DETROIT — Rogers Corp. of Rogers, Conn., plans to add a third line for Poron-brand polyurethane foam production at its facility in Rogers in the fourth quarter of this year.
``Business has been so hot it's unbelievable,'' said James Allan, a sales engineer at the firm's sales office in Pinckney, Mich.
After running a single Poron line for two decades, Rogers added a second line in 1995 and already is in need of a third.
Allan, interviewed at SAE '98 in Detroit, said the growth could be attributed in part to the company's automotive business, which racked up a record $3.3 million in sales in 1997, the third consecutive year it has topped itself.
The 1997 sales total also marked a 20 percent jump from the previous year, Allan said.
Poron's industrial market, which includes the automotive sector, totaled about $33 million in sales last year. The product's two other major markets are in shoe insoles and printing equipment. Rogers' total 1997 sales were $195 million.
Poron is finding uses in auto products ranging from gas tanks to cup holders, and in other areas where vibration dampening and shock absorption are needed.
The newest Poron grades, introduced last year, focus on decreased fogging and nickel content and improved flammability. Rogers also showed a new grade of its MPC-brand moldable phenolic composite at SAE. The ``high-strain'' grade is designed to offer more elongation and allow for molding in metal inserts.
In addition, Rogers announced its phenolic composites are being used in a General Motors Corp. vehicle — the 1998 Saturn — for the first time after being used in Ford vehicles for more than 20 years.