GLS Corp. is looking to expand its compounding site in McHenry, Ill., by at least 20,000 square feet.
``We're having the architects take a look at it now,'' GLS Vice President Dan Dague said at K 2004 in Dusseldorf. ``We need to decide if we're going to build warehousing for finished goods or production capacity. Right now, we're using outside warehouses.''
McHenry-based GLS opened a 100,000-square-foot plant there in 2002, but already needs more room, as its sales are up more than 20 percent this year. GLS' thermoplastic elastomer sales are approaching the $100 million annual mark, Dague said.
``We're still maintaining a focus on the consumer market,'' he added. ``There are a lot of food packaging concepts and medical and infant care uses where our technology can provide an advantage.''
A decision on the size and scope of the expansion project is expected by the end of the year.
GLS recently commercialized a new grade of its Versaflex-brand TPE for nylon overmolding and a new grade of its Versollan-brand thermoplastic polyurethane for overmolding to polycarbonate, ABS and PC/ABS alloys.
The Versaflex grade is aimed at the power-tool market, while the new Versollan is targeted at grips and handles for lawn and garden equipment and hand-held electronic items.
TPEs generate about 25 percent of total sales for GLS, which has been a licensed compounder of Kraton-brand styrenic block copolymers since 1979. The firm also operates the Composites One distribution business, as well as a transportation unit that includes barge terminals, bulk trucking terminals and a trucking fleet.