Four months after opening a U.S. office, Italian nylon maker Radici Novacips SpA announced plans to open a compounding plant in Blacksburg, S.C., early next year.
The plant will manufacture the firm's Radilon and Radiflam compounds based on nylon 6 and nylon 6/6 and its Raditer polybutylene terephthalate compounds for the injection molding market.
Radici established a North American base in May when it opened Radici Plastics USA in Greenville, S.C. The firm has an administrative office and a warehouse in Greenville.
The compounding plant will start with 8 million pounds of annual capacity. Radici Plastics USA President Massimo Cattaneo said the site has room to expand.
``A lot will depend on the growing of our commercial plastics business,'' Cattaneo said in a telephone interview. ``We don't produce just to produce.''
Cattaneo added that Radici ``can't exclude'' the possibility of eventually building a nylon polymerization plant in the United States. He said he was unsure how many jobs the Blacksburg plant would create.
Radici, with international headquarters in Bergamo, Italy, isn't a complete stranger to the U.S. market. Polymers International Inc., a Spartanburg, S.C.-based distributor, has been importing Radici's nylon and PBT products since the late 1980s.
Polymers International will continue to distribute Radici's virgin nylon and extrusion and film-grade products. The Blacksburg plant will target the injection molding market.
Like most nylon makers, Radici is focused on automotive end uses. Cattaneo said the company may open a Detroit-area office later, to tap the U.S. auto market's potential.
``We decided from the beginning that to reach producers in the U.S. you can't afford not to have a local market,'' Cattaneo said. ``If you have a good relationship with customers in Europe who aren't European, you have to approach globalization.''
Radici Novacips, which produces nylon at plants in Italy and Germany, also recently launched Radici Plastics Ltda., a joint compounding venture with compounder Petronyl in Sao Paulo, Brazil.