Discs keeping Alliance sales flying high

By Frank Esposito
Senior Staff Reporter

Published: October 11, 2011 6:00 am ET

Related to this story

Topics Consumer Products, Materials, Suppliers

ROMULUS, MICH. (Oct. 11, 10:10 a.m. ET) — Flying objects are boosting sales at materials firm Alliance Polymers & Services LLC.

Sales of thermoplastic polyurethanes into flying discs made by Discraft Inc. are on track to be up 20 percent this year for Alliance, a materials distributor based in Romulus. The discs are used in Ultimate, a sport played by almost 5 million people in the U.S.

In Ultimate, two seven-player teams compete on a 70-yard field. Points are scored by catching a pass in the opponents’ end zone. The U.S. now is home to 3,000 Ultimate fields and the sport’s governing body — USA Ultimate — has 30,000 members. The game is played in more than 42 countries.

Alliance has worked with Wixom, Mich.-based Discraft since Alliance opened its doors in 2009. Alliance co-founders Stephane Morin and Roger Huarng each also worked with Discraft while they worked at BASF Corp. 

“Sports sales are growing,” Huarng said in a recent phone interview. “They don’t seem to be affected by the recession.”

Alliance provides Discraft with special blends of material based on BASF’s Elastollan-brand TPU. Discraft manufactures millions of the discs each year, including its Ultra-Star 175, which is the only flying disc used in sanctioned tournament play.

Discraft officials chose TPU for the flying disc application because of the material’s toughness, grip characteristics and flexibility in all types of weather. TPU also provides consistent weight distribution when the discs are molded. The discs can be hot-stamped with company or team logos for competitions or promotions. Discraft also makes discs used in Disc Golf.

Another recent sports-related application for Alliance is a TPU strip used in the pockets of lacrosse sticks. “We’re trying to balance our portfolio,” Huarng said of the sports work.

Sales for 2011 are on track to be up 4-6 percent at Alliance, which also distributes thermoplastic elastomers for Polymax Elastomer Technology Co. Ltd. of Nantong, China. Alliance’s sales into the automotive market are up 7-8 percent this year, Morin said, as that sector continues to rebound.

“There have been some peaks and valleys, but overall automotive has been steady for us,” he added.

Sales for 2012 are expected to exceed this year’s 4-6 percent mark. Morin also said that Alliance has benefited this year from its turnaround time of two or three days.

Customers “normally would give us more lead time,” he explained. “But now they’re being cautious and careful in getting only the material the need. We’re promoting our ability to supply them with material when they need it.”

Earlier this year, Alliance added a pair of twin-screw compounding lines in Romulus. The investment of almost $1 million was made after the firm received numerous requests for more specialized grades of TPU and TPE.


Comments

Discs keeping Alliance sales flying high

By Frank Esposito
Senior Staff Reporter

Published: October 11, 2011 6:00 am ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

Sabic adding Stamax production line in Shanghai

April 23, 2014 6:55 am ET

SHANGHAI — Sabic Innovative Plastics announced April 23 at Chinaplas that it is investing in a production line for Stamax-brand long glass...    More

Image

Coffee roaster looks to improve footprint of single cup systems

April 22, 2014 1:30 pm ET

One of the largest coffee and tea manufacturers in North America has introduced a single-serve beverage capsule intended to curb the waste created by ...    More

Image

HRS adding more North American production for hot runners

April 22, 2014 12:57 pm ET

An Italian tooling component supplier is set to open a new production plant in Grand Rapids, Mich. The HRS Flow Division of San Polo di Piace-...    More

Two Eastman buildings among 10 biggest energy savers in national contest

April 22, 2014 11:35 am ET

Two offices at the headquarters of Eastman Chemical Co. in Kingsport, Tenn., ranked in the Top 10 for energy efficiency in the latest Energy Star...    More

Image

Material Insights: Shell Chemical meets with residents

April 21, 2014 2:16 pm ET

Power outage at a PE plant and the return of a PVC feedstock plant after a fire on this week's Material Insights.    More

Market Reports

Thermoformed Packaging 2014 Market Review & Outlook North America

This in-depth report provides analysis and discussions of economic and political conditions, market trends, legislative/regulatory activity impacting supply and demand, business opportunities and threats, materials pricing, manufacturing technology, as well as strategies being implemented by thermoformed packaging companies. In addition, there are reviews of 25 leading thermoformers in the packaging segment, assessing their growth initiatives and performance metrics over 10 years.

Learn more

Automotive Market Review and Outlook 2014 The Americas

This 75-page report features in-depth analysis of the automotive industry for the Americas. It includes discussions of market trends, legislative/regulatory activity impacting production and threats as well as design strategies being implemented by the major automakers. Detailed charts and data tables outline North American automotive production over the last five years.

Learn more

Plastics Building & Construction Market Review and Outlook 2014 with MS Excel chart data

This report provides in-depth analysis of the plastic building and construction market for North America, including discussions of trends, opportunities, threats and the latest developments in construction trends that impact plastics processors.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

May 6, 2014 - May 8, 2014Plastics in Medical Devices 2014

May 12, 2014 - May 12, 2014Plastics News Brazil Pharma Summit

September 10, 2014 - September 12, 2014Plastics Caps & Closures 2014

February 3, 2015 - February 7, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

More Events