Materials firm ATC Plastics LLC plans to add at least one extrusion line at its Houston plant in the next 12-18 months to handle new demand.
Indianapolis-based ATC soon will decide if it wants to add one large line or two smaller lines, co-owner Tom Stevning said in a March 15 phone interview.
The new capacity represents an investment of about $1 million, and will be used to make black color concentrates as well as to do toll compounding work, he added. ATC's black concentrates are used in trash bags, injection molded parts and other applications.
ATC also plans to make its debut in white color concentrate production within the next three months. Stevning said the market for white concentrates is very strong and that a number of the firm's customers have asked ATC to start making those products.
We hadn't pursued [white concentrates] before, but now we've got the opportunity, he said.
ATC was formed in early 2010 when Stevning and co-owner Rich Mejia bought the firm from the Heller family. Owner Lloyd Heller had retired in late 2009 from the firm, which his father, Herbert Heller, had founded as H. Heller & Co. in 1976. Herbert Heller had worked for materials broker H. Muehlstein Co. and started his own business as a resin brokerage before expanding into compounding.
Stevning joined Heller in 1999 after an 18-year career with resin maker Formosa Plastics Corp. USA. Stevning had worked with Heller while at Formosa before signing on as Heller's vice president of sales and marketing. Mejia had worked at Heller for 13 years, most recently as chief financial officer.
The firm chose the ATC name since the Houston plant had operated as American Thermoplastics Compounding Inc.
In addition to the 150,000-square-foot Houston plant, ATC runs a 50,000-square-foot plant making flexible PVC compounds primarily for the wire and cable market in Visalia, Calif. ATC has about 60 million pounds of capacity in Houston, with another 25 million in Visalia.
The company employs a total of 40 and expects to add eight to 10 more workers when the new capacity is installed in Houston.
ATC has annual sales of $35 million to $40 million, with 70 percent generated by proprietary products and the remainder from tolling. Stevning expects the firm's growth to continue in 2011.
The business is growing, he said. We just have to make sure that we keep up with demand and upgrade our equipment.