CHICAGO (July 10, 2:30 p.m. EDT) — It's out with the old and in with the new at Teknor Apex Co., as the compounder is updating machinery at several of its plants.
A new twin-screw line went into operation at Teknor's Jacksonville, Texas, plant June 21, replacing an older single-screw line, company President Jon Fain said at NPE 2006, held June 19-23 in Chicago. New lines also will replace older ones in Lodi, Ohio; Fountain Inn, S.C.; and Henderson, Ky., by early 2007. Total investment for the project is about $3 million.
The new equipment “gives us better technology and better control of our finished product,” Fain said.
Teknor senior Vice President Bert Lederer added that, in some cases, the new equipment will make it easier for Pawtucket, R.I.-based Teknor to make PVC compounds for the building and construction market.
Teknor's Singapore Polymers Corp. joint venture in Singapore also is growing. By early 2007, the site will receive a new twin-screw line, and a debottlenecking project will cover the dozen lines already in operation there. In total, the new line and debottlenecking will increase the site's capacity by 10 percent.
Asian market growth has come from the building and construction, wire and cable, and medical markets, Lederer said. Technology gained by Teknor's early 2005 purchase of Fort Myers, Fla.-based Chem Polymer Corp. also is being used in Singapore. Chem Polymer's nylon compounds now are being made in Singapore.
Earlier this year, Teknor consolidated Chem Polymer production in Cinderford, England, to a nearby plant in Oldbury. Lederer said the firm will continue to look for acquisitions that complement its existing businesses.
The building and construction market also is the focus of new color concentrates and dry color formulations that Teknor is unveiling at NPE. The firm said its new Construction Colors line includes 14 hues — such as earth, wood and stone — for use in building materials. Teknor said it can formulate each color for the five most common construction polymers.
Also at NPE, Teknor formally launched its new line of Monprene thermoplastic elastomers, which provides a unique combination of extreme softness and optical clarity. The new TPE grades impart a clear, sparkling appearance to grips, cushions and other padding and soft-touch products, the company said.
On the sales front, Teknor posted sales of more than $600 million in 2005 and expects to do the same in 2006, with what Fain described as “high-single-digit” growth. Teknor derives “a great majority” of its sales from plastics operations, Fain added.
Teknor compounds specialty PVC, thermoplastic elastomers and color concentrates, and is a producer of garden hose. The firm is one of North America's 30 largest compounders.