Matra Plast Inc. will invest several million dollars in a new polycarbonate glazing plant, the New York firm announced Aug. 20. Matra bought a 200,000-square-foot building in Long Sault, Ontario, and plans to install two extrusion lines there next year to make Verolite double-wall PC sheet. Matra's U.S. sales manager Marc di Mayorca expects the facility to sell about 75 percent of its output in U.S. markets and ship the rest to customers in Canada and offshore.
Matra has been making Verolite at Berthierville, Quebec, where its sole facility near Montreal also extrudes polypropylene, high density polyethylene and copolyester sheet. Di Mayorca said a separate PC sheet plant will boost efficiency and help the firm maintain a dust-free environment that optical-quality sheet requires.
The Long Sault plant was own-ed by Dominion Textile Ltd. It has excellent dust-control equipment and was available for a fraction of the cost of a greenfield plant, di Mayorca said by telephone.
The proprietary sheet extruder will self-engineer the extrusion lines from components obtained from undisclosed companies. It will begin production on the first line in January. Long Sault, near Cornwall, is about 45 miles southwest of Montreal, and north of the New York state border.
Matra added a third extrusion line at Berthierville last summer. Moving PC sheet production to Long Sault and productivity improvements will boost Berthier-ville's efficiency by about 40 percent, the firm predicted. Di Mayorca said Berthierville is running flat out and switching from one resin to another hinders its productivity.
Verolite has air channels between the outside layers that give it light weight and insulation ability. Its applications include greenhouses, solariums, covered walkways and skylights. Matra sells its other plastic sheets for use in displays, shipping containers, signs and bathware glazing.
Matra has operated at Berthier-ville for eight years. It has 40 employees and expects to hire about 25 for Long Sault. Di Mayorca did not disclose sales or owners of the private firm.