GLS Corp. is expanding compounding capacity and building a new facility in McHenry, Ill.
The company's Thermoplastic Elastomers Division will relocate from a leased facility in Cary, Ill., to a plant it will own on 5.9 acres. It will boost capacity 50 percent in McHenry by installing three new twin-screw extruders from an undisclosed supplier. McHenry is about six miles away from Cary.
John Marshall, the division's marketing manager, said demand is growing for GLS compounds, including its recently debuted Versaflex TPEs, based on a variety of polymers. GLS also makes Dynaflex TPE alloys — based on Shell Chemical Co.'s Kraton resins — and distributes Shell TPEs.
GLS plans to open the new plant in mid-December. It will relocate most equipment at the Cary TPE operation to the McHenry plant. But GLS also might transfer some equipment to its laboratory, also relocating to McHenry.
The new twin-screw extruders are designed to make soft TPEs for applications such as sporting equipment, hand tools, appliances and housewares. GLS Versaflex compounds are specially designed for overmolding on polycarbonate, ABS, nylon and other substrates.
Dan Dague, vice president and general manager of the GLS division, predicts 8 percent annual growth in soft TPEs. The expansion will help GLS reduce lead time on custom orders and provide greater flexibility for volume and custom orders, Dague said in a news release.
GLS has been making elastomers since 1984 and became a licensed compounder for Shell in 1991. Officials did not disclose the cost of the expansion or capacity figures.