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

Gear pump maker Witte expands in Germany and USA

July 25, 2014 2:15 pm ET

Witte Pumps & Technology GmbH, the German maker of gear pumps for extrusion, has moved into a new headquarters factory in the Hamburg area, and the...    More

Image

Austrian mold maker seeking North American manufacturing partner

July 25, 2014 1:49 pm ET

An Austrian mold maker is looking for a manufacturing location in North America.    More

Image

DuPont resins help take Nike golf balls 'Fore!'ward

July 25, 2014 1:07 pm ET

It may be difficult to imagine just how much science, not to mention rubber and plastic components, go into a golf ball. But global giant DuPont Co....    More

Image

Bioplastics maker wins government funding

July 25, 2014 12:13 pm ET

Canadian bioplastics maker Solegear Bioplastics Inc. has won $1.6 million in funding from the government-sponsored Western Innovation Initiative...    More

Image

Tooling Technology has new private equity owner

July 25, 2014 11:55 am ET

New York private equity firm GenNx360 Capital Partners has partnered with management to buy Tooling Technology Holdings LLC, a diversified Ohio-based ...    More

Market Reports

Plastics Recyclers Data Report & Directory

This exclusive MS Excel database contains all the companies from Plastics News' ranking of top North American Recyclers and Brokers by reprocessed volume and also includes a directory with materials processes, services offered and company contact information. Data is based on primary research by PN editorial staff.

Learn more

2014 Injection Molding Industry Report

GROWTH, OPPORTUNITY IN SIGHT FOR INJECTION MOLDERS IN 2014

In the wake of the economic turbulence earlier in this decade, molders today find themselves in much better shape. Molders are gaining a competitive advantage by investing in people, equipment and seeking inroads into new markets on a global scale.

Growth in the injection molding industry is going to be driven by low financing costs and a continued move to reshore some business.

Learn more

Shale Gas Market - Analysis of North American Region

This report highlights the impact of shale-based natural gas on the North American plastics market and features an in-depth analysis of production trends in the United States during 2013 and a forecast for 2014 and beyond.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

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

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

More Events