Compounders and concentrate makers Polyvel Inc. and Rowa Inc. have combined their operations into the Polyvel site in Hammonton, N.J.
Rowa had operated its own production site in nearby Delran, N.J. The combined site will operate 10 twin-screw extrusion lines. Three of the lines were relocated from Delran in August and September.
Polyvel had worked with Rowa as a toll compounder in the 1990s, but the firms later were involved in a trade-secrets lawsuit after Polyvel co-founder Paul Albee left the firm and went to Rowa. The suit was settled in December, and Rowa ownership opted to combine assets with Rowa to improve their performance, Polyvel President Brian Tidwell said in a Sept. 30 phone interview.
Polyvel and Rowa had been “quasi-competitors,” with Rowa focusing more on chemical foaming agents and Polyvel emphasizing specialty masterbatch concentrates, he added. Tidwell joined Polyvel, which opened in 1984, as general manager in 2003. In 2005, co-founder Helen LoSasso sold the firm to Tidwell and her sons, Gary and Al LoSasso.
Five Rowa production workers now have joined Polyvel, which has hired three additional workers to handle the new production. Polyvel now employs 25 and is on track to post record sales of about $15 million this year, which Tidwell said would represent a gain of 12-14 percent over 2010.
Both firms make a range of additive masterbatches and custom compounds based on several commodity and engineering resins. Rowa is a unit of Rowa Group of Hamburg, Germany.
Tidwell said combining the firms makes sense for both companies.
Rowa President David Baglia said in a news release that having the two firms' sales and technical teams work together “will provide more resources to develop products.”
Rowa had annual sales of $4 million to $5 million. The combined firms should have annual sales of about $20 million next year, as well as annual production capacity of about 20 million pounds, Tidwell said.
Polyvel also has an option to buy a minority stake in Rowa after the first year of combined operation.
“The idea is to leverage as many areas as we can, including sales, marketing and technical,” Tidwell added.