%, to $99.9m. SPI said the gains reflect

two other major US industrial machinery data reports: Census Value data on industrial machinery shipments showed a 13% gain in Q3 while the Bureau of Economic Analysis recently reported industrial equipment investment up 5% .

“These data indicate that

the recovery in the plastics machinery sector remains intact, and it may even be gaining momentum,” said Bill Wood, the plastics market economist who compiles the CES report for SPI. Wood’s view of more growth

to come is supported by the CES survey of respondents. When asked about future market conditions 92% expect the same or better for the next 12 months. ❙

including IML designs, for the food industry at a recently- built plant at Graˇ

canica. It

generated sales last year of around £7m and has custom- ers in Bosnia, Croatia and other countries in the Balkan region, said RPC. It employs

around 80 people. RPC chief executive Pim

Vervaat said Helioplast was a strong and complementary fit with the Superfos business it acquired in 2011. RPC plans to use the company to extend the Superfos product line into the

Balkan region. Vervaat said the company also plans to grow the newly acquired Helioplast product lines. Helioplast will continue to be run by Suad Heli´

c, one of its

former shareholders. ❙

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