FORT WAYNE, IND. - Connor Corp. plans to expand its plastics business following the recent acquisition of Witco Corp.'s battery case operations. Michel Gochtrovtt, Connor's vice president of engineering, said, ``We want to be a strong-er player in plastics and rubber.''
Connor, based in Fort Wayne, bought the former Witco business on March 24 for undisclosed terms.
The deal boosted Connor's sales to about $63 million, Gochtrovtt said. Connor expects to gain about another $5 million per year in sales by moving rubber battery casing production from a Mexican contractor to a 35,000-square-foot operation in Fort Wayne.
Gochtrovtt said his firm eventually plans to have plastic injection molding presses as large as 1,500 tons, but he provided no timetable on expansion. Connor now has more than 100 presses with clamping forces of up to 850 tons.
Witco sold Connor a molding plant in Philadelphia, Miss., and molding equipment in an Indianapolis plant. Witco will retain the Indiana plant and lease it to Connor.
The Indianapolis plant also includes reprocessing equipment.
Connor will repelletize about 15 million pounds per year of polypropylene from recycled battery cases, Gochtrovtt said. Aftermarket battery manufacturers regrind the cases when they recycle batteries and ship the flake to Connor. Connor blends most of the repelletized PP with virgin resin to mold new battery cases.