Prime Colorants adding equipment

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FRANKLIN, TENN. (July 7, 3 p.m. ET) — Growth continues to rule the day at Prime Colorants Inc., a color concentrates maker based in Franklin, Tenn.

The firm installed a new 60-millimeter twin-screw extrusion line in May and will install two smaller lines by the end of August, general manager Mike Vacek said in a July 6 phone interview. The new lines represent an investment of more than $1 million and will increase PCI’s annual capacity by more than 2.5 million pounds.

When the new lines are installed, PCI will have six lines used in commercial production and one lab-scale line.

The lines are needed to handle growth in numerous product areas, including for concentrates based on nylon resins, Vacek said. PCI is on track to post sales of more than $11 million in 2011 after hitting the $10 million mark last year, he added.

PCI also will install three injection molding machines for color matching work by the end of the year. A new mixing line also will be installed sometime in 2012.

So far in 2011, PCI has added three new employees, bringing its total to 45. On the product side, new liquid carriers for engineering resins and PVC are being developed. Liquid color accounts for about 15 percent of PCI’s sales.

All of this additional equipment means that PCI has just about maxed out space at its 60,000 square-foot facility. Vacek said that finding additional space isn’t a pressing issue right now, but is in the firm’s five-year plan.

“We’ve got a lot of good things going on here,” said Vacek, a longtime industry veteran who joined the firm in 2009. “This is an exciting time.”