CHICAGO — Four former Conair Jetro officials have left the company to establish their own pelletizer servicing company. Tony Forgash Jr., former Jetro vice president, resigned June 10 and helped establish Bay Plastics Machinery Corp. of Bay City, Mich. His partners in the business are engineer Tom Kernstock, process engineer Dick Fetter, and salesman Mike Boyce. Each has about 20 years or more experience in pelletizing, Forgash said in a June 17 interview at NPE in Chicago.
``It's not a revolt,'' stressed Forgash. He and his partners did not want to leave the Bay City area as Conair consolidates its operations in Franklin, Pa. They felt they had a critical mass of experience ``to do the things we know best.''
``We were very sorry to see them leave,'' said Dick Christopher, Conair's vice president of sales, in an interview at Conair's booth at NPE. He said Jetro should not be hurt by the departures. Forgash admitted his new company ``won't be any big threat to Conair.''
Conair President E. Niles Kenyon said his firm remains committed to pelletizers. They are ``a key product line and we will continue to grow it and develop new products,'' Kenyon said in an interview at Conair's booth. Kenyon said Jetro is aggressively hiring new personnel and will expand with its customers, resin producers and compounders.
Bay Plastics will focus on servicing, spare parts and reconditioning of strand pelletizers from all suppliers.
In six months to a year Bay Plastics hopes to design its own line of strand pelletizers for resin companies and compounders. Forgash said his company has offered to work with Conair but Conair has not committed to any arrangement.
Forgash predicted Bay Plastics will have about ten employees by the end of July and another three or four by the end of the year. It will contract out most of its machining needs in the Bay City area, using many of Conair's current vendors.
Forgash's father, Anthony Forgash Sr., founded Jetro in 1948 as a job shop. One of its first big contracts was work on Dow Chemical Co. polystyrene extruders at a small resin plant in Bay City, Forgash Jr. recalled. The fledgling company solved Dow pelletizing problems and decided to make its own product line.
Conair bought Jetro in 1974 and Forgash Sr. retired a few years later. Forgash Jr. jointed Jetro in 1963 while he studied engineering and gradually worked his way up to president in 1976. Bob Bessemer became Jetro's president in 1991.
Christopher said Conair is currently moving its manufacturing operations to Franklin and the new plant should be operating by the end of June.
Sales, marketing and administration are moving to two new buildings August 25 and engineering will go into the new laboratory in November.