Custom Compounding Services LLC, led by plastics industry veteran Paul Myers, has opened its doors as a custom and toll compounder in Rockford, Ill.
The 70,000-square-foot plant is running three Buss kneaders, with bore sizes of 140, 100 and 46 millimeters. The small model is a laboratory machine.
Myers said the kneaders do a good job of mixing with low shear, giving Custom Compounding the flexibility to run a range of resins and natural polymers, such as starch.
The company could add higher-output twin- or single-screw extruders, depending on demand. ``Our next machine really depends on our customers,'' he said.
A rail spur comes into the factory.
Myers said Custom Compounding will be able to make small samples up to millions of pounds.
The compounder, with six employees, is owned by Myers and four silent partners - three plastics industry veterans and a polymer scientist.
Myers, 51, has more than 30 years of plastics experience, doing compounding, custom extrusion and injection molding. He started out on the bottom rung - after graduating from high school, he got a job in 1970 grinding up PVC scrap at a Baxter Healthcare Corp. plant in Arkansas that made blood bags and medical tubing.
He moved to other companies, working in injection molding, profile extrusion and compounding, where he was introduced to the Buss kneader.
Myers worked at J.M. Huber Corp.'s compounding plant in Orange, Texas, when A. Schulman Inc. bought that operation in 1995. Then he joined Advanced Polymer Compounding in Carpentersville, Ill.
After Ferro Corp. bought Advanced Polymer Compounding in 1999, Myers retired - but after a few years, the compounding bug bit.