Progressive Foam expands into South
BEACH CITY, OHIO - Expanded polystyrene firm Progressive Foam Technologies Inc. of Beach City will open a plant in Conway, Ark., by April 1.
The company teams with vinyl siding manufacturers such as Crane Performance Siding of Columbus, Ohio; Resource Materials Corp. of Fremont, Ohio; and CertainTeed Corp. of Valley Forge, Pa., for foam-backed siding products.
The 75,000-square-foot site will employ 20 at the start, including Vice President Ray Kendall and plant manager Dave Albrecht.
Officials would not disclose production capacity, which will include lamination operations. The firm, headed by President Pat Culpepper, started in 1992 with a patent for ThermoWall, an EPS foam contoured material designed to enhance vinyl siding.
Progressive Foam operates a 110,000-square-foot plant in Beach City, plus lamination operations in a 30,000-square-foot site in Dover, Ohio. The company received tax abatements, job training incentives and relocation assistance from the state of Arkansas and the city of Conway.
King facility upgrade boosts capacity
NORTH PORT, FLA. - King Plastic Corp. is in the midst of a multimillion-dollar upgrade at its North Port facility.
The producer of stock sheets, slabs and massive shapes needs extra capacity to launch new products and cut lead times, according to President Jeff King. He said the North Port firm will add new sheet extrusion and other equipment, and streamline existing machinery and production procedures to allow more throughput.
The project should be done by midsummer, he said in a telephone interview. King Plastic has enough space in its 150,000-square-foot building to accommodate the expansion, he added.
King uses a lot of high density polyethylene, including ultrahigh and very-high-molecular-weight grades, and polypropylene. It also makes sheet from ABS, high-impact polystyrene, polyphenylene oxide and polyvinylidene difluoride for specialty applications.
Although the firm's origins in 1968 were focused on marine applications, it has branched into architectural, signage, pipe, food-service and other markets. King Plastic sales manager Lou Stegner said in a news release that the improvements will help the company's distributors compete in those markets.
Among King Plastic's more exotic products is sheet loaded with as much as 5 percent boron additives for neutron shielding in medical, military and other applications. Another unusual strength is the company's ability to make giant slabs and blocks as thick as 48 inches and weighing as much as 6,000 pounds.
King's father, Thomas King, founded the firm and now is retired. The men co-own the business, which employs about 120.
SPI needs financial survey participants
WASHINGTON - The Society of the Plastics Industry Inc. is seeking U.S. plastics processors to participate in its annual financial and operating ratios survey. The survey, now in its 43rd year, takes the financial pulse of the plastics processing industry, with the confidential results presented as composite operating statements, balance sheets and statistical data.
Survey participants will learn their firms' confidential ranking in more than 100 key business metrics, including: net sales to employee hours, value added per employee hours, productive machine hours vs. available machine hours, inventory turnover, asset turnover, return on equity and return on invested capital.
The survey also will provide benchmarking data, including percentage of on-time delivery, percentage of customer complaints for orders shipped, percentage of products made that did not meet customers' specifications and employee absenteeism.
``Providing U.S. plastics processors with this in-depth industry data allows them to make strategic business decisions with confidence, ultimately empowering them to be more competitive in the global market,'' said Tommy Southall, director of Washington-based SPI's industry information service.
A list of survey participants, a copy of the original questionnaire and formulas for ratios are included in the survey. Survey results are provided at no cost to participating companies and may be purchased by nonparticipants.
To complete the survey, link to the Web at secure.verisconsulting.com/SPIFINOPS/2004. For more information, call Southall at (202) 974-5257 or e-mail [email protected]