For 100 employees of bankrupt Omega Pultrusions Inc., the past month has been business as usual at the plant in Aurora, Ohio, with three shifts producing a core line of window and door frames.
The only way a passerby would know anything is different at the plant is a sign on the door that reads ``Composite Technologies of America Inc.'' - the company formed by new Omega owner Resilience Capital Partners to run the business.
Ronald Cozean, president and chief executive officer of Composite Technologies, said the 100,000-square-foot plant has been running without interruption to fill orders for Omega customers, including window and door manufacturer Andersen Corp.
That's considerably better news than employees faced when Omega's parent, Omega Polymer Technologies Inc., filed for Chapter 11 protection from creditors in U.S. Bankruptcy Court on Aug. 21, soon after selling a Pennsylvania subsidiary for $4.6 million. In the first week of September, Omega Polymer notified the state it planned to shutter the plant and lay off at least 60 employees.
Two weeks later, on Sept. 21, Resilience Capital, a Cleveland private equity firm, acquired the struggling plastics maker. To date, Composite Technologies, which began production under its own banner Oct. 24, has employed all 100 former Omega workers.
Cozean said Resilience officials developed a plan to keep the plant operating without interruption.
Cozean previously served as a member of Resilience's operating group, which supervises the firm's portfolio of 12 companies. That list includes Air Enterprises, an Akron, Ohio-based maker of industrial air-handling systems that Resilience bought out of bankruptcy last year.
Steve Rosen, managing partner of Resilience, said the firm's long-term strategy is for Omega to become more efficient in its manufacturing and inventory controls to meet challenges such as high costs for raw materials. Rosen said Omega, like many smaller manufacturers, was ``underinvested'' in research and development and engineering.
Resilience also plans to expand the uses for Composite Technologies' products, Rosen said.
Typical uses for Omega Pultrusions' products are liners for residential doors and windows as well as for commercial freezers and truck trailers. Rosen said there are untapped markets, including some within the aerospace and automotive industries, where ``anything that is metal can be replaced by a strong, high-composite polymer.''
Because Composite Technologies has been operating for only about a month, the company has not determined its R&D budget, Rosen said. It does plan to spend $500,000 on equipment upgrades at the Aurora plant.