Plastics Color Corp. of Somerset, N.J., has completed its first year of liquid-color production at its Calumet City, Ill., plant and is considering a similar pilot project in 1999.
PCC officials said its liquid-color program allows the company to meet the growing need for liquid colorants in the injection molding, blow molding and extrusion processes.
``There's a lot of talk about being a full-service color house, but that's hard to do if you can't offer all the mediums that are currently available,'' Jim Hobart, liquid-colorant managing director, said by telephone.
The program already has created four new jobs in Calumet City. Product applications range from closures and toys to bottles and consumer packaging in such materials as polyethylene, polypropylene, polystyrene, polycarbonate/ABS blends and glass-filled nylon.
``It's mainly economics,'' Hobart said of the recent increase in liquid-color use. ``With higher pigment loads in liquid color, you can use less material to color more resin.''
He said technology advancements in the past five to 10 years have improved liquid-color technology and removed many of the processing problems earlier liquid products had caused.
Although PCC's liquid-color business is still in its early stages, Hobart said it should be affecting the firm's bottom line in six to nine months, eventually resulting in sales of as much as $4 million.
PCC has discussed expanding the liquid-color operation, with a second pilot project, at one of its four facilities. In addition to Calumet City and Somerset, PCC operates plants in Northbridge, Mass., and Asheboro, N.C.
PCC also manufactures color concentrates, dry colorant and custom and toll compounds. The company, a division of PMC Inc. of Sun Valley, Calif., posted sales of $75 million in 1997.
PCC almost doubled its sales last year by buying Coz Chemical, a Northbridge compounder with annual sales of about $35 million.