AKRON, OHIO - The Polymer Resource Center is offering polymer companies access to the Internet computer superhighway. In what it claims is a first for any industry, the Akron-based Polymer Resource Center went on-line Feb. 6 with its Internet data base, and is offering access to polymer processors, machinery makers, resin and additive suppliers and consultants.
Ray Darby, PRC president, said the center developed software and established its own Internet home page.
A home page provides a company an address on the Internet that can contain a huge amount of information and can be accessed from a wide number of sources. It is roughly analogous to the address of a building, which may be shared by a large number of individual businesses.
The development of a home page is a costly exercise, he said. In the polymer industry to date, GE Plastics of Pittsfield, Mass.; J.M. Huber Corp. of Edison, N.J.; Monsanto Chemical Co. of St. Louis; and Phoenix Polymers Inc. of Fitchburg, Mass., have their own home pages, he said.
Through its home page, Darby said PRC is offering polymer firms an inexpensive presence on the Internet in several forms.
First, PRC is developing a data base of polymer companies to provide basic information about them to anyone surfing the Internet.
The data base-called Poly-Sort-includes company names, a contact person and rudimen-tary product information. A listing in this data base is free.
PolySort offers a full catalog of individual firms, and can be used to compile a variety of lists, such as companies providing particular products or services or companies in specific regions. He said, however, that the data base is designed to be difficult to use as a tool to compile a mailing list that could be used for advertising purposes.
Second, PRC is offering ``company information pages,'' and ``storefront'' access to firms that want to have more detailed information listed in the Internet. PRC is calling this information page and storefront data base the Polymer Mall.
A company information page costs $250 per year to store 100 kilobytes of information, which is roughly equal to six pages of typewritten copy.
A company storefront costs $750 per year to store 500 kilobytes (one-half megabyte) of information. A storefront gives a company its own address on the Internet that can be accessed through the PolySort data base, Darby said in an interview at his Akron office Feb. 3.
The Polymer Mall can include product catalogs and specifications, photographs and other graphic information, and direct or indirect electronic communication links.
He said PRC can offer larger listings - with 2, 3, 4 or 5 megabytes of storage-in the network through special packages.
Beyond those listings, PRC offers full access and reference to other Internet sites, access to academic papers and connections to universities that specialize in polymer science and research, a file on new listings, and a file on other polymer organizations.
Lowell G. Chrisman, executive director of the Polymer Processors Association of Ohio, which shares office space with PRC, announced Dec. 15 that PRC would provide access to the Internet.
Chrisman, who also acts as an adviser to PRC, had said it intended to go on-line Jan. 1. That was delayed by the extended time required to produce the software for the Internet connection, he said Feb. 3.