Accel Color Corp., a new color compounder based in Naperville, Ill., recently added its fifth extrusion line and plans to add two more next year.
Accel was founded in August by five former employees of M.A. Hanna Co., the Cleveland-based firm that leads the U.S. color compounds and concentrates market.
The Accel founders — Dwight Morgan, Michael Clabough, Michael Gross, Brett Gardner and Charlie Grimm — had ``common thoughts about what the market required,'' Morgan said.
``We wanted to focus on the specialty color market instead of commodity runs,'' said Morgan, a 16-year Hanna veteran who serves as Accel's president. ``These aren't the kind of products molders stock on their floor.''
To date, Accel has produced color concentrates using polyethylene, polypropylene and polystyrene, and has done pre-color work in polycarbonate and nylon. Lot sizes range from 25 pounds to truckloads. End markets have included packaging products such as bottles and closures, sports and recreational equipment and toys.
The company employs 15 in a 32,000-square-foot facility in Naperville, 40 miles west of Chicago. Morgan said the Naperville site was selected because of its affordability and access to the Midwest's large number of plastics processors.
Accel's main advantage over larger firms is its ability to respond quickly to the needs of small and medium-size molders.
``We're willing to take on the small orders and give the service that a customer might have difficulty getting from large companies,'' Morgan said. ``Keeping decisions close to the customer and close to the plant floor is vital.''
Accel's product line consists entirely of proprietary compounds. The Naperville plant's annual capacity currently stands at 6 million pounds. It operates four blending lines in addition to the five extrusion lines and has a product-development laboratory.
The firm also is considering a second shift in response to increased customer demand. The planned addition of two extrusion lines next year will give it seven such lines. The Naperville site can house as many as 10 lines, he said.
Although Accel has not released an estimate of first-year sales, Morgan said customer response ``has exceeded expectations.''