Fast-growing film extruder and recycler TRM Manufacturing Inc. continues to expand, with three newly installed Brampton monolayer lines and another line, a Chinese-made extruder with a self-contained cooling system, to be running by October.
Corona, Calif.-based TRM spent $1.5 million on the Brampton lines, which have been up and running since July. The Chinese extrusion line will be TRM's 26th.
The firm, which manufactures and recycles polyethylene film, projects sales of $107 million in the fiscal year ending Oct. 31, compared with $92 million in 2005 and $65 million in 2004, said Theodore R. Moore, president and chief executive officer.
One of the markets pushing growth is high density PE protective sheeting for residential and commercial painting jobs, Moore said. ``In the past, that was all low density [PE], but high density is taking a little away from low density'' now, Moore said.
Construction and agriculture products account for about 45 percent of TRM's total annual output of 90 million pounds of PE. The rest is custom extrusion for shrink and stretch films, pallet overwraps and sheeting for painting applications. The firm processes more than 6 million pounds of PE a year in making rolls of inflatable packaging pillows for Storopack Packaging Systems USA Inc. of Cincinnati.
TRM moved to its 206,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art plant in Corona in 2004, from a leased site in La Mirada, Calif. At the time it had about 240 employees and 14 extruders. Today the firm employs roughly 300 and runs 24 blown extrusion lines and one cast embossed line, including extruders from Brampton, Sterling and Merritt.
The new Bramptons operate under low pressure with nonadjusting dies, Moore said.
``Output is 20 percent better than high-pressure dies,'' he said.
The plant's 60,000-square-foot extrusion area has 50-foot-high ceilings and 175-foot-wide floors. Recycling operations occupy 30,000 square feet; warehousing, 107,000 square feet. Monthly, TRM recycles about 2.2 million pounds of PE, with the capacity for about 3 million. The firm's current plans include building a 57,000-square-foot site for its recycling operations, now housed in the main building.
TRM began seeking a new site as early as 1999, Moore said. Anaisa LLC, which the Moores own, paid $3.5 million for nearly 19 acres in Corona. It also paid for construction. The Riverside County Industrial Development Authority issued the owners a $5 million, 25-year industrial development revenue bond for the site. But the site was dirty, Moore said, from many years of aluminum recycling operations.
``In 48 states, it would not be contamination,'' he said, but regulations in California qualified it as despoiled. Eventually Moore recovered $1.1 million from two of the sellers, offsetting some of the cleanup costs of $1.6 million.
In 2003, Corona officials authorized the $6.5 million construction project on the site. Other expenses included $500,000 for a rail siding with space for 33 cars, $700,000 in AEC materials-handling equipment, including distributive vacuum and gravimetric blender systems for each extrusion line, fluff-feed trim-scrap reclaim systems, blown film coolers, and hoppers and loaders. Another $1.3 million went for 24 earthquake-resistant extruder cooling towers that TRM designed. San Francisco-based Chevron Energy Solutions Co. installed a cogeneration system that cost $2.8 million that helps keep extrusion lines running around the clock and usually produces 50 percent of TRM's electricity needs.
Moore founded TRM in 1976, along with his wife, Anaisa. Their son, Theodore R. Moore II, is vice president and sales manager.
TRM sister company, United Polymers Inc., extrudes high-density bags and lightweight sheeting in La Mirada.