Teknor Apex Co. is growing its North American compounding business by adding a 24 million-pound capacity twin-screw compounding line at its plant in Brownsville, Tenn.
The plant is operated by Teknor's Chem Polymer unit. The new line will make compounds based on nylon and other engineering resins for the appliance, automotive, electrical and electronics markets. Other resins compounded on the new line include acetal, polybutylene terephthalate and PET.
``This expansion builds on our nylon knowledge,'' Executive Vice President Bert Lederer said in a recent telephone interview. ``And that area is a great distribution point for our products, especially for the automotive market.''
Pawtucket, R.I.-based Teknor acquired Chem Polymer, which was located in Fort Myers, Fla., in 2004. Shortly afterward, Teknor began making Chem Polymer compounds at one of its existing plants in Lodi, Ohio. Chem Polymer products also are made for the European market at a plant in Oldbury, England.
The Brownsville expansion is expected to create 15-20 jobs. Teknor operates a massive, 1 million-square-foot facility there, compounding PVC and thermoplastic elastomers, as well as producing garden hose. The cost of the new line was not disclosed.
Teknor also recently opened its first Chinese compounding plant in Suzhou. The 70,000-square-foot plant currently is in startup mode, but should be fully operational by year's end. The site has annual capacity of almost 31 million pounds on two extrusion lines, producing a full range of the firm's compounds based on PVC, TPEs and engineering resins.
Products made at the new plant are expected to be consumed within the Chinese market. Since 2001, Teknor has served that market from its plant in Singapore, which operates as Singapore Polymer Corp.
Teknor recently increased capacity in Singapore by streamlining the plant's 12 lines. Since late 2006, the firm also has replaced older lines with new ones in Lodi; Fountain Inn, S.C.; and Henderson, Ky. The company also began compounding of TPEs in Oldbury, England.
Teknor - which employs 2,000 worldwide - posted sales of about $650 million in 2006. The 83-year-old firm also makes color concentrates and garden hose and ranks among North America's 30 largest compounders.