Naik Group of Industries is adding domestic satellite recycling locations, boosting injection molding capabilities and expanding operations in India.
The 16-year-old group's 13 companies employ nearly 250 and recorded 2002 sales of more than $32 million in recycling plastics, injection molding parts and making molds. Despite its expansions, the company holds concerns regarding the recycling market, said managing principal Saurabh Naik.
``The volume of good scrap is going down,'' he said in a June 25 interview at NPE in Chicago. ``We have to take the challenge to deal with the harder scrap, which is going in the landfill.''
The group places regional satellite facilities near plastics processing sources. With eight facilities now, it plans to put in another five or six within reach of processors, he said. The Carolinas, Houston, Baton Rouge, La., California and Massachusetts are targeted areas.
``The magic number we work with - anywhere in the country - is 8 million to 10 million pounds of annualized scrap,'' Naik said. ``It is better to put a satellite facility within 20-40 miles to provide better service and to reduce the freight'' costs.
A Michigan site performs second-tier contract work, but the group aims to mold proprietary items.
``In the next two to four years, we intend to come up with ideal finished products using the recycled material and the scrap we have,'' he said. ``I see in a couple years we will have 70 or 80 or 90 molding machines,'' perhaps in two or three domestic locations.
In Mumbai, India, the group does mold making and other injection molding.
With low mold and materials costs, the injection molding business holds some promise, Naik said.
A recently formed joint venture between a Naik unit and PowerWeave Software Services India Pvt. Ltd. of Mumbai is establishing a back-office team to provide technical support and information technology services for the group's North American entities. The venture will handle logistics, inventory control, invoicing, identification of salable finished products and global sourcing.
Naik, a native of Mumbai, received a doctorate in polymer chemistry in 1982 from the University of Massachusetts. Other principals include a brother, Rajiv Naik, overseeing three recycling and molding locations in Michigan and Ohio, and a cousin, Upen Naik, now at a Missouri site and moving soon to a West Virginia facility.
On a shoestring budget, Saurabh Naik established the initial company, Intercontinental Export Import Inc., in 1987 to acquire plastics scrap from recyclers and brokers and sell the material on the Asian market. Offices and operations occupy 170,000 square feet in Odenton, Md. It exports product mainly through the port of Baltimore.
International marketing network Star Export Inc. of West Palm Beach, Fla., was formed in 1990.
Intercontinental Polymers Pvt. Ltd. in Mumbai was set up in 1993 and employs 90-95. The location recycles plastics, makes molds, has 31 presses of 250-900 tons and handles assembly work.
Naik said making molds in India costs about 20-25 percent of what it costs to make molds in the United States.
In 1995, the group converted a 130,000-square-foot Cuba, Mo., site from acrylic sheet production to automotive scrap recycling under the name Specialty Polymer Services Inc.
In 1996, it established Next Specialty Resins Inc. in a 250,000-square-foot Addison, Mich., site to provide closed-loop recycling services to the auto industry. Another cousin, Shrish Naik, manages Next.
In 2000, Naik Group bought a 60,000-square-foot injection molding plant in Tecumseh, Mich. Now Total Molding Solution LLC in Tecumseh operates at about 80 percent capacity using 22 presses of 200-800 tons for contract work.
In 2001, extruder Polymer Technologies and Services in Heath, Ohio, began closed-loop recycling, converting scrap into pellets. Sharad Thakkar manages the facility.
Holding company Surnaik Holdings LLC of Odenton supports construction of warehouse facilities and provides lessor services.
During 2002, Naik Group launched IEI Laredo in Laredo, Texas, to support cross-border recycling joint venture Glezco Intercontinental in Monterrey, Mexico, and recycling operation Canadian Plastic Solutions in Toronto.
In April, Polymer Alliance Service LLC in Parkersburg, W.Va., began operations under General Manager Jeff Schmitt to shred, grind, blend, color sort and dry polymers for Ohio Valley producers. Phase one investment: $4.5 million for equipment and the initial 100,000-square-foot facility.
Polymer Alliance is growing. In early July, managers approved constructing a 100,000-square-foot plant, which plans to be operational Nov. 15. Polymer Alliance is mulling two more expansions.