Allied Resinous Products Inc. is wrapping up a five-year, $6 million project that includes refurbishing compounding equipment and launching a new plastics business, an offshoot of the company's sheet extrusion operations. By March, Allied will boost the work force at its Conneaut, Ohio, plant by 20, doubling the eight-person staff of its 6-month-old Consumer Products Division and adding 12 employees in the Custom Compounding Division, said Luie Vizurraga, owner and chief executive officer.
The company spent about $2 million to equip the Consumer Products unit with three computer numerically controlled routers with 12 spindles apiece. So far, only one CNC machine is being used, around the clock, to make cutting boards, bagel and bread slicers, knife blocks and other small appliances from Allied's extruded polyolefin sheet, Vizurraga said. Typically those products compete with wood imports, and he expects business to grow as Allied finds other such applications and targets them at the private-label market.
The focus of the firm's investment is polyolefins - not just low-profit, large-volume kitchen items, like cutting boards. But it also is spending big on research and development of high density polyethylene and polypropylene alloys to compete with expensive composites and laminates in panels, cabinets and doors. The firm plans to add the construction products to its Consumer Products offerings. The division also does assembly and shrink-wrap packaging. Vizurraga forecasts annual sales of more than $10 million for Consumer Products within three years.
The firm will begin selling the alloyed materials in pellet and sheet form as soon as February, he said. One material, called Corpalin, is an imitation marble with a flexural modulus of 800,000 pounds per square inch.
The company's eight sheet extruders, dedicated mainly to PE and PP, also do small custom runs of ABS/polycarbonate and polystyrene. Allied also injection molds 6,000-pound plastic block profiles and sheet from 6-8 inches thick, Vizurraga said. The sheet operation does sales of roughly $12 million to transportation, automotive, military and medical markets, and employs 50.
The firm has total sales of $15 million and employs 85.
Vizurraga bought Allied in 1983, after selling his 25 percent interest in Royal Appliance Manufacturing Co. of Cleveland.