Sony's seller

SAN ANTONIO, Texas—Sony Electronics Inc. has named Philadelphia-based Binswanger/CBB as its exclusive agent for the sale of the company's high-tech manufacturing complex here.

Sony is shutting down its microchip plant in the Alamo City. The 468,994-square-foot, air-conditioned complex sits on 50 acres at One Sony Place in the city's growing northwest corridor.

Sony's wafer fabrication facility includes two linked fabrication buildings with fully functional cleanrooms, a ballroom-style test floor and 143,578-square-feet of office space, conference rooms and a cafeteria. Binswanger/CBB is a member of Chesterton Blumenauer Binswanger, an international real estate firm.—MAD

Leaping Laureate

PRINCETON, N.J—Laureate Pharma L.P. has expanded its purification capacity with a new automated chromatography system for processing protein products under current good manufacturing practices (cGMPs). The unit is specifically designed for biopharmaceutical purification applications, featuring polymeric, sanitary flowpaths and an array of detectors.

In the coming months, the company anticipates installation and validation of an identically configured larger scale chromatography system to purify protein products produced in its 2,000-liter mammalian cell bioreactor. The combination of these units offers seamless scaling to support Laureate's bioreactor production operations. Laureate Pharma, a privately held contract manufacturing company, offers a full range of services to clients requiring development and GMP manufacture of monoclonal antibodies or other well-characterized proteins for therapeutic use.—MAD

Cintas changes

CINCINNATI, Ohio— The board of directors of Cintas Corp. has named Scott D. Farmer as chief executive officer and president of the cleanroom garment manufacturing company. Robert J. Kohlhepp, current CEO, will become vice chairman and active in strategic planning and investor relations.

“Scott's 22 years of experience in our company in just about every facet of our business, along with his track record of outstanding performance and achievement, makes him uniquely qualified to become our new chief executive officer,” says board chairman Richard T. Farmer.

Scott Farmer, a graduate of Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, joined the company in 1981 as a management trainee. He served in many line and staff positions, including production management and sales and service management at various Cintas locations. He then transferred to corporate headquarters to initiate a corporate-wide quality program. He has served as group vice president in the rental division, vice president of marketing and merchandising and vice president of the national account division. —MAD

Asyst awarded

FREMONT, Calif.—Asyst Technologies Inc. has won a multi-million dollar order to provide its 300-mm automated material handling system (AMHS) to UMCi, a Singapore-based 300-mm joint venture fab between United Microelectronics Corp. Infineon Technologies, AG, and the Singapore Economic Development Board's investment arm.

The installation is expected to be the first to include both high-performance Asyst-Shinko AMHS technology and Asyst's FasTrack continuous flow technology. “We selected Asyst because Asyst-Shinko offers a novel, high-performance 300-mm AMHS solution and FasTrack offers the flexibility to unify intra-bay with inter-bay transport systems, which allows equipment delivery capability,” says Chris Chi, president of UMCi. —MAD


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