HPG International Inc. has expanded production capacity by 45 percent at its Mountain Top, Pa., vinyl calendering plant.
The Somerset, N.J., firm invested an undisclosed amount to relocate and upgrade a calendering line it bought from Kalex Chemical Products Inc. in late 1997. The line, moved from Kalex's New York plant, is HPG's third in Mountain Top.
Diana Roman, HPG marketing director, said the converted line can calender rigid and semirigid PVC, opening potential new markets for HPG in credit-card and decorative overlay, and packaging. The firm's other two lines at Mountain Top focus on flexible PVC for geomembranes, wall coverings, graphic arts, medical and other markets. Roman did not say how quickly HPG will move on new opportunities in the rigid PVC market.
Roman said customers will benefit from the upgraded line's capability to make rolls containing 10,000 yards of calendered PVC. The 42-inch-diameter rolls allow fewer changeovers at customer plants, saving downtime and improving productivity, Roman said in a telephone interview. Large rolls also cut down on packaging costs and waste. Two HPG lines now can make 10,000-yard rolls, Roman said. The firm's largest rolls previously were about 5,000 yards.
Purchasing the Kalex PVC business boosted HPG's stake in pressure-sensitive and decal roll-stock applications with a wider variety of formulations, finishes, gauges, widths and colors, the company said in a news release. HPG's improvements to the calendering line include high-speed winders, a mixing system and environmental controls.
Mountain Top, with 250,000 square feet of space, is HPG's sole production facility. HPG formed about five years ago when senior managers and investors bought the Huls America plastics division. Since the acquisition, HPG has added two extrusion lines, upgraded calenders and boosted warehouse space. Its sales last year exceeded $90 million.