Techmer PM LLC has added three new twin-screw extrusion lines since January and plans to add another at its Techmer Lehvoss Compounds joint venture in 2007.
The new lines for Clinton, Tenn.-based Techmer are in Clinton; Rancho Dominguez, Calif.; and Gainesville, Ga. The new capacity is needed to handle increased sales of the firm's color and additive masterbatches across a range of markets, John Manuck, president and chief executive officer, said during an interview at NPE 2006 in Chicago.
Another twin-screw line will be installed next year to handle high-temperature work for Techmer Lehvoss in Clinton. Techmer Lehvoss is a 50-50 joint venture between Techmer and Lehman & Voss & Co. KG of Hamburg, Germany.
The venture was formed in 2004 to buy a pair of engineering resin compound businesses from DSM Engineering Plastics Americas. The venture then opened a 40,000-square-foot expansion operating two lines at the Clinton plant in July 2005.
Also at NPE, Techmer touted its Techmercolor digital color system. The system uses software designed by Datacolor of Lawrenceville, N.J., and allows for online color testing and development, Techmer automotive development director Jim Harper said.
Techmercolor is being marketed as a means of saving time and effort in arriving at accurate color matches. The program can compare thousands of colors in different resins, textures and light sources, color technologies Vice President Brian West said.
``When an auto company says they want a part in tan, they give a plaque to all their parts makers,'' added Ken Jacobson, fibers vice president and general manager. ``Then they get five interpretations of tan, and none of them match.''
``With [Techmercolor] we can avoid a lot of that.''
In new products, Techmer - which employs more than 500 at five U.S. locations - also is promoting new clarifier grades for polypropylene and polyethylene bottles. A new anti-fogger grade for PP film also is commercially available.
A new viscosity additive also will allow injection molders and extruders to reduce amps and extrude at a faster rate. Customers have reported increases in speed of as much as 40 percent, according to Mark Jordan, sales and marketing vice president.
On the sales front, Manuck said Techmer in 2006 is on track to post sales growth of 8-10 percent after logging sales of more than $160 million in 2005. He reported the firm's international sales are growing at an even faster rate.