DETROIT—Custom Resins Inc., a nylon producer and compounder based in Wayne, N.J., will spend $600,000 to expand capacity by debottlenecking, and plans to boost its sales force to move its specialty product to a wider audience.
``We're after the business that the AlliedSignals and the DuPonts don't want,'' Patrick Delaney, the firm's vice president of sales and marketing, said in an interview at SAE '98 in Detroit.
``They're not interested in companies that are doing 200,000-400,000 pounds of business a year. Unless you're doing half-a-million pounds, they won't even talk to you, especially if you're looking for custom polymerization.''
At SAE, held Feb. 23-26, Custom spotlighted its nylon resins for applications in convoluted tubing, which is used to house wires that connect to headlights. The auto market, which makes up more than half of Custom's sales, also uses its materials in seat belt components and other items.
The debottlenecking will add 4 million pounds of capacity, giving the firm almost 70 million pounds of total capacity at the two sites, which together employ 300.
Custom racked up sales of more than $50 million in 1997, with nylon accounting for more than half of that business. Film grades, including a specialty nylon 6/6 copolymer, have been among its most successful products.
But Delaney said Custom wants to draw attention to its compounds in materials such as polyphenylene ether, polybutylene terephthalate, polycarbonate, PC/ABS and PC/PBT.
``We've had these products for a long time, we just haven't promoted them,'' he said. ``Lately, we've been seeing interest in our flame-retardant polycarbonate, probably because polycarbonate is getting into short supply.''
To advance these products, Custom recently added five sales representatives and plans to hire four more soon. The firm has grown 17 percent in each of the past five years, Delaney said.
He said Custom has an advantage in preparing specialty products, because it operates two pilot reactors to test new materials, in addition to five reactors that handle standard products.
But he admitted the firm's ambitions could put it in a precarious position: ``We're dancing between the toes of an elephant, since we supply the compounders, purchase from the majors and also do toll compounding from the majors. Our customers are very often our competition.''