Asahi Thermofil Inc. and Asahi Kasei Plastics America Inc. are combining their compounding operations in Fowlerville, Mich.
The move, effective Aug. 1, has created a management shakeup under which longtime Thermofil executive Randy Rudisill has retired from the company.
The new firm will operate as Asahi Kasei Plastics North America Inc. Combined, AKPNA will have annual sales of about $150 million, with $100 million in poly-propylene compounding and the rest from engineering plastics.
Asahi Thermofil is one of North America's largest PP compounders. The Fowlerville site added engineering resin compounding after an expansion in 2003. The engineering resin compounding business had operated as Asahi Kasei Plastics and had a separate sales staff and management team, located in the same building as Asahi Thermofil.
Officials said the changes will allow the firm to capitalize on the global abilities of its parent firm, Asahi Kasei Corp., a $13 billion conglomerate based in Tokyo.
``Now we can bring a full portfolio to our customers and gain savings in freight and other areas,'' said John Moyer, who joined AKPNA as president earlier this year. Moyer previously spent 24 years at Dow Chemical Co. of Midland, Mich., most recently leading Dow's Six Sigma maintenance and infrastructure programs.
Shozo Horino had been chairman of the board for both companies, and he will retain that title with the combined firm. Other new or promoted executives include Andy Ubhi, executive vice president of sales and market development; Toshiyuki Niitsu, executive vice president of marketing; and Makoto Takemura, vice president of Japanese transplant sales.
Rudisill had been with the company under various ownerships for more than 20 years. Marketing and finance director Jim West also has left the firm. Merging the managerial and sales staffs of the two sides resulted in a net loss of about five jobs, Moyer said.
The combined firm will focus on the automotive, industrial electrical and electronic and distribution markets, officials said. According to Moyer, AKPA will look to do more business through distribution channels, including sales of uncompounded Asahi Kasei resins.
AKPNA compounds PP, nylon, acetal, polyphenylene ether and other resins imported from Asahi Kasei plants in Asia. About half of AKPA's sales are to Japanese transplant firms. In end markets, about half of sales are in the automotive sector.
The firm employs 140 and has annual compounding capacity of about 280 million pounds on eight extrusion lines.