Plaskolite Inc. rapidly is expanding its sheet business through internal growth and acquisition. The firm has started construction of a second plant, in Zanesville, Ohio, and has agreed to buy Ineos Acrylics Inc.'s polystyrene line of lighting-panel products.
Plaskolite expects to complete construction of its 160,000-square-foot Zanesville plant in August. Mitch Grindley, vice president of marketing and sales, said the building and land will cost $5 million.
The company will boost its PS lighting-panel business in an agreement with Ineos, which will concentrate on its core acrylic sheet business. Ineos, the former ICI Acrylics business, is making a major push in acrylic lighting and glazing applications. It said it will introduce nonglare, pre-sized acrylic sheet to replace glass in picture frames and will be more aggressive in marketing acrylic lighting panels to replace metal louvers in office lighting.
Plaskolite's main business is extruding acrylic sheet, but it recently diversified into heavy-gauge PET sheet extrusion by ramping up a new PET line at its Columbus, Ohio, headquarters plant this month.
It also has been expanding its acrylic mirrored-sheet business through acquisitions. It bought four mirrored-sheet businesses between 1994 and 1998. Mirrored sheet is used in marine and point-of-purchase applications.
Grindley said his firm has yet to determine where it will locate PS sheet production when it completes the deal with Ineos. The Columbus location, although it has 400,000 square feet of space, is "maxed out," he said in a telephone interview.
The firm plans to extrude acrylic sheet and make acrylic pellets in Zanesville.
Grindley said the facility will include secondary operations such as assembly and routering and may include acrylic-mirror fabrication. The site is about 45 miles from Plaskolite's Columbus operation.
Plaskolite had sales of $100 million for the year ended March 31. It sells sheet throughout North America and exports to Europe, Central and South America and the Pacific Rim. It runs distribution centers in Phoenix and Doesburg, the Netherlands, and last year opened one in Orlando, Fla.
The company said it has invested about $50 million in capital improvements since 1993.