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Techmer makes its debut as K exhibitor

By: Frank Esposito

October 28, 2013

DÜSSELDORF, GERMANY — Materials maker Techmer PM opened its doors in 1981, but is a first-time exhibitor at K 2013.

Clinton, Tenn.-based Techmer shared space with Mitsui & Co., one of its minority owners. Chairman and CEO John Manuck said in an Oct. 19 interview in Düsseldorf that although he had attended the show several times, being at K as an exhibitor "is saving me a couple of weeks of travel time."

"We're seeing customers and meeting new prospects from Asia, Europe and the U.S.," said Manuck, whose firm makes a wide variety of compounds and color and additive concentrates. "It's been a constant flow."

Techmer has operated a sales office in Cologne, Germany, for several years, but exhibiting at K "is the next step," he added. Customers and prospects have been approaching Techmer at K 2013 looking for a firm "that can design products and solve problems." Techmer has been promoting its Techsurf-brand additives and its gamma ray-sterilized compounds.

One of Techmer's best contacts made at the show has been with a heavy-equipment maker that was looking for a firm to help its customers with injection molded parts. "That's the ideal thing to happen at a show like this," Manuck said.

Techmer also is working to incorporate TP Composites Inc., the Aston, Pa.-based compounder that the firm acquired in July. TP "expands our customer base and our knowledge on engineering compounds," Manuck added. Techmer and TP soon will begin using their formulations at each other's plants.

And more such deals might lie ahead, since Manuck said that Techmer "is aggressively looking to grow the business."

Manuck founded the firm along with partners at plastic pallet and container maker Rehrig Pacific Co. in Los Angeles in 1981. Mitsui came on board as a partner in the mid-1980s.

For full-year 2013, Techmer expects to post sales of more than $200 million, ranking among North America's 30 largest compounders and color and additive concentrates. The firm employs more than 500 at six U.S. manufacturing sites.