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 Materials, Suppliers, Consumer Products

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

Small is beautiful in Nissei's newest press

November 21, 2014 2:14 pm ET

Responding to customer demand for flexibility, Japanese plastics-equipment manufacturer Nissei Plastic Industrial Co. Ltd. is demoing a caster-...    More

Image

Three advancements have driven injection molding technology

November 21, 2014 6:00 am ET

Injection molding technology has made major advances in the last 25 years, from largely a world of shoot-and-ship to doing as much as possible at the ...    More

Image

Renners leaving Sumitomo (SHI) Demag

November 21, 2014 10:01 am ET

Christian Renners is leaving injection molding press manufacturer Sumitomo (SHI) Demag Plastics Machinery GmbH, the company announced Nov. 21.    More

Image

Dow reaches agreement with Third Point

November 21, 2014 9:11 am ET

Dow Chemical Co. has reached an agreement with the investment firm that has been trying to force the company to sell off some assets.More

Image

Ineos making its UK shale play

November 21, 2014 9:29 am ET

Chemical giant Ineos Group AG is planning to be the biggest player in the United Kingdom's shale gas industry.    More

Market Reports

Plastics in Brazil - State of the Industry Report

This in-depth report examines the Brazilian plastics industry from a historical and geographical context. Our analysts provide insight on economic trends and forecasts, growing manufacturing sectors that utilize plastics, private investment opportunities, market environment challenges, and innovations in R&D.

Data tables and charts on producer prices, trade, plastics production and end market indicators is also included.

Learn more

Plastics Recycling Trends in North America

This report is a review and analysis of the North American Plastics Recycling Industry, including key trends and statistics based on 2013 performance. We examine market environment factors, regulatory issues, industry challenges, key drivers and emerging trends in post-consumer and post-industrial recycling.

Learn more

Injection Molders Market Report & Ranking 2014

This special package contains our 132-page 2014 Market Report on the Injection Molding segment and our exclusive 2014 RANKINGS database of 500+ Injection Molders for a discounted package price.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

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

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

June 2, 2015 - June 3, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - Chicago 2015

September 16, 2015 - September 18, 2015Plastics Caps & Closures - September 2015

October 27, 2015 - October 29, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - New York - 2015

More Events