Growth in compounds based on nylon and polycarbonate has led custom compounder Oxford Polymers to add its eighth extrusion line.
The new line - a 70 millimeter twin-screw - should be producing material by early January, according to Oxford Chief Financial Officer David Gambardella.
More than half of the new nylon/PC business is from the automotive and office furniture markets, Gambardella said by phone Dec. 18.
With the new line, Oxford now has 40 million pounds of annual compounding capacity. Oxford bases all of its compounds on engineering resins such as polybutylene terephthalate and acetal, as well as nylon and PC.
The new line ``is a testament to our continued commitment to our customers in North America,'' Oxford President Nick DeFelice said in a Dec. 16 news release.
Oxford expects to post a sales gain of 20 percent in 2003 after growing by 10 percent in 2002, Gambardella said. The New Britain, Conn., firm has averaged 20 percent annual growth for the past seven years. Privately held Oxford does not disclose annual sales.
Since late 2002, Oxford has spent about $500,000 on the new twin-screw line, a used single-screw line for small-lot color work and additional lab equipment. Improved operating efficiency also allowed Oxford to reduce its workforce from 40 employees to 30 during 2003.
If sales continue to grow, Oxford may add another twin-screw line in mid-2004, Gambardella said.