In a trans-Atlantic deal, compounders Techmer PM and Lehmann & Voss & Co. KG, known as Lehvoss, have formed a joint venture to buy a pair of engineering resin product lines from DSM Engineering Plastics Americas.
Techmer Lehvoss Compounds LLC is the name of the venture between Clinton, Tenn.-based Techmer and Lehvoss of Hamburg, Germany. The venture has purchased the North American portion of the Electrafil and Plaslube product lines from DSM of Evansville, Ind.
Electrafil is a conductive compound line based on nylon, polycarbonate and other engineering resins, while Plaslube is an internally lubricated compound line that fills nylon and other engineering resins with DuPont's Teflon fluoropolymer and similar materials.
Electrafil is sold into electronics markets, while Plaslube is used heavily in gears. Combined annual sales of the products are more than $10 million. No purchase price was disclosed in the deal, in which Techmer is the majority partner.
The purchase also will result in a 30,000-square-foot addition to Techmer's Clinton site. A pair of twin-screw extrusion lines will be transferred from DSM's Evansville plant once the Clinton expansion is completed early next year.
``This is a move up the food chain for us,'' said Techmer President and Chief Executive Officer John Manuck. The Electrafil and Plaslube products are expected to sell for more than $3 per pound, he added.
Lehvoss had struck a similar deal with DSM NV in Europe in 2000 when it acquired Electrafil, Plaslube and similar product lines. Techmer and Lehvoss have been distributing each other's products in North America and Europe for several years.
``We had been working with Lehvoss in Germany for a while when I noticed they had these high-end specialty plastics,'' Manuck said in a Sept. 28 telephone interview. ``We both thought it was something we should go after in North America.''
In a news release, DSM Engineering Plastics Americas President Auke Rottier said the sale of the ``noncore compounds'' is another step toward DSM's goal of focusing on specialty applications requiring nylon 6, nylon 4/6 and copolyester elastomers in the automotive and electrical/ electronics market.
Techmer veteran Tom Pontiff will serve as general manager of the new venture.
Techmer has been active in other areas as well. By the end of the year, the firm will have added new extrusion lines at plants in Clinton; Rancho Dominguez, Calif.; and Dalton and Gainesville, Ga. Techmer, which had sales of $130 million last year, also upgraded downstream equipment at its plant in Wichita, Kan., this year.