RIDGEFIELD, N.J. — There's no breaking stride at Colorite Polymers in spite of a pending change in the ownership of its parent company, PureTec Corp.
A recent visit found company officials focused on new varieties and applications for the firm's specialty PVC resins and PVC-based compounds. They seemed relatively unconcerned about the effects of Tekni-Plex Inc. of Somerville, N.J., acquiring PureTec in a deal valued at $325 million.
``I don't see any negative effect of the deal,'' Colorite President Robert Brookman said in a Nov. 18 interview at the firm's Ridgefield office. ``Tekni-Plex is a very dynamic company and we need their capital to keep growing.''
If Brookman's confidence is any indication, Colorite is well-prepared to defend its leading market positions in medical-grade PVC compounds and garden hose — which is manufactured by the Colorite Plastics division — and advance into areas as diverse as PVC/nylon blends and silicone replacement.
Cylon, a PVC/nylon blend introduced at NPE 1997 in Chicago, is being produced by Colorite's Cybertech Polymers division in Piscataway, N.J. Cylon's uses range from phone cords to footwear, and it is being tested by several customers, according to Nate Sofer, the division's vice president and general manager.
Cybertech produced 80 million pounds of specialty compounds last year, 70 percent of which went into the wire and cable industry, Sofer said. The 5-year-old division totaled between $40 million and $45 million in 1996 sales.
Colorite's newest product is Vinylbond, a flexible PVC alloy that attaches easily to ABS and polyester, as well as to cellular and rigid PVC. Vinylbond is expected to make inroads in coextruded window profiles and door gaskets.
Colorite's Unichem Products arm, which is devoted to the company's medical compounds, is touting Elastichem, a thermoplastic elastomer offering improved chemical and abrasion resistance. Colorite is on track to produce 1 million pounds of Elastichem in 1997, a number expected to increase tenfold in the next year and a half, according to John Ellward, the division's vice president of sales and marketing.
Elastichem also could benefit from concerns about latex rubber, which has been found to cause allergic reactions in some medical applications, Ellward said. Elastichem can come close to latex performance in some areas, he said.
Flexchem, a compound that can replace silicone, also is seeing healthy growth almost a year after its introduction, officials said. The material competes especially with silicone in pumping and feeding applications.
Overall, Unichem expects its medical compound sales to grow 5 percent by year's end, with 90 million pounds of production bringing in $65 million to $70 million in sales. This would allow Colorite to maintain its nearly 50 percent share of the medical-grade PVC market.
The growth rate for medical compounds is boosted to 10-12 percent in regions such as China and India, as fewer medical devices are reused each year, Ellward said.
Medical compounds made up 70 percent of the 220 million pounds of compounds Colorite produced in 1996.
The company's total specialty resin output stands at 120 million pounds at its plant in Burlington, N.J. The number is split about evenly between suspension resins used in flooring, and powder coatings and dispersion resins used in automotive underbodies, coated steel and inks.