Thermoplastic elastomer producer and compounder PolyPrime Inc. will install its fourth twin-screw compounding line and add six new jobs by the end of the year.
The Grand Prairie, Texas-based firm needs the additional capacity and staff to handle increased demand for its products line, President Hamid Tavakoli said. PolyPrime generates most of its sales from thermoplastic vulcanizates, but also makes compounds based on styrenic block copolymers and thermoplastic olefins.
Tavakoli founded PolyPrime in late 2008, going on his own after a 21-year career with Union Carbide Corp. and Solvay Engineered Polymers. Solvay EP also had been based in Grand Prairie, but the unit there was shut down in 2008 shortly after being purchased by LyondellBasell Industries AF SCA.
I looked at the market for TPVs and saw a gap that needed to be filled, Tavakoli said in an interview at TPE Topcon, held Sept. 14-15 in Akron. The big companies weren't filling the needs of smaller customers.
PolyPrime originally wanted to steer clear of the automotive sector, which has been challenged in recent years. But the firm now generates about 60 percent of its sales there, making materials used in interior parts and selling to injection molders that work with the Big Three as well as with numerous transplant automakers. Outside of automotive, PolyPrime does a good deal of work in construction products, hose and tubing and seals and gaskets.
The economy left some customers without material, Tavakoli said. Then a lot of activity came back when people weren't expecting it.
PolyPrime now operates about 25 million pounds of annual capacity for both resins and compounds at a 30,000-square-foot facility that includes 10,000 square feet of warehousing space. Tavakoli said the firm is looking at a larger location in the area that would cover as much as 65,000 square feet.
For 2010, PolyPrime expects to post sales of $3 million, with Tavakoli saying that amount could double next year.