Color concentrates maker Techmer PM appears to be enjoying the economic rebound in 2004, with plans to have a total of seven new twin-screw extrusion lines in place at three sites by the end of the year.
Two new lines already are in place in Clinton, Tenn., and two more will be installed. Clinton-based Techmer also recently added a line in Rancho Dominguez, Calif., and will add as many as three in Dalton and Gainesville, Ga. Upgrades to downstream equipment in Wichita, Kan., also have increased capacity there by 15 percent.
The lines will produce a range of Techmer's color and additive concentrates and are expected to improve output and quality.
``The business climate has been very strong for us,'' Techmer president John Manuck said in a recent phone interview.
``We've got a backlog with lots of orders. We actually placed the equipment orders last fall based on anticipated growth, so it was a bit of a gamble that paid off,'' he added.
Techmer also has been active on the new product front in 2004, commercializing several new concentrates including:
* A low density polyethylene-based concentrate designed to handle stickiness problems in chill rolls for PE extrusion coatings.
* A polyolefin-based, super-clear antiblocking concentrate for extruded films, pouches and bags.
* A polypropylene-based, flame-retardant concentrate offering flexibility in slit tape for carpets, extruded hose, ducts and other PP products.
Techmer posted sales of about $130 million in 2003, with about 30 percent of that total coming from the fibers market.