HARTFORD, CONN. — Custom compounder Foster Corp. of Dayville, Conn., is expanding its reach to include product development. The company created a five-person polymer-development team at the start of the year, according to Lawrence A. Acquarulo Jr., president of Foster Corp., who was interviewed March 30 at Plasti/Conn 2000 in Hartford.
"We find that customers require a significant amount of design engineering and material development," Acquarulo said.
Medical applications in particular are crucial, he said.
"They wanted to know from the start: `Will it run in five years? What problems can we anticipate?' So we had to decide what variables to look for," he said.
The unit was established to provide engineering expertise for specialty applications, said Ray Godaire, manager of the new team.
"We're capturing more medical-device work and expanding to electronic, aerospace and wire and cable," Godaire said.
The company has been involved with custom compounding for the medical industry since 1989.
Foster produces proprietary compounds used in such products as catheters, endoscopes and other medical devices.
Typically, the company is being called on to work with the customer to come up with the right compound and then work with the molder to come up with a prototype mold, Acquarulo said.
Foster operates one single-screw and five twin-screw extruders at its 22,000-square-foot Dayville facility, and is looking to expand significantly in the state. Overall, it has 40 employees at two plants.
Its other facility is in North Las Vegas, Nev. Foster purchased a new twin-screw model that in the third quarter will join two similar models in that 10,000-square-foot facility.
Acquarulo said the company has been growing at a 20 percent clip the past few years. The goal now is to expand its research and development, and to add space for clean room manufacturing.
The company's compounds include radiopaque, electrically conductive/static-dissipative, reinforced, lubricated, anti-microbial, cross-linked and custom-colored products.
Materials processed include polyurethane, nylon, thermoplastic elastomers, polyolefins, polyester, vinyl and engineering resins.