OnSpec Composites Inc. has doubled manufacturing space, with help from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. Its $150,000 matching grant will allow the Cincinnati-based composite lumber maker to grow its product line with structural-grade components, such as joists and docks.
Owner Jay Mayer said his firm has increased space at its leased facility to 18,000 square feet and added an extrusion line. Once the line is fully operational, OnSpec will add 10 employees. Depending on seasonal business fluctuation, it can employ as many as 19.
The firm has developed its patented technology with BioLumber Inc., based in Orinda, Calif., near Oakland. OnSpec has been producing a 2-by-6 structural component since last April.
``We have a product and we've been selling it, now we're going to get bigger dies and additional machinery,'' Mayer said.
Since 1997, OnSpec has been producing decking components from recycled plastic and wood. The firm uses mostly high density polyethylene, but it will use other plastics depending on the formula.
``We have to identify what's available out there,'' Mayer said by telephone Jan. 31. He would not disclose how much OnSpec reprocesses, but said volume has increased 25 percent each year.
``With this new line, we expect our usage to double,'' he said.
Since lumber treated with chromated copper arsenate will be phased out for residential use by year's end, plastics is a priority for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, officials said. Under new regulations from the Environmental Protection Agency, wood treaters no longer will be able to use chromated copper arsenate to treat lumber for residential applications.
``We saw a real need to help develop this product, especially with all the rules coming out toward CCA-treated lumber,'' said Christy Kellner, business specialist with the Hamilton County Solid Waste Management District in Cincinnati.