ROMEO, MICH. — A group of entrepreneurs has invested $4 million in a new business near Detroit, aiming to tap into the overflow market for hard-coat protection on clear plastic.
Xenon LLC of Romeo will focus on clear headlight lenses as well as everything from sunroofs to cell phone covers and even jukebox covers, typically molded from polycarbonate.
The business plan, said partner Jim Fisher, is to tap into the variety of small-volume hard-coating business that large shops typically are not interested in pursuing.
"We want to work with injection molders to develop business opportunities," he said, adding that about a third of the business will come from automotive lighting.
Most large-scale headlight suppliers have their own coating shops. Xenon wants to provide access to the same technology to molders seeking to tap into added-value production, he said.
The 42,000-square-foot facility opened in the fall, featuring $1.7 million worth of equipment and two self-contained robotic spray chambers. Xenon uses an ultraviolet cure method to apply the thin film coating, with large- and small-volume production capabilities.
Xenon expects to become a certified minority supplier in January. Majority owner Arthur Earl is black.