Bulk Molding Compounds planning second plant in China

By Frank Esposito
Senior Staff Reporter

Published: October 8, 2013 1:56 pm ET
Updated: October 8, 2013 1:59 pm ET

Related to this story

Topics Materials, Materials Suppliers, China

WEST CHICAGO, ILL. — If one Chinese plant is good for Bulk Molding Compounds Inc., then two should be better.

BMCI — the West Chicago-based firm than ranks as a leader in thermoset compound production — will open its second Site in China by the end of the year. The plant will be located in the Shanghai area in order to serve the firm’s customers in eastern China, particularly those in the automotive market.

BMCI has operated a plant in Dongguan since 2005, but “logistics were becoming an issue” in serving customers elsewhere in the country, Fran Zappitelli, BMCI’s executive vice president of technology, said in a recent interview at the firm’s headquarters.

In a phone interview, Mike Huff — CEO of BMCI’s parent firm Citadel Plastic Holdings Inc. — said that it was more likely that BMCI would build on a greenfield site rather than acquiring an existing facility in the Shanghai area for its second plant.

“China’s growing very nicely,” Huff added. “The core there is appliance and electrical/electronic, but we’re also doing well in automotive.”

Closer to home, BMCI has benefited in 2013 from a solid comeback in the North American auto sector. The firm’s materials are used in 95 percent of headlamp reflectors made on vehicles produced in North and South America.

“Auto sales are strong this year, Zappitelli said. “They gave us a boost last year and the year before, too.”

Auto and E/E are BMCI’s two largest markets, each with a 40 percent share. E/E material sales have been supported by an improving U.S. housing market in products such as circuit breakers used in both residential and industrial buildings. The firm also has benefited from shale oil and gas development by making materials used in “down-hole” shaft equipment.

In the last 12 months, BMCI has invested heavily in R&D, Zappitelli said, hiring six new employees in marketing and technology, as well as spending about $500,000 on new lab equipment.

“We want to increase our development pipeline, our close rate on new targets and our speed to market,” said Zappitelli, who joined BMCI in 1980 — two years after it opened its doors.

“We added commercial and technical talent,” Huff added. “It’s a major upgrade to our organization.”

BMCI employs 275 in total, including plants in Perrysburg, Ohio; Brazil; Germany; and two plants in Mexico.

Citadel — including BMCI — was acquired in early 2012 by Huntsman Gay Global Capital, a private equity firm co-founded by Plastics Hall of Famer Jon Huntsman Sr. NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Steve Young also is a partner in the group.

Huntsman Gay “has been wonderful to work with,” Huff said. “They have a good knowledge of the [plastics] industry from the Huntsman side.”

Citadel consists of BMCI and five other companies that were acquired by Chicago private equity firm Wind Point Capital Partners between 2007 and 2010. And although it’s been three years since the firm last expanded, Huff said more acquisitions could be in the firm’s future.

“We took time out from acquisition activity,” he added. “Now we’ll look at what adds value to the portfolio.”


Comments

Bulk Molding Compounds planning second plant in China

By Frank Esposito
Senior Staff Reporter

Published: October 8, 2013 1:56 pm ET
Updated: October 8, 2013 1:59 pm ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

Experts explain why resin sales are down in a healthy US economy

February 27, 2015 1:58 pm ET

The economies of the U.S. and Canada posted solid growth in 2014 — even though resin demand in those countries lagged behind.    More

Image

Industry vet Dwight Morgan joins M. Holland

February 27, 2015 1:55 pm ET

Resin distribution leader M. Holland Co. has hired industry veteran Dwight Morgan as its vice president of corporate development.    More

Image

Indian masterbatch makers growing locally and thinking globally

February 27, 2015 1:30 pm ET

GANDHINAGAR, INDIA — India’s masterbatch makers are expanding their domestic capacity to meet growing demand, as some are also moving...    More

Image

Plastic Omnium makes China investment push

February 26, 2015 4:35 pm ET

Three of the six new plants that automotive molder Plastic Omnium SA plans this year will be in China, part of a broader push it’s making in...    More

Image

Polypropylene prices rise, while PE and PS fall

February 26, 2015 4:01 pm ET

North American prices for polyethylene and polystyrene resins continued to fall in February, while regional prices for polypropylene showed a surprisi...    More

Market Reports

Flexible Packaging Trends in North America

North America represents about 30 percent of the global consumption of flexible packaging. Annual growth in this region is forecast at 4 percent during the next 5 years.

For more insight on growth opportunities, drivers of growth and the outlook for 2015, download this report.

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

Plastics in Mexico - State of the Industry Report

This report analyzes the $20 billion plastics industry in Mexico including sales of machinery & equipment, resins and finished products.

Our analysts provide insight on business trends, foreign investment, top end markets and plastics processing activity. The report also provides important data on exports, production, employment and value of plastics products manufactured.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

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

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

More Events