ROSEMONT, ILL. - Plastics Technology Laboratories Inc. doubled its bench space in a newly completed expansion and renovation project at its 17,000-square-foot facility in Pittsfield, Mass. James Beauregard, president of the independent testing laboratory, said at Plastics Fair Chicago, held June 11-13 in Rosemont, that the expansion represents an investment in ``the multiple six figures.''
The 10-year-old company is dedicated solely to the testing and analysis of plastics, elastomers and composites.
``Our largest number of customers are molders,'' Beauregard said. ``We help molders with everything from quality programs to failure analysis.''
PTLI does work for major resin manufacturers, according to Beauregard, and end users such as Apple Computer Co., Detroit's Big Three automakers and Hewlett-Packard Corp.
According to Beauregard, much of the expansion incorporated advances in testing equipment such as higher-speed data acquisition for impact testing and new technology for electrical evaluations.
The company's evaluations of the aerospace composites used in stealth technology required advanced thermal and electrical capabilities, Beauregard said. ISO testing requirements also have resulted in ``the modification of nearly every ASTM apparatus like Izod or HDT to accommodate ISO test procedures,'' he said.
PTLI recently purchased a multiple-frequency system for dielectric constant and dissipation factor evaluations, Beauregard said. The computerized system ex-pands frequency ranges to include 10 hertz to 2 megahertz in one apparatus while increasing accuracy, he said.
Other lab enhancements include multiaxial impact tester upgrades for higher speed data acquisition and new thermal mechanical analysis equipment, according to Beauregard.
The company employs 10-12 people, said Beauregard, who declined to disclose privately held PTLI's annual sales.