Network Polymers expands Centrex line
AKRON, OHIO — Network Polymers Inc. has expanded its presence in materials based on acrylic styrene acrilonitrile by commercializing two grades with improved gloss and image distinctness.
Akron-based Network has added the new grades to its Centrex-brand ASA line. Network has licensed Centrex from Ineos Group Ltd. since 2009. The new grades are aimed at applications in the pool and spa, recreational vehicle, recreational watercraft and agricultural markets, as well as in other outdoor applications, said Jeff Stachler, senior account manager.
“A lot of our customers turn to the Centrex family when they're specifying material for large parts requiring superior weatherability and a high-gloss finish that resists color fading, cracking and yellowing,” he added.
The new grades can be used as capstock materials for smooth extruded sheet and thermoformed parts, said technical director Steve Blazey.
They also can be coextruded over high-performance materials such as polycarbonate/ABS, high-heat ABS and other compatible substrates for applications that need outdoor ultraviolet protection. Joint development programs with Network's suppliers took place over a three-year period, Blazey added.
One of the grades is an ASA compound, while the other is an alloy of ASA with acrylic ethylene styrene. The ASA/AES alloy has higher impact strength than the ASA compound, Stachler said. Network began making the new grades in early August at its 72,000-square-foot plant in Akron.
Network had first made high-gloss Centrex materials in 2009, but didn't get the desired results in gloss and smoothness. Stachler said the firm was determined to win back customers, resulting in the effort that led to the new grades.
He added that the pool and spa and RV markets — industries that were battered by the recession — are coming back.
“I visited some RV suppliers recently and their sales were going through the roof,” he said.
In addition to ASA, Network's product mix includes materials based on PC, ABS and other specialty resins.
In 2011, the company added a new twin-screw extrusion line to make glass-filled compounds. Network posted sales of about $75 million last year. Through July, sales in 2012 were up 10 percent vs. the year-ago period.
IQMS plans new site next to California HQ
PASO ROBLES, CALIF. — IQMS Inc., which makes enterprise resource planning software, will break ground in October to build a second 30,000-square-foot building in Paso Robles — and the company also has purchased land for a third building.
Marketing director Daniele Fresca said IQMS will invest about $5 million in the new building, which is next door to its current 30,000-square-foot headquarters. IQMS built that facility as well, opening it in 2006.
“We continue to reinvest in the company. We've almost outgrown this building,” Fresca said.
Fresca said about 70 people work in the current building. IQMS hired 20 new employees in the first six months of 2012. She said IQMS plans to add 10 more people this fall.
The company has about 130 employees in North America, Europe and Asia, she said.
President Randy Flamm founded IQMS in 1989, and the company rented space at several California locations before building its Paso Robles headquarters. The Windows-based ERP software is now called EnterpriseIQ.
Fresca said that earlier this year, IQMS bought land across the street from its headquarters and the planned second building. That land will be for future expansion, as IQMS builds a campus setup.
In late July, the privately held company issued a review of the first half of 2012. Officials said the company had double-digit sales growth from a year earlier, and nearly 30 new customers.
“Growth and investment continues to trend upward at IQMS. In fact, June was our best month on record,” said Vice President Glenn Nowak.
Officials of IQMS say the company has been profitable every quarter since it was founded in 1989.
Reifenhäuser spinoff creates 2 companies
TROISDORF, GERMANY — Reifenhäuser GmbH & Co. KG is dividing two of its business units into two independent companies, one to handle extruders and wood-plastic composites, the other for cast film.
Reifenhäuser's former Extrusion Center unit got spun off into Reifenhäuser Extrusion Technology GmbH & Co. KG. That company, led by Tim Pohl as managing director, focuses on the development of extruders and wood-plastic composite lines.
The Cast Film business unit will remain with Reifenhäuser Extrusion GmbH & Co. KG, which has been renamed Reifenhauser Cast Sheet Coating GmbH & Co KG. Under Managing Director Jochen Hennes, the company concentrates on cast film lines, polishing stack systems, coating lines, dies and winders.
Both companies will continue to be located at Reifenhäuser headquarters in Troisdorf.