Edge Building Products Inc. is gearing up for growth with what officials say is the industry's first vinyl composite trim board.
The Newport, Pa.-based manufacturer of cellular PVC trim boards is searching for a new building to accommodate its growth and will add a dual extrusion line in the next 60 days.
``We really don't have a choice,'' President Bob King said in a March 7 telephone interview, noting that the company is working with county and state officials to find an existing facility. ``The demand for this type of product is growing such that we've got to get into something bigger.''
Edge's flagship product is Permatrimboards, a board extruded from foamed PVC.
But Edge recently developed a rigid PVC foam product called Stabilex that contains high-strength fibers that are an agricultural byproduct, said Vice President Jeff Nesbitt. Stabilex contains more than 50 percent recycled content, the company said.
The firm recycles all of its own byproducts, and buys and recycles vinyl from other manufacturers that otherwise would have ended up in a landfill, Nesbitt said.
Although the products currently are sold only along the East Coast, officials expect to expand distribution westward in the coming months, he said.
The firm also is extending its Stabilex technology to semi-structural applications, such as I-beams and other structural members used for ``light'' construction purposes, such as deck or dock substructures where resistance to moisture, insects and rot is needed, King said.
``There will be a fairly large market for such products in light of the recent restrictions on chromated copper arsenate-treated lumber,'' King said. He added that Edge may seek out a joint venture partner to take advantage of the market.
Officials also are licensing the company's technology to extrude deck profiles.
Edge has been in business since 1997, operating in two Newport locations with 50,000 total square feet. The firm extrudes on five lines in one facility, using the other building as a blending and treating location for fiber and recycle streams.
Nesbitt said Edge's current sales volume is about $5 million to $10 million, and rapid growth is expected this year.
``For decades, plastics have been impractical for many building-material applications because of strength and weight considerations,'' he said. ``This technology can open up a whole new world of potential uses for plastic.''
Stabilex is produced and formulated under license from Nesbitt's firm, Microcellular Technologies Inc., based in Lancaster, Pa. The principals of Edge are tool and die makers, a competitive advantage in an industry where high output rates are key, officials said.
``Of the current lines, we do have dual extrusion and we do single-strand extrusion. As we increase in market and volume, we'll go into bigger machines and faster rates,'' Nesbitt said in a March 7 telephone interview.
Although they would not disclose how many dual extrusion lines they have, officials said any future line additions will be dual, to address cooling and line-length problems that occur with single-strand extruders.
``Generally, they've been difficult to cool and it takes a lot of tech and savvy to get those rates up,'' Nesbitt said.