An expansion will let color and additive concentrates maker Techmer PM LLC make products based on engineering resins at its California plant for the first time.
Clinton, Tenn.-based Techmer also recently added a new mega-compounder twin-screw extrusion line in Clinton, allowing an existing line to be moved to its plant in Rancho Dominguez, Calif.
“We've had a position in California for many years,” Techmer President and CEO John Manuck said in a recent phone interview. “Now we've got more space for capacity, and that's going to allow us to use engineering resins.”
Previously, the California site had made only colorant and additive masterbatches based on commodity resins. New lab equipment and additional processing equipment — including an injection molding machine and a pelletizer — also have been installed in Rancho Dominguez, pushing the total investment there to more than $2 million.
The new business there will operate as Techmer Engineered Solutions and will allow for processing of additives ranging from carbon fiber to pigments and dyes. Resins in the new operation will include nylon and polycarbonate, as well as high-temperature materials such as polysulfones and polyetheretherketone.
Moving the line from Clinton will add 10 million pounds of capacity in Rancho Dominguez and allow Techmer to add 10 jobs there, Manuck said.
In Clinton, Techmer has installed a new line that will increase the site's annual capacity by more than 5 million pounds. The line includes an ergonomic materials-handling system that officials said has been proven to increase efficiencies and reduce the risk of injury to machine operators.
The $3 million line has been engineered to handle complex formulations with multiple components. “Our formulations are becoming more complex, with a need for very accurate additions of key ingredients,” Abe Mor, technology vice president, said in a news release.
The work in Clinton and Rancho Dominguez comes a year after Techmer acquired the Irgasurf HL-brand of hydrophilic melt additives from BASF SE for an undisclosed sum. “We've incorporated that business and it's increased sales for us,” Manuck said.