Because of the recent slump in the economy, Alfred Bartkiewicz expected the worst for his new compounding company, while hoping for the best.
The former vice president of sales and engineering at Davis-Standard Corp. is one of the founding principals of Performance Compounding LLC in Pawcatuck, Conn., which went into operation Jan. 1. He said he had an opportunity to restart an existing company that had been in the 40,000-square-foot site and opted to take advantage of it. He declined to reveal the name of the company that had been at the facility.
Performance Compounding does custom and contract compound manufacturing and provides development assistance for engineering and high-performance plastics, and melt-processable fluoropolymers. The company has applications in blending and alloying, cross-linking, mechanical/chemical modification, as well as filling/modifying for improved lubricity, static dissipation, conductivity, flame retardancy and magnetic properties.
``We were expecting the worst and although it could've been better, we were encouraged by the number of opportunities we were given to qualify ourselves,'' Bartkiewicz said. ``When you start to see second and third orders from the same customers, you start to get more confident.''
Among the processing equipment in use at the facility are two Davis-Standard twin-screw extruders, gravimetric feeding systems, strand and underwater pelletizers, two sets of chemical- and abrasion-resistant metallurgy systems and three drying systems.
When business picks up, Bartkiewicz said Performance Compounding may add a third line as well as clean room capabilities. He said there is no business relationship between his new firm and Davis-Standard.
Performance Compounding employs five at the facility, which Bartkiewicz said cost ``several hundred thousand dollars.'' He said the goal for this first year is to reach $1 million in sales.
The other principals of Performance Compounding are Zehev Tadmor, chairman of the S. Neaman Institute for Advanced Studies in Science and Technology at Technion in Israel and Lefteris Valsamis, former director of research and development and manager of process laboratories at extruder and mixer maker Farrel Corp. in Ansonia, Conn.