Compounders Infinity Compounding Corp. and Plastics Group of America each have added machinery in recent months to improve their product mix.
Infinity of Logan Township, N.J., near Bridgeport, installed a melt filtration unit that allows the firm to purify high-temperature polymers, primarily for thin-film applications, according to co-owner Carlos Carreno.
Polymers that can be processed by the new unit include polysulfones, polyetheretherketones and polyimides. The new machinery also will allow Infinity to recycle those types of materials, Carreno said by phone. Materials made using the new machinery can create films for aerospace and electronic medical markets.
``In those applications, you can't risk having a hole in the film, so you really need to purify the material,'' he said. Infinity already has sold material made with the new unit to several customers.
Infinity employs 20 and operates 5 million pounds of capacity at a 57,000-square-foot site. Its sales are on pace to grow by 25 percent this year, but Carreno said the installation of a fourth compounding line might be delayed until early 2009 because of the current economy's instability.
The Plastics Group, based in Woonsocket, R.I., has installed a new twin-screw extrusion line at its Woonsocket plant. The line will be used to compound filled and reinforced polypropylene, polyethylene, polystyrene, ABS, nylon and other materials for various markets and applications, said President Bob Lebeaux.
The new line, made by Century Extrusion of Traverse City, Mich., is the firm's fourth at its 75,000-square-foot Woonsocket site, he added. The Plastics Group also installed five new resin silos with total storage capacity of more than 1 million pounds.
The Plastics Group employs a total of 50 in Woonsocket and at a Blairsville, Ga., recycling plant and has annual sales of about $20 million.