OTech adds extruder, grows in elastomers

By Catherine Kavanaugh
Staff Reporter

Published: November 1, 2013 2:18 pm ET
Updated: November 5, 2013 11:58 am ET

Image By: OTech Corp. OTech Corp.'s new twin-screw extruder

Related to this story

Topics Materials, Materials Suppliers

Thermoplastic compounder OTech Corp. is boosting capacity with a new 70-millimeter twin-screw extruder that will allow the Rolling Prairie, Ind.-based manufacturer to expand further into the elastomers arena and offer more flame-retardant olefins.

Founded in 1999 by its president, Jack O'Donnell, OTech has grown every year selling predominantly flexible PVC materials to the electrical wire and cable, footwear, housewares, roofing, agricultural parts and automotive industries.

The move toward elastomers such as styrene butadiene styrene will help OTech seize new opportunities and meet demand, O'Donnell said in a telephone interview.

"We're presently serving a lot of industries by selling them vinyl products. Now it's a natural outgrowth for us to pursue these other polymers," O'Donnell said.

OTech hired four new employees and plans to hire four more for a second shift. He sees opportunities in footwear molding, such as the soles of snow boots, profile extrusion, computer wire for high-speed transmissions and zero-halogen products.

"Then, there's a whole market segment of the soft-touch type products like a toothbrush or hair brush," he said. "You have the hard plastic but then there's a nice soft piece where you grab it. It makes it more comfortable.

"We also sell a lot to the electrical cable and wire industry. There's a whole family of products called flame-retardant olefins and that's another target for this twin screw."

The new machine has capacity for an additional 15 million pounds of materials a year. It will be OTech's sixth production line.

"I have a 6-inch single-screw extruder [for] some thermoplastic elastomers," O'Donnell said. "The 70mm will give us a much more aggressive mix and allow us to really broaden our product offering. We have the line set up so it's available [for] underwater pellets and a strand cut. Depending on which polymer we decide to manufacture, we have the capability to go in either direction."

The company expects to sell 50 million pounds of polymers this year, excluding new business from the twin-screw extruder, which went into production about 2½ months ago, he said.

"We should do pretty well with it," he added. "Our really big focus is in the wire and cable businesses, where we presently sell 65-70 percent of our material. Probably another 25 percent goes into the profile extrusion and molding markets, and the balance to the footwear industry."

All compounds, including some PVC alloys, are manufactured at OTech's 250,000-square-foot facility, which has about 70 employees.

The materials are shipped throughout the U.S., and to China and the Caribbean.

O'Donnell said he has always been in the flexible compounding business and started OTech after a stint as vice president of sales and marketing for a division of a company acquired by Tekni-Plex.

"They decided they didn't want to be compounders for the wire and cable industry," he said. "They were making changes there and I saw there would be an opportunity … and thankfully it has worked out pretty well for us."

For the most part, OTech is a small, specialty compounder.

"We're a little bit of a 'boutiquey' place," O'Donnell said. "We do some commodity stuff to pay the light bill but we like to be the guy who can come up with the right solution when nobody else can. We'll use that same philosophy with this new production equipment."

O'Donnell projects sales will hit $45 million this year at OTech and $4 million at a wholly owned subsidiary called Color Resource LLC in Leominster, Mass.

Color Resource also has expanded recently, adding a line of colors for moisture-cure, cross-linked polyethylene compounds for the emerging low-voltage, automotive and appliance wire markets.


Comments

OTech adds extruder, grows in elastomers

By Catherine Kavanaugh
Staff Reporter

Published: November 1, 2013 2:18 pm ET
Updated: November 5, 2013 11:58 am ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

Formosa to be compensated for Vietnam riot

July 28, 2014 1:44 pm ET

Taiwan's Formosa Plastics Group will receive $2.39 million from the Vietnamese government and insurance companies for damages suffered during the...    More

Image

Ukraine's Group DF may be forced to sell Crimea-based additives plant

July 28, 2014 10:12 am ET

Group DF, the industrial business of Ukrainian tycoon Dmitry Firtash, may be forced to sell off Eastern Europe's biggest producer of titanium oxide,...    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

Report: biodegradeable plastics use in Europe to grow 12 percent

July 25, 2014 10:25 am ET

The biodegradable plastics market in Europe is forecast to witness 12 percent compound growth during 2014-19, according to TechSci Research's “E...    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