Cascade Engineering Inc.'s in-house compounding group now is offering its services to a wider marketplace.
Noble Polymers LLC has launched a new identity independent of Cascade, ready to sell competing molders compounds.
``We are set up to treat Cascade as an independent customer,'' Tim Patterson, Noble business unit leader, said during a Dec. 11 telephone interview. ``We'll handle work for all of our customers with the utmost regard to confidentiality.''
The Grand Rapids firm will target companies in the automotive and office furniture industries - the same businesses served by injection molder Cascade.
Cascade created Noble five years ago. As the unit worked more with thermoplastic polyolefins and nanocomposite polypropylene blends, it found it was receiving attention from outside businesses.
About 5 percent of its sales now go outside Cascade to a cross section of large and small injection molders. More firms have expressed interest in buying from Noble during the past six months, prompting the decision to establish an official market identity outside Cascade. Noble has hired two sales people specifically to work with outside business prospects, Patterson said.
Noble plans to expand beyond polyolefins into other resin blends, if the market takes it in those directions, he said.