Standridge Color Corp. will venture outside of the United States for the first time in January when it opens a color concentrate plant in Suzhou, China.
Social Circle-based Standridge is making the move to produce color and additive concentrates for customers in the region, Standridge President Beth Wells said. Currently, Standridge derives about 10 percent of its annual sales from outside North America.
Concentrates made at the new plant will be used for nonwoven applications such as baby diapers, surgical masks and other disposable medical products, Wells added. The line is expected to open with a pair of extrusion lines.
Qing Zhao will serve as manager of the Suzhou plant. Wells said that Zhao has been learning the business by working at Standridge's Social Circle plant for the past eight months.
The firm also operates plants in Dalton, Ga.; Greensboro, Ga.; Newton, Kan.; and Defiance, Ohio. The Dalton, Newton and Defiance plants each have opened since early 2005.
Standridge expects to post sales of about $215 million this year. Earlier in 2006, the firm entered the commercial machinery field by marketing a chaotic advection blender for use in concentrate production.