Ovation Polymers Inc. remains in full growth mode as the specialty compounder marks its five-year anniversary.
Medina-based Ovation installed its third twin-screw extrusion line in July and will start its fourth in October, company officials said Aug. 27 at a flag-raising event at the firm's headquarters.
At the event, Ovation founder and President Asis Banerjie credited the firm's many supporters and investors with helping it get through a difficult financial period in 2008. The Ohio Department of Development, in particular, provided funding for Ovation's second extrusion line in 2007, then allowed the firm to defer loan payments in 2008 when the economy slowed.
Ovation now is back on track, producing 5 million pounds of thermally and electrically conductive compounds in the first half of 2010 matching the firm's output for all of 2009.
We now want to build a global brand, Banerjie said.
Ovation Chairman James Petras a managing director with Early Stage Partners LP, the Cleveland investment firm that helped Banerjie launch Ovation said Ovation is now a sustainable, cash-flow-positive business.
Moving ahead, Ovation expects to expand the size of its workforce from its current total of 38 to 75 by the end of 2012. The firm runs three shifts a day, six days a week, at a 70,000-square-foot site. Once the fourth line is installed, Ovation will have annual compounding capacity of about 18 million pounds.
Since opening, Ovation has filed for 20 patents and has been granted six. A new application glycol-modified trays used for shipping disc drives could make Ovation one of the world's largest users of carbon nanotubes by the end of the year, officials said. The firm's high-end specialty compounds can be based on polycarbonate, nylon and similar resins.
Ovation's materials are sold into a number of electronic, electrical and industrial uses. Earlier this year, the firm launched Cleveland Medical Polymers in Medina, a separate unit designed to market the firm's products to the medical community.
Making it to the five-year mark had special meaning for Banerjie, an Indian immigrant who received a doctorate in polymer science from Cleveland's Case Western Reserve University in 1977. He then worked for several plastics firms including materials producers BFGoodrich and AlliedSignal before returning to India in 1988.
Once back in his homeland, Banerjie launched Inventa Technologies Pvt. Ltd., a firm that does research and development work in compounding and reactive extrusion. He operated Inventa for several years before again relocating to the Cleveland area in 2002 so that his daughters could attend American colleges.
But Banerjie had the itch to start his own business again, and followed up on that idea after meeting Petras at a business networking event in 2004.
I am thankful for the opportunities that this country has given me, he said at the flag-raising event, which was attended by numerous city, county and state officials.
Medina County Commissioner Steve Hambley compared Banerjie to A.I. Root, a Medina businessman who started a bee-keeping business in 1869 that is still in business today as a candle-making firm. A school in Medina also bears Root's name.
I can't promise we'll name a school after you, Hambley said to Banerjie. But we're still very proud of your accomplishments.