GVR Complast Ltd. Co., a Houston-based compounder, plans to introduce three new proprietary compounds and install a new twin-screw extruder later this year. The 3-year-old firm also is negotiating with automotive supplier Delphi Automotive to qualify as one of Delphi's minority suppliers.
GVR launched its first three proprietary products — glass-filled nylon 6 and 6/6; glass, calcium and talc-filled polyolefins; and styrenic block copolymer thermoplastic elastomers — late last year. It added glass-filled PET in early 2000 and will add polycarbonate and ABS blends by the end of the year, according to Chief Executive Officer Veeru Reddy.
GVR's nylon compounds have been its biggest sellers to date, Reddy said, going into several end markets, including consumer appliances. Its polyolefin products have found homes in industrial products such as gratings, crates and sprockets, while its TPEs are being used in soft-touch and dunnage applications.
"There's a lot of competition out there in nylon or nylon blends, but we believe we offer a cost-effective product similar to what our larger competitors make," Reddy said. "We've targeted small to midsize injection molders and that's where we've been able to compete."
The new compounding line, to be operational in late 2000, will add 5 million to 7 million pounds of capacity, raising GVR's overall annual capacity to around 30 million pounds. GVR currently operates two twin-screw and two single-screw extruders.
The Delphi deal could result in GVR materials being used on vehicles as early as 2003. If approved, it would be GVR's first minority-based sale. Reddy is a native of India who moved to the United States in 1980.
Reddy declined to release sales totals for the firm, which he owns with his brother, but said it saw 15 percent sales growth in 1999 and expects to see 25-30 percent growth in 2000.
GVR employs 25 in a 30,000-square-foot building that may be expanded in 2001 to include additional warehousing space. New blenders and feeders also were installed on all of GVR's lines in 1999.
GVR devotes one of its extruders to research and development work conducted by major resin producers such as Union Carbide Corp., Huntsman Corp. and Phillips Petroleum Co. These and other firms test new resin grades on GVR's equipment before launching full-scale production.
Toll compounding still accounts for 40-50 percent of GVR's overall business, but Reddy said he hopes to lower that number to 30 percent eventually.
GVR expanded its commercial reach late last year by signing product distribution deals with Alternative Rubber and Plastics of Buffalo and Quality Polymers of Los Angeles. The firm also opened its first Mexican accounts in mid-1999 and has a dozen more Mexican businesses testing its products.