Pro Ex Extrusion Inc. is in expansion mode.
Officials at the Oshkosh, Wis., custom compounder and profile extruder Feb. 2 installed a new underwater pelletizing system on a single-screw compounding line, President Gary Borgers said. The firm already had installed another system on a twin-screw compounding line.
In November, the firm began operating a second facility near its original plant. That 15,000-square-foot, leased facility is used for grinding and warehousing. The expansion also has meant additional blending, grinding and materials-handling equipment.
``We think we're going to have a good year in 2004, if everything continues to hold,'' Borgers said in a Feb. 3 telephone interview. ``We see markets getting very tight and competition increasing. Foreign competition is very hard to get past.''
The firm still has 18 months remaining on the lease at its 20,000-square-foot, original site.
``When our lease expires here, we want to be able to move into a facility of our own,'' Borgers said.
Pro Ex's business has evolved since its formation in 2001 as a matter of necessity, he said. At that time, he and partner Chris Bendickson were the only two employees; now Pro Ex employs 14. Early on, 80 percent of its business stemmed from a client base of smaller injection molders, but officials began to see that business erode as a result of foreign competition.
``We see the size of our client trending toward much larger companies,'' said Borgers, whose plastics career spans nearly 20 years.
Borgers said Pro Ex's primary growth areas are industrial and automotive applications, both in compounding and profile extrusion. Although he would not disclose sales figures, he said he expects 2004 sales to increase 35 percent in compounding and 50 percent in profile extrusion.