Custom compounder Colors For Plastics Inc. recently increased its color concentrate capacity by 5 million pounds and its liquid color capacity by 3 million pounds through investments at plants in Illinois and South Carolina.
The Elk Grove company installed a rebuilt twin-screw extrusion line at one of its two Elk Grove plants, lifting annual color concentrate capacity at the site to almost 12 million. The Elk Grove site and CFP's plant in Spartanburg, S.C., each also received a new liquid mixer, raising liquid color capacity at each site from 1 million pounds annually to 2.5 million pounds.
CFP also can make almost 6 million pounds of color concentrates annually in Spartanburg and as much as 6 million pounds of pre-colored resin in Elk Grove.
Owner Jack Dalleska said the moves were needed to handle demand that's expected to grow at a rate of 5-10 percent this year.
``We're seeing the return of previous business and also some healthy gains from new business,'' Dalleska said in a June 29 interview in Elk Grove.
The moves have led CFP to add a total of 10 employees at its three plants since the start of the year. The firm also has added new sales representatives in the Midwest and Southeast since mid-2003.
CFP generates a lot of its business from the housewares market, where changing tastes and tight budgets have led to growth in the color market.
``Instead of changing tooling, customers are changing color to introduce new products,'' said Ron Hulbert, the firm's national sales director.
Vice President Robert Dalleska - Jack's son - said CFP also is selling more of its products into the medical market for items such as inhalers and other hospital service items.
About 70 percent of CFP's products are based on polyethylene, polypropylene and polystyrene. The firm's sales are expected to hit $16 million in 2004.