Buckeye Polymers Inc. has begun toll and custom compounding at a 35,000-square-foot facility in Lodi, Ohio.
This month Buckeye started up a Sterling 6-inch, single-screw extruder with compounding capacity of 500,000 pounds a month.
``We want to take 50 percent of the machine into the toll compound business and the other 50 percent will be our proprietary products,'' said President Jeff Fisher.
Proprietary products include both prime-grade and reprocessed materials, including reinforced polypropylene, high and low density polyethylenes, polycarbonates, thermoplastic elastomers and ABS.
The company also has installed a 100-cubic-foot ribbon blender for homogenous batches and custom salt and pepper blending, said Fisher, who is one of three partners in the firm. Partner Jerry Robinson heads production; partner Ron Chislow is chief financial officer.
The firm employs five, but expects to hire three more by April, Fisher said. That figure agrees with financing terms of a low-interest state loan being funneled through the Medina County Economic Development Fund, which requires Buckeye to create one Medina County job for every $15,000 borrowed. He declined to disclose the total investment.
Before the company opened its own compounding outfit in Lodi, it represented compounder Multibase Inc. of Copley, Ohio, from a sales office in Seville, Ohio. Buckeye still sells Multibase materials and compounds in Ohio, Pennsylvania and the East Coast, Fisher said.
With a handful of mostly toll customers, Buckeye already is near capacity.
``Our line's already filling up,'' he said. ``We're looking at getting a 41/2-inch single- or twin-[screw] line.'' That line and another, larger ribbon blender may be on board by April, he said.
Buckeye also has its own truck, and, for new business, it is looking to neighborhood molding shops that fall within a 60-mile radius of its Lodi plant.
Fisher said, ``I'd rather have 20 5,000- and 10,000-pound orders than five 40,000-pound orders, because if you lose one customer, that's a big hit.''