To handle steady growth, Indian compounder Rajiv Plastic Industries will open its third plant, outside Mumbai, India, in early 2007.
The 40,000-square-foot plant will focus on specialty compounds, including glass- and mineral-filled grades of polypropylene and other resins, technical director Hemant Minocha said.
Construction on the site began this summer. The 50-employee plant initially will house two twin-screw extrusion lines but can be expanded to hold six, Minocha added. Debottlenecking lines at Rajiv's existing plants in Mumbai and Silvassa, India, will yield a capacity increase of about 10 percent.
Mumbai-based Rajiv decided to make its NPE debut this year after seeing sales increase in Central and South America and after receiving a number of sales inquiries from Canada. Rajiv currently exports about 650,000 pounds of compounds annually to customers in Central and South America. Overall, exports account for about 25 percent of the firm's sales.
In 2006, Minocha said, Rajiv's sales should be about $10 million, but he added that the estimate is ``conservative.'' A $10 million sales year would represent a 10 percent gain over 2005. Sales in 2007 are expected to be higher because of the new plant.
At NPE 2006 in Chicago, Minocha said the firm's special effects compounds - which can produce metallic and granite effects in polyolefins, styrenics and polycarbonate - have drawn significant interest.
``Everyone is looking for ways to differentiate,'' he said. ``Product redesign cycles can be as short as two months in some cases.''
Rajiv also recently commercialized highly loaded concentrates for PET beverage, medicine and pesticide bottles.