Polymer Resources Ltd. (Booth E12729), a custom compounder based in Stamford, Conn., is installing a new single-screw extrusion line in Farmington, Conn., and adding 60,000 square feet of warehousing space in Rochester, N.Y. The Farmington line, the fifth at the site, will be used to produce color compounds in lots of 4,000-10,000 pounds.
PRL compounds a number of engineering resins, including polycarbonate, PC/ABS, polyphenylene oxide and polybutylene terephthalate. PC compounds make up more than 40 percent of the firm's sales.
Privately owned PRL declined to release sales figures, but President Greg Bruno said sales grew 15-20 percent in 1998 and 1999 and should hit that same level in 2000.
The Farmington expansion "is somewhat volume-based, but also will give us more flexibility with custom colors," Bruno said.
The expansion also will allow PRL to maintain its lead time of two to three weeks for custom color orders, a rate that officials say is well ahead of the six- to eight-week lead times offered by major resin suppliers.
Adding warehousing space in Rochester will grow that site to 135,000 square-feet, allowing PRL to handle inventory on-site rather than pay for public warehousing space as it has done in the past.
"We're going to use the [Rochester] expansion for raw material and finished-good storage," Bruno said. "Using outside warehouses is more costly — we'd like to have control of our inventory."
The firm also operates three single-screw extrusion lines in Rochester. Combined compounding capacity at the plants is 30 million to 35 million pounds annually.
The new Farmington line will begin production in June; the Rochester expansion will be complete by year's end.
PRL began as a resin distributor and broker in 1975, before making the switch to manufacturing in 1986. It now employs 90 and does all of its business in proprietary compounds. Primary markets include electrical wiring and construction.
"We try to go where we don't butt heads with the majors," Bruno said. "We focus on small to medium-size processors who are looking for service, lead times and products they can't get elsewhere."