Increasing demand for recycled content in its compounds has led Polycom Huntsman Inc. to acquire some of the assets of a Charleston, S.C., recycler. George Abd, vice president of Polycom, a Washington, Pa.-based maker of color concentrates, additives, and thermoplastic compounds, bought the machinery of Charleston Polymers Inc., a 2-year-old polypropylene recycler.
``For the present we will be operating the one recycling line at Charleston to provide feedstock post-consumer polypropylene for our compounds,'' he said in a telephone interview. ``Charleston had not been operating for several months, and we have seen a consistent call from customers for [post-consumer recycled] content in our compounds, so this seemed like a perfect thing for us to do.''
At 100,000 square feet, Abd said, there is plenty of room in the Charleston facility for more recycling or compounding lines, which will be added in coming years. The single recycling line can process 20 million pounds per year.
The purchase gives Polycom its first in-house recycling capacity. Abd said it will suit the needs of the compounding side of the business. Polycom is partly owned by resin maker Huntsman Corp. of Salt Lake City.
``Many of our customers, especially those in the automotive sector, have made a growing commitment to using as much as 25 percent [post-consumer resin] in their parts and products,'' Abd said. ``We have been concerned about the availability and consistent quality of the [resin] we have used, and this will give us control as we use more [of it] in our compounds.''
Abd said Polycom processes about 400 million pounds of compounds, color concentrates and additives per year, with about a third of the company's production in toll compounding. Major end markets include the automotive, appliance and rigid-container industries.
The company operates two plants in Donora, Pa., and one each in Lockport, N.Y.; Conneaut, Ohio; St. Clair, Mich.; Donchery, France; and Oxnard, Calif. The firm is building a compounding facility in Lake Charles, La., that is scheduled to be in production by the second quarter of 1997. The 50,000-square-foot Lake Charles facility will have 50 million to 60 million pounds of annual capacity, he said.