Thursday, June 19, 2003

Milacron hits trade show - minus machines

Industry notes: Manufacturing

By Mike Boyer
The Cincinnati Enquirer

A machinery trade show exhibit without machines? Sounds as likely as baseball without bats and balls.

But Milacron Inc., in a move that's created a stir in the plastics industry, will give it a try at next week's triennial National Plastics Exhibition in Chicago.

It what's believe to be an industry first, the company will use video and the Internet to give visitors at the industry's largest trade show unusual views of machines operating at its Batavia plant.

At the last show in 2000, Milacron had about three dozen machines on display.

The switch is only partly a cost-cutting move, the company says. Without machines in its exhibit space, Milacron said it will have to focus on what customers want - not just what it is selling.

At the exhibition, each of five machines in Batavia will have four video cameras focused on it, including one mobile.

Attendees will approach 62-inch touch screen "smart boards." Using the touch screen, they can pick from one of the views and change control parameters as if standing at the machine.

Two-way audio between presenters in Batavia and Chicago will allow show visitors to ask questions.

"This unique product and technology display is a first for Milacron and, perhaps, indicative of the future for trade shows," said Bob Strickley, sales vice president for Ferromatik Milacron.

Enerfab workers build mission's tank

A church mission in Haiti will have clean drinking water this summer thanks to the volunteer efforts of employees at Enerfab Inc., the Winton Place manufacturer of processing equipment.

Enerfab employees donated more than 500 hours after hours and on weekends to fabricate a 10,000-gallon water tank that will be part of a water tower constructed at the Northwest Haiti Compound Mission in St. Louis de Nord.

The tank was donated in conjunction with the Georgetown Church of Christ, which annually sends volunteers to the mission. The project was coordinated by Rodney Spiller, a superintendent at Enerfab and a church member.

The tank is being shipped to Haiti by Transport National. Vendors contributing included Kettler Metal Products, Art Iron, Pipe Products, Cincinnati Fastener, Brast Gaskets and Ipsco.

New Autocar firm builds first trucks

The first heavy-duty trucks rolled off the assembly line Tuesday at Autocar LLC, a new company in the former Dana Corp. plant in Hagerstown, Ind., west of Richmond.

Grand Vehicle Works Holdings Corp. acquired the 100-year-old Autocar name and the Xpeditor truck line from Volvo Trucks North America Inc. two years ago.

The 110,000-square-foot plant and office, which will produce trucks for garbage collection and construction work, expects to employ 200.

J.T.M., Valeo receive financial assistance

Two Greater Cincinnati companies have received financial assistance from Ohio for business expansion.

J.T.M. Provisions Co. Inc. in Harrison will receive a low-interest loan of $1 million to buy equipment to expand production of its meat products.

J.T.M. plans to build a 30,000-square-foot addition with the 3 percent, 10-year loan. The project is expected to add 20 jobs to the 222 it now employs.

Valeo Climate Control in Butler County was awarded a $150,000 grant to buy new equipment.

The automotive air-conditioning equipment supplier is undertaking a $5.9 million expansion that's expected to add 125 jobs to the 400 it now employs.


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