Color concentrates maker Techmer PM LLC has struck a deal with Ciba Specialty Chemicals to share concentrates production.
The deal gives Techmer access to Ciba plants in Europe and Asia, while allowing Ciba to use Techmer's U.S. manufacturing base, Techmer founder and President John Manuck said in a June 25 interview at NPE 2003 in Chicago.
``Our existing customer base is doing a lot more international business,'' said Manuck. ``So there was pressure on us to support them.''
Techmer currently does only 5 percent of its business outside of North America, but Manuck said he will not be surprised if that portion grows 15-20 percent during the next five years.
Under terms of the arrangement, each firm can specify raw materials used to make the concentrates. The setup does not include any equity stake or capital investment on either side.
At NPE, Techmer - a first-time exhibitor - focused on several new products, including a concentrate packed with a foul-tasting compound that's designed to stop animals from chewing through wire and cable insulation and fiber-optic cables.
Manuck said the concentrate, which is being produced at Techmer's plant in Rancho Dominguez, Calif., has generated the most worldwide interest of any product in the firm's 22-year history.
Other new items include a flame-retardant concentrate for low density polyethylene foam and an antifog concentrate for improved transparency in food packaging.
Los Angeles-based Techmer employs 500 at plants in Clinton, Tenn.; Rancho Dominguez, Calif.; Dalton and Gainesville, Ga.; and Wichita, Kan. The firm's 2002 sales were flat at about $130 million. The fibers market accounts for about 30 percent of Techmer's business.
Ciba, based in Basel, Switzerland, is a global specialty chemicals firm that posted sales of more than $7 billion in 2002.