Custom formulator and compounder Dennis Chemical Co. finds itself adding capacity to handle increases in its own business and the toll manufacturing of the products of others. ``We often take over the manufacturing of products that others choose not to do,'' said Charles F. Seger III, vice president of sales and marketing. ``Corporations downsizing and dealing with government regulations find it much easier to give compounding work to a company such as Dennis.''
Recently, Dennis expanded its St. Louis plant to 120,000 square feet, adding manufacturing space of 12,000 square feet and a 10,000-square-foot warehouse. It em-ploys 70 and produces plastisols, urethanes, primers, specialty resin coatings and natural rubber compounds under the Denflex and Instathane trademarks.
Dennis' Diversified Compound-ers unit is completing a three-month permitting process to expand its Los Angeles facility to 56,000 square feet. The two-story, 5,000-square-foot addition will house the office staff and involve reconfiguration of the laboratory and manufacturing operations.
The subsidiary, acquired in 1980, employs 20 and makes natural rubber lattices, plastisols and urethane compounds.
``We are countercurrent to what is happening in California,'' Seger said. ``We are growing while many companies are closing operations,'' Seger said.
Seger said he sees a swing in the filter market from plastisols to urethane compounds and a proliferation of applications dealing with environmental issues in buildings and vehicles.
``Three years ago, we forecasted that the sales of plastisols would decrease, but instead they have grown along with our sales of urethanes.''
Worldwide filtration maker Donaldson Co. Inc. of Blooming-ton, Minn., has given Dennis a supplier excellence award for eight years. Dennis supplies materials for Donaldson's heavy-duty-engine liquid and air filters.
Sister company Dennis Latex and Revertex Ltd. of Kluang, Malaysia, have a joint venture known as Revertex Americas. Dennis Chemical and Diversified Compounders sell prevulcanized and concentrated natural rubber latex for the venture.
The late Israel Dennis, founder of Dennis Chemical Co., began the business in 1936 blending dry-cleaning solvents, said his son Aaron Dennis, president of the firm. Privately held Dennis had 1995 sales of $30 million for all operations.