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Plasmatreat buys California firm

By: Michael Lauzon

April 19, 2013

ELGIN, ILL. — Plasmatreat GmbH has expanded again in North America with the addition of another firm in Belmont, Calif.

Plasmatreat bought 4th State Inc., a firm that focuses on toll plasma treatment. The purchase is the second in Belmont for Plasmatreat. In late 2011 it acquired PTS Plasma Technology Systems LLC, which focuses on process development and equipment supply.

Both firms evolved from expertise in the Belmont area in plasma technology developed during the 1990s, according to Andy Stecher, president and CEO of Plasmatreat North America Inc. based in Elgin, Ill. The company is a subsidiary of Plasmatreat GmbH of Steinhagen, Germany.

In November, Plasmatreat extended its reach to the Buffalo-Toronto area by establishing a sales and technical center in Ancaster, Ontario.

“It’s a capacity addition,” Stecher explained in a telephone interview regarding the latest acquisition. “[4th State] does more contract work. We’re bringing back together the operations in Belmont.”

Plasmatreat’s technology is based on atmospheric conditions to treat plastics and other surfaces to clean them and improve coating and bonding.

Stecher said Plasmatreat in the past year has introduced Plasma Plus to advance in-line plasma treating of plastic and aluminum parts. This is one of the firm’s fastest growing areas, he claimed in a telephone interview.

Buying 4th State expands Plasmatreat’s contract services by more than 100 percent, the company estimated in a news release. Toll contract customers include those in medical, aerospace and electronics. The Belmont facility includes a 60-inch wide continuous roll-to-roll plasma chamber designed by polymer chemist Stephen Kaplan. The system works with rolled goods, foils and membranes. It is especially well suited to add functional properties to films such as cyclic polyolefins and polystyrene used for medical applications.

Stecher said plasma treatment is cost effective and more environmentally benign than solvent treatment.