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Industry News (Week of 9/10/07)

September 7, 2007
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ASYMTEK WINS AWARDS FOR EXCELLENCE AT SEMICON WEST 2007

Asymtek, a leader in dispensing technology and a pioneer in jetting technology, received two prestigious industry awards for its technology and service at the SEMICON West tradeshow held July 17-19, 2007, in San Francisco. Advanced Packaging magazine honored Asymtek’s SC-400 PreciseCoatTM Jet for its technical innovation, and Semiconductor International magazine selected Asymtek’s DispenseJet® DJ-9000 Series as the winner of its Editors’ Choice Award for the Jet’s commercially proven excellence in semiconductor manufacturing.

Nominees for the Advanced Packaging Awards are evaluated on their ability to meet a significant industry challenge; creative application of a new or existing technology; overall quality and consistency of performance; economic merits; and throughput characteristics. Products are judged on their innovation, cost-effectiveness, speed/throughput improvements, quality, ease of use, maintainability/repairability and environmental responsibility. The Asymtek SC-400 PreciseCoat Jet applies coating materials to highly selective areas, especially on small substrates or substrates with high-component density where there are tight tolerances between coated and uncoated areas. With PreciseCoat jetting, the need for masking is virtually eliminated because delivery of the coating is so accurately controlled.

For the second year in a row, Asymtek won the Semiconductor International Editors’ Choice Award for one of its products. The DispenseJet DJ-9000 valve is a customer-preferred alternative to needle dispensing or printing. Jet dispensing allows denser circuitry to be developed at the package and board level, while offering a greater degree of process control at faster speeds than needle dispensers. The DispenseJet valve is highly configurable for a large range of applications and fluid types.

“Advances in semiconductor technology are continually reshaping the world, and our Editors' Choice Best Product Awards program honors the products that have made those advances possible," said Pete Singer, editor-in-chief of Semiconductor International. “Chipmakers rely on such products to make their products smaller, faster and more reliable, with increased functionality. We congratulate Asymtek for having the insight and fortitude to bring such an innovative product to the market.”

Besides the two awards presented at SEMICON West, a leading research and analysis firm in the chip making industry acknowledged Asymtek as one of the Ten Best Suppliers of Assembly & Test Equipment in the semiconductor industry.

For more information, visit www.asymtek.com.

DOW DECLARES FORCE MAJEURE FOR VINYL ACETATE MONOMER

The Dow Chemical Co., Midland, MI, recently declared force majeure for vinyl acetate monomer (VAM) due to essential maintenance of critical plant equipment required at its Texas City, TX, plant. The repairs, which became necessary during a period of low inventory and extremely tight industry supply, required Dow to idle the plant for two weeks in September. Through the end of October, Dow will allocate available product in a manner that is fair and reasonable and in accordance with contract terms.

For more information, visit www.dow.com.

GW PLASTICS TRIPLES ITS CHINA PLANT SIZE

GW Plastics, Bethel, VT, has announced plans to triple the size of its Dongguan, China, manufacturing plant. The company has invested $1.7 million to establish operations in China in response to increased demand for high-precision tool making, molding and assembly capacity in the region. The current expansion increases the facility’s size to more than 40,000 sq. ft. less than a year after GW first established operations in China.

As part of the investment in China, GW has strengthened its impressive in-house precision mold design and manufacturing capability. The company has installed Unigraphics CAD workstations to allow for 24/7 continuous communication with GW engineers and program managers in the U.S., and has added high-speed CNC machining centers, EDM, and CMM equipment to enhance its precision mold building capability.

For more information, visit www.GWPlastics.com.

MIDWEST CHLOR-ALKALI TO BUILD MANUFACTURING PLANT AT CARGILL EDDYVILLE SITE

Chemical distributor Midwest Chlor-Alkali LLC has announced plans to build a manufacturing plant adjacent to Cargill’s corn milling facility in Eddyville, IA, contingent on completion of lease negotiations. A newly formed affiliate of Indianapolis-based Harris & Ford, Midwest will make sodium hydroxide, hydrochloric acid and bleach on 10-12 acres at the Cargill Eddyville complex, also known as the Iowa Bioprocessing Center.

The plant will be capable of producing about 100,000 dry short tons of sodium hydroxide and 250,000 short tons of hydrochloric acid per year. It will serve Cargill’s eight North American corn-milling plants as well as other customers. First product is expected to roll off the lines in early 2009.

As with other companies co-located at the Iowa Bioprocessing Center, Midwest will receive its water supply and wastewater treatment from Cargill. Cargill will also invest in pipelines to connect the two companies.

For more information, visit www.cargill.com.

NORDSON CORP. ACQUIRES TAH INDUSTRIES

Nordson Corp., Westlake, OH, recently acquired TAH Industries, Robbinsville, NJ, a manufacturer of motionless mixer dispensing systems for two-component adhesives and sealants. Nordson acquired TAH for a total consideration of $45 million, subject to final adjustment, and expects the acquisitions to be neutral to slightly dilutive to 2007 fiscal year earnings. For the 12 months ending July 2007, TAH had revenues of approximately $24.5 million, operating margins of 17% and EBITDA of $5.5 million, in each case on an unaudited basis and after adjusting for non-recurring private company expenses. From 2004 to 2006, revenues grew at an average rate of 16% per year.

“TAH Industries complements Nordson’s core manufacturing capabilities in the area of precision injection molding, as well as our experience of working with material formulators around the world,” said Edward P. Campbell, chairman and chief executive officer of Nordson. “In addition, TAH’s presence in life science markets enhances Nordson’s ability to provide customers with a full range of solutions, including surface treatment and dispensing.”

For more information, visit www.nordson.com/Newsroom/20070823nordsoncorporationacqu.htm.

SOLUTIA INC. APPOINTS NORTHSPEC AS NATIONWIDE CANADIAN DISTRIBUTOR

Solutia Inc., St. Louis, MO, has appointed Northspec Chemicals Corp., Toronto, as its Canadian Specialty Additives distribution sales representative for Butvar® polyvinyl butyral (PVB) resins and aqueous dispersions, as well as for SolusolvTM 2075, an ultra-low Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) coalescing aid. Northspec will stock Butvar PVB resins and Solusolv 2075 at its warehouse in Toronto. Northspec’s distribution sales of Butvar PVB aqueous dispersions will continue to be managed via Solutia’s direct-shipment program.

“Northspec is very knowledgeable about our products and applications,” said Wing Kwang, business director for Specialty Additives, Solutia Inc. “We are confident they will help an even greater number of customers experience the benefits of our products in the future.”

Butvar PVB resin additives provide enhanced adhesion, flexibility and toughness in a variety of solventborne and melt-cure applications. Butvar PVB aqueous dispersions are formulated in permanent and temporary coating applications, and provide the unique performance benefits of Butvar PVB resin, but with near-zero VOC.

For more information, visit www.butvar.com.

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