By: Roger Renstrom
April 7, 2014
ANAHEIM, CALIF. — Now settled in its new home, plastics processor Eldon James Co. forecasts sales growth of 40 percent during 2014, coming on top of a 20 percent climb a year ago following a consolidation.
The extruder and injection molder spent $14 million to unit production in Denver. The company focuses on materials that use no PVC or bisphenol A for the medical and beverage markets, officials said during UBM Canon medical trade show in Anaheim Feb. 11-13
In September 2012, the firm began making physical improvements, installing infrastructure and adding equipment in a 75,000-square-foot building that it acquired in Denver. About 90 percent of the production systems gained online status by October 2013. Full operational capacity was achieved by year’s end.
Validated under an existing ISO 13485:2003 certification, the site dedicates about 40,000 square feet to manufacturing including a 15,000-square-foot Class 7 clean room. The remainder of the space is for warehouse, shipping and office functions.
In consolidating in Denver, the firm moved five extrusion lines from other Colorado facilities in Loveland and Fort Collins, both now vacated, and is adding another extrusion line during February. Davis Standard LLC, American Kuhne Inc. and Conair Group have supplied extrusion equipment to Eldon James in equal volumes.
The expansion added to coextrusion capabilities for antimicrobial, anti-fungal and multi-lumen applications and color-striped tubing production.
On the injection molding side, Eldon James operates 24 machines of 44-165 tons including 18 presses from Nissei Plastic Industrial Co. Ltd.
The plant has multi-pass downstream cooling tanks that allow for higher production speeds, an automated tube winding system, a new thermoforming process allowing for greater mass production of coiled and formed tubing and a closed-loop Motan Inc. system for extrusion and injection molding allowing for full automation and around-the-clock production.
In market specialization, Eldon James established its EJ BioMed division in 2002 with the construction of its first Class 8 clean room.
The firm created the EJ Beverage division in 2013, working closely with the nation’s third largest craft brewer, New Belgium Brewing Co. of Fort Collins, and partnering with initial stocking distributor MoreFlavor Inc. of Concord, Calif.
New Belgium has converted all of its systems to EJ Beverage’s PVC-free tubing and is extending the conversion to field locations.
“The new mass production of coiled tubing will allow us to meet the anticipated demands for a variety of venues that serve beer,” said Mark Timbrook, director of marketing for Eldon James. The potential venues include stadiums, restaurants, bars and home brewers.
“Currently, we stock 18 different constructions of PVC-free tubing for medical, biomedical, pharmaceutical, industrial and general purpose applications,” Timbrook said. “With the launch of our new beverage line, we will add five new standard constructions” with inner diameters ranging from 0.19 inch to 0.75 inch.
“We are experiencing significant growth with EJ Beverage,” Timbrook said. “Some of that involves existing customers that already pursue food and beverage. However, most will be through new distribution channels that focus directly on that market.”
EJ Beverage shows its product line fully for the first time in the U.S. at the Craft Brewers Conference in Denver April 8-11.
EJ BioMed accounts for about 30 percent of company sales, and EJ Beverage is forecast for approximately 10 percent of total sales during 2014. The balance comes from automotive and industrial markets. The firm withholds sales details.
Eldon James was established in 1987 and, for all operations, employs 45.