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Contact manufacturing giant Flextronics International is officially launching Precision Plastics, a global injection tooling and manufacturing unit, as a part of its High Reliability Solutions business segment. The program, making its debut at NPE 2015, comprises four mould makers and three moulding operations that Flextronics has acquired over the past 18 months. Officials say the move allows diversification but is also complementary to the market segments in which it currently operates, such as medical devices. 27 March 2015
German organiser PE Schall has reported that the Fakuma show in October is already sold out. The Friedrichshafen event on 13-17 October will feature more than 1,700 exhibitors. Fakuma project manager Annemarie Lipp said: “Fakuma has been entirely booked out since the end of February: all available halls and ancillary floor space at the Friedrichshafen Exhibition Centre are once again fully occupied." 26 March 2015
The Italian plastics and rubber machinery industry saw improvement in 2014, according to trade association Assocomaplast, which released annual figures in a statement headed “The sector is healthy: signs all positive in 2014”. The value of production for Italian plastics and rubber machinery, equipment and moulds improved by 2.6% from €3.90bn in 2013 to €4.00bn in 2014, according to estimates based on information from the group’s member companies. One-third of member companies are optimistic about 2015. 23 March 2015
In this feature James Snodgrass profiles the UK family-owned rotomoulder, Excelsior, with an interview with its managing director, Giles Fielding. We were established in 1896,” says Giles Fielding, Excelsior’s managing director. “We were incorporated in 1902. So we’re quite an old company. Originally the business was a horse-drawn coal carting operation in Rochdale, only a few miles from here. We’ve always been in the north west [of England].” 16 March 2015
The new Moulding Expo 2015 fair in Stuttgart has attracted stand bookings by 557 exhibitors, close to the present 560 capacity limit, said Ulrich Kromer, managing director of Messe Stuttgart at a 10 March briefing. Kromer said the fair would be fully booked when it takes place on 5-8 May. 11 March 2015
Frog XT4 is a marine crew transfer capsule developed by UK-based Reflex Marine.  6 March 2015
Austria-based Haidlmair has set up a North American manufacturing base by purchasing a majority stake in Canadian mould-maker Tesan Mould in Concord, Ontario. 5 February 2015
R&D/Leverage, a mould maker and brand development firm, has formed a partnership with Hughes Design Group, a US-based visual branding and packaging design firm. 20 January 2015
Canadian mould-maker StackTeck Systems is investing in new machining equipment and beefing up its pilot cell for in-mould labelling (IML). 12 November 2014
Speakers from two European rotational mould makers — one from Italy, the other from Germany — described how to design moulds without the big metal supporting framework, known as the spider, at the Rotoplas conference. 7 November 2014
Mould makers may be used to seeing cores and pins on the exhibition stand of a supplier — but not augmented reality that looks like it comes from a science fiction movie. 20 October 2014
US thermoforming industry veteran Kent Johansson has a new gig: Running a US facility for Swiss sheet line and thermoforming machinery maker WM Wrapping Machinery. 26 September 2014
German hot runner manufacturer Ewikon is forming a private-label partnership with Gammaflux, Ewikon announced at a Technology Day held 23 September at its Rockford, US technical centre. 24 September 2014
Italy experienced a rise in imports and exports of rubber and plastics equipment in January-June this year, said Assocomaplast, the trade association representing companies in the sector. The group’s announcement comes after a long period of weakness in the Italian market caused by debt-related economic problems. 23 September 2014
Hong Kong-based mould maker and plastics processor TK Group said it had reached a tentative agreement to buy a tooling factory in Shenzhen from a multinational company, which it said was needed to expand capacity. While TK declined to identify the seller beyond saying it was a “tooling subsidiary of a multinational company,” the address provided by TK in a public filing to Hong Kong stock regulators last week appeared to match that of a former Nypro Tool facility in Shenzhen, now part of contract manufacturing giant Jabil. 22 September 2014

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