Oxford Polymers, an engineering plastics compounder in New Britain, Conn., has completed a major expansion only a year after moving into a new facility.
Oxford marketing director Scott DeFelice said heavy growth, particularly in glass-reinforced polycarbonate, spurred the company to add 20,000 square feet to an 80,000-square-foot structure it opened in New Britain in early 1998. The firm had been operating out of a 25,000-square-foot location in Middletown, Conn., for the previous five years.
The new facility has allowed Oxford to double its number of compounding lines to four and increase its annual capacity to 20 million pounds. The company also has doubled its number of employees to 40. Oxford is considering another compounding line in 2000, DeFelice said.
Sales of glass-reinforced PC have been exceptionally strong, particularly in automotive and consumer markets, said DeFelice, who founded the business with his father, Nick F., and brother, Nick L., in the late 1980s. Oxford is operated as a division of Oxford Industries of Connecticut, a New Britain-based aerospace business owned by the elder DeFelice.
The privately held company does not release sales figures, but has enjoyed 15-20 percent growth in recent years, according to Scott DeFelice.
``We have leading-edge technology with the equipment that enables us to get there and produce materials that are the equivalent of those produced by larger compounders,'' he said.
PC accounts for more than half of Oxford's sales, but the company also compounds ABS, nylon, polybutylene terephthalate and other engineering plastics. Oxford also produces a line of recycled-content engineering compounds and does a small amount of distribution for European and Asian compounders.
The distribution business is a reminder of the company's beginnings as a plastics trader and broker. The firm was launched after a friend of Scott DeFelice put him in touch with a Chinese business that was looking for Asian sources for PVC. Oxford then moved into recycled-content materials before launching its own line of proprietary compounds.
``It's not exactly a typical business model,'' Scott DeFelice said of Oxford's start. ``But my dad said, `If you can make a buck, do something with it.' We've been doing something ever since.''