Two plastics industry veterans aspire to be major players in the custom profiles extrusion business with their new venture, Southern Cross Extrusion LLC.
The Fort Smith, Ark.-based firm specializes in coextruded products, said co-owner Bill Dyer, in a Sept. 11 telephone interview.
Four-month-old Southern Cross mainly processes PVC and polyethylene, he said.
Just four people work at the startup company, though Dyer and partner Ron Wesson are looking to grow the extruder's employee base, as well as its bottom line.
It hasn't gone as smoothly as they had hoped.
Both Dyer and Wesson are former employees of Southern Extrusion Specialists Inc., also based in Fort Smith. Southern Extrusion Specialists recently filed a lawsuit in Sebastian County Circuit Court, accusing Dyer and Wesson of trade name infringement and misappropriation of trade secrets, among other charges.
Jim Post, president of Southern Extrusion Specialists, declined to comment on the lawsuit, deferring to his lawyers. Attorney Robert Frazier, of Fort Smith-based law firm Warner, Smith & Harris, also declined comment.
Dyer defended his new company, saying Southern Cross specializes in coextrusion technology, a process he said his former employer is not even capable of. Dyer added that all of his company's machines and extrusion lines are new and engineered by Southern Cross workers.
As for the similarity in company names, Southern Cross Extrusion, according to Dyer, refers to the extrusion process itself and is not a rip-off of Southern Extrusion's name, which has been around since 1994.
Dyer is looking forward to getting the lawsuit behind him and concentrating on growing the new firm.
``We plan on growing,'' he said. ``We have aspirations of being a major player some day.''