A new commercial profile extruder has joined the U.S. market, with an aggressive strategy to double in size during the next five years.
JT Walker Industries Inc. of Clearwater, Fla., owned captive profile extrusion and injection molding facilities in Millersburg, Pa., and Elizabethton, Tenn. As of June 1, the operations have turned commercial and now conduct business as ProPlastix International Inc.
The firm will serve the North American residential construction market, making products such as window and door profiles, fascias, moldings, fencing, railing and injection molded products that may include fascias and frames.
``[The company has] always been a captive supplier up until now,'' said G. Christopher Mathews, who joined last year as president, leaving a position at window profile extruder Chelsea Building Products Inc. in Oakmont, Pa. ``They want to take this particular asset and now expand it into a growth opportunity.''
In 2004, Mathews will expand extrusion capacity by 60 percent using equipment from Krauss-Maffei Corp. Its Pennsylvania site has 38 extrusion lines in 110,000 square feet, which includes toolmaking operations. In Tennessee, the company occupies 65,000 square feet of production space with a regional office complex. Its total employee count is 325.
ProPlastix has 2005 earmarked for changes to its injection molding operations.
With more than 20 injection presses with clamping forces of 15-300 tons, it will increase its capacity by 60 percent and find a third production facility to consolidate those operations.
The firm will maintain a low-cost structure by not adding the traditional middle-management group, Mathews said in a July 15 telephone interview.
``I'm trying to never let [middle management] become part of my business,'' he said. ``Dell [Computer Corp.] did it by taking out a level of distribution. The business model that we're going to base ourselves on will keep this layer of management out.''