An uncertain economy isn't stopping color compounder Accel Corp. from taking two big steps forward in 2003.
By the end of the year, the Avon, Ohio, firm plans to open a site in Knoxville, Tenn., and nearly will double the size of its Naperville, Ill., plant, said President and Chief Executive Officer Dwight Morgan.
The Knoxville site will include two single-screw extruders in leased space of 15,000-20,000 square feet and will employ 11, Morgan said at Thermoplastic Concentrates 2003, held Feb. 10-12 in New Orleans. The new location, which will include a lab, is ``a logical extension from Ohio and Illinois,'' Morgan said.
``We want to be within 250 miles of a core customer base. Tennessee is in the center of a market base of resin use that includes a core of molders in the Carolinas,'' he said.
In Naperville, Accel will add 30,000 square feet of space to its 31,000-square-foot facility. The move will create five jobs this year.
``We need more warehousing space and more room for additional equipment and for more efficient material handling,'' Morgan said.
Accel added three extrusion lines in late 2002. The 5-year-old firm now operates eight lines in Naperville and seven in Avon. A third work shift is expected to begin in Avon by the end of 2003.
The 65-employee firm posted sales of almost $15 million in 2002 and expects to hit the $18 million mark this year.
More than half of Accel's volume comes from compounds based on polyethylene, polypropylene and polystyrene. It produces color and additive concentrates under the Color Gem trade name.