Ceramic Industry News

Lenox Announces Expansion

Lenox will add 100 jobs and spend $2.5 million to expand its plant in Kinston, N.C., which will have the distinction of being the only Lenox manufacturing facility in the U.S. As an incentive for job creation, Lenoir County will pay Lenox $60,000 over three years. That figure is based on a formula that pays a stipend for each new full-time job Lenox creates through expansion. Lenox Plant Manager Paul Leichtnam said the company hopes to start construction by early February. "We're thrilled about being able to expand," said Leichtnam. "It's job security for all of us and it certainly adds to the overall well-being of the local economy."

Lenox plans to hire 70 employees in 2006 and 30 more in 2007. Plans are for the company to build a 30,000-square-foot storage building on its 40-acre site.

The company's website is located at www.lenox.com

Basic Machinery's Greer Passes Away

Jack Greer, vice president of the Ceramic Division of Basic Machinery Co., suffered a massive stroke December 1, 2005, and died a week later on December 8. His career in the brick industry spanned over 53 years, beginning in 1952 with General Shale Corp. He left General Shale in 1971 and accepted a position with Forrest Paschal Equipment Co., and in 1976 he co-founded General Ceramic Equipment Co. (GENCO). After selling GENCO and attempting to relax in retirement, Greer accepted a position with Basic Machinery Co. as vice president of the Ceramic Division, where he served for the last 11 years. He had a vast amount of knowledge about the entire brick making process and seemed to thrive on using it to help anyone who had a plant problem.

The company's website is located at www.basicmachinery.com.

Guibor Named Regional Sales Manager for CM Furnaces

CM Furnaces, Inc. has appointed Jon Guibor as its new regional sales manager for the Mid-Atlantic region. With a strong background in capital equipment technical sales, Guibor's responsibilities include the supervision and management of sales of the company's line of high-temperature laboratory and production furnaces within this territory. He has six years of experience in various positions within the industry, most recently as sales engineer with Chemac.

For more information, call (973) 338-6500, fax (973) 338-1625, e-mail info@cmfurnaces.com or visit www.cmfurnaces.com.

Duncan Celebrates 60th Anniversary

Duncan Enterprises is celebrating its 60th anniversary with a year-long campaign to celebrate its history, innovation, team members, community involvement and other aspects that have led to its success. In 60 years, the company has bottled enough ceramic arts underglazes, glazes and overglazes to paint more than two million ceramic mugs. Today, Duncan Enterprises is a major manufacturer of ceramic arts and crafts products with more than 2800 products. The year-long campaign to celebrate the company's history, purpose and future will include monthly releases of ceramic and craft projects, special events nationwide, and an inside perspective of the many unique components that have provided the company with 60 years of success.

For more information, call (559) 294-3335, e-mail audell@duncanmail.com, or visit www.duncanceramics.com or www.duncancrafts.com.

Oxy-Gon Ships New Vacuum Furnaces

Oxy-Gon Industries, Inc. recently shipped new model TC300 top loading furnaces to the Georgia Institute of Technology and to Genius Powder Inc. The cost-effective furnace design is capable of demanding applications at a continuous 2200∞C operating temperature, and can operate in vacuum or inert gas atmospheres. Other features include a 6-in. diameter by 6-in.-high usable heat zone of all graphite construction, optical pyrometer temperature control and water cooling for fast cycles. The furnaces will be used for research studies of ceramic compounds sintering tungsten carbide.

For additional information, call (603) 736-8422 or e-mail sales@oxy-gon.com.

Leaders in Borates, Talc and Salt Combine to Form RTM

Rio Tinto has announced that it will bring three of its industrial minerals businesses together -- Rio Tinto Borax, borates; Luzenac, talc; and Dampier Salt Ltd., solar salt. These three businesses will be brought under common management to form Rio Tinto Minerals (RTM). Together with Rio Tinto Iron & Titanium (RTIT), Rio Tinto Minerals will form the Rio Tinto Industrial Minerals Product Group (RTIM). "We are building on our remarkable resource base to achieve efficiencies of scale and create a platform for growth," said Andrew Mackenzie, chief executive of RTIM and chairman of RTM and RTIT. Combining the businesses' resource base, expertise and infrastructure supports global market growth, with a particular focus on developing economies where demand for high-quality industrial minerals is rising. RTM will continue to market its products under the existing brands -- Dampier salt, Luzenac talcs and Twenty Mule Team(r) borates.

For more information, call (33) 56150-2037 or e-mail laura.jones@luzenac.com.

Tecnargilla Will Debut Kermat Section in 2006

Kermat, a section devoted to advanced ceramic products, will make its debut at Tecnargilla 2006, to be held in Rimini, Italy, September 28 to October 2. This new section will allow visitors to take stock of the technical innovations and the new fields of application of ceramic materials, and to dialogue with the leading companies carrying out technological research in the sector. The section will host raw materials; components and semi-finished products; special ceramic articles with concrete examples of their applications; and technological processes, control instruments and plants for the production of nanoceramic materials. The exhibition section will be complemented by an international forum on structural applications of advanced ceramics and their performance in the fields of electronics and microelectronics, as well as specific applications for high vacuum and other high-tech sectors.

For additional information, call (39) 059-334627, fax (39) 059-828453, e-mail r.magnani@tecnargilla.it or visit www.tecnargilla.it.

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