Latham Plastics Inc. is out to make a name for itself after years of operating under a corporate umbrella.
Cookson Group plc is shedding its plastics molding operations and sold the Latham, N.Y.-based firm to its former owners Jan. 2. Now Latham is establishing itself as an independent entity and building a customer list for its structural foam molding business.
``We're trying to get some name recognition,'' Don Nicoll, Latham structural foam molding sales manager, said during the Society of the Plastics Industry Inc.'s Structural Plastics Division conference, held April 14-16 in Dearborn.
The Latham business, with its five structural foam presses and production for vinyl in-ground pool liners, was once part of Loudon Plastics Inc. and includes the Pacific Industries Inc. name for the pool trade. The structural foam operations produced pool ladders and other pool equipment, along with some pallets for Cookson's materials-handling operations.
London-based Cookson sold the materials-handling group to Orbis Inc. of Oconomowoc, Wis., last year, which meant the newly independent Latham Plastics lost its contract for the pallets.
``When we were split up, that left a void for us,'' Nicoll said.
The pool operation generates enough business to keep Latham and its 150 employees working year-round, but the firm is seeking to even out the seasonal flow of orders through additional contracts. In the past - both before and during Cookson's ownership - the business made toys, outdoor compost bins and a variety of consumer and industrial products.
Now it is just a matter of getting people to recognize the new name and custom molding options available.
``The phone calls are trickling in,'' he said. ``We are getting the information out there.''