CHICAGO (June 26, 11:10 a.m. EDT) — Ampacet Corp. has added capacity at two of its Canadian sites and is reorganizing its plant in Heath, Ohio, to serve small-volume customers.
Tarrytown, N.Y.-based Ampacet installed a new extrusion line in Kitchener, Ontario, late last year and another in Delta, British Columbia, earlier this year. Each line adds 11 million pounds of new capacity.
The new lines focus on Ampacet´s standard product line of color concentrates, said Robert DeFalco, president and chief executive officer.
The firm posted sales of about $400 million in 1998, doing about 40 percent of its business in white concentrates, 40 percent in color and 20 percent in black. Almost two-thirds of Ampacet´s sales were to the film market.
In Heath, Ampacet is spending $1.5 million to install new feeders, pelletizers and lab equipment. The improvements are needed to meet growing demand from customers buying color concentrates in lots of 1,000-2,000 pounds, DeFalco said.
Ampacet also is growing in Europe, adding about 35 million pounds of capacity for black concentrate capacity in Messancy, Belgium, and 11 million pounds of polymer additive capacity in Telgate, Italy. Both expansions were completed earlier this year.
At NPE in Chicago, Ampacet´s product focus includes foam concentrates and new black and yellow masterbatches.
The foam products can be used in products such as tractor-trailer truck panels, where they reduce weight and material costs, according to Victor Mimeault, vice president of Ampacet´s technical unit.
The new black products are aimed at the pressure-pipe and pipe-coating markets, while the yellow are targeted at gas-transmission pipe.
Ampacet´s product development has to remain fairly constant because of changing consumer tastes and technological improvements, Mimeault said.
"If you look at our product slate, we sell about 2,000 products a year, including 25 new products," said Mimeault. "But one-third of our sales come from products that we´ve developed over the last five years."
According to recent industry estimates, Ampacet ranks among the 25 largest compounders in the United States, with a market share of about 4 percent.