MIDDLEBURY, Conn. (Jan. 24)—Crompton Corp.´s Uniroyal Chemical business unit will begin production of Witcothane microcellular systems, used to make all types of shoe soles and technical parts, at its plant in Sydney, Australia. Another Witcothane systems´ manufacturing site is being planned in North America, with manufacturing scheduled to begin later this year. Production start-up is expected in this year´s first quarter at the Sydney facility, a Uniroyal spokeswoman said. The plant will utilize IMRane-patented technology that cuts the consumption of external release agents used in polyurethane molding operations by 95 percent, she said. The new process boosts productivity, limits machine and mold cleaning downtime, and shortens cycle times by reducing release agent spraying, resulting in improved environmental and working conditions, she added. Witcothane products currently are manufactured at Uniroyal´s plant in Elbeuf, France, which has specialized in shoemaking technology since the 1960s.