Sukano Polymers Corp. is growing its North American business and hopes to double existing capacity in the near future.
Duncan, S.C.-based Sukano - a unit of additives maker Sukano Products Ltd. of Schindelligi, Switzerland - employs six and has more than 1 million pounds of annual capacity for compounds and concentrates at a 23,000 square-foot site in Duncan.
Sukano Polymers Chief Executive Officer Rodrigo Procacci said the firm's sales are on track to be up 20 percent in 2007 and should be able to hit the same growth rate in 2008, as well. He declined to reveal exact sales data.
``We're increasing our quantities from our current lot sizes, which range from 6,000 pounds to 20,000 pounds,'' Procacci said in a recent telephone interview. ``We also now can do loadings as high as 70 percent.''
To date, most of Sukano's products have been based on PET and copolyester and have been targeted at markets for extruded film and sheet. Recent new products for the firm include:
* a transparency enhancer for polypropylene.
* an optical brightener for PET and glycol-modified PET.
* an economical ultraviolet-light blocker for polycarbonate sheet extrusion.
* special matting effects for deep-drawn items made from PET, PETG and PC. These new effects also can be combined with colors, Procacci said.
* high-dispersion white masterbatches for PET milk bottles.
Sukano also has made products for use with polylactic acid bioresin since 2005. Earlier this year, the firm launched production of a transparent impact modifier for that material.
In Asia, Sukano plans to begin distributing its products in China and to open a production site in Malaysia sometime in 2008.
Earlier this year, Sukano also began working with industry veteran Larry Chapoy - who is with consulting company HPM Co. in Barrington, Ill. - to market its products.
``We're focusing on customer relationships,'' Procacci said. ``We really want to determine our customers' requirements, and then by working together, we can come up with a value-added solution.''