U.S.-based materials maker Americhem Inc. is growing its presence in Europe and Asia — and also is looking to brighten up 2016 and 2017 with its new colors lineup.
The Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio-based firm this month is opening a new technical center at its site in Manchester, England. That project is part of “significant investment” that Americhem will make there in the next 12 months, President John Deignan said in a recent phone interview.
Existing lines will be upgraded in Manchester, Deignan said, allowing for a 40 to 50 percent increase in annual production capacity there. “This will be new technology for the European market,” he said. The site makes concentrates for the automotive, fibers and films markets.
The new tech center in Manchester gives customers the opportunity to develop products during a short visit and gives fiber makers access to testing, research and product development expertise.
The center “features modern equipment designed to meet the rigorous requirements of customers in the synthetic fibers industry,” Europe/Middle East/Africa technical director Michael Frisch said in a news release.
Features of the new center include a fully equipped pigment lab with several extruders and feeders, in addition to dedicated fiber equipment. The center also has two fiber spinning lines, one low-speed spin line for nylon and polypropylene products and a low/high-speed line that covers the same resins, plus PET.
The availability of these lines assists customers in the product development process without interrupting production on their own equipment, officials said. Other color textile capabilities include two knitting machines, spectrophotometers and light cabinets.
The center can turn around customer samples in two weeks' time or less. Customers can receive samples in several forms including masterbatch, cardwrap, knitted fabric or plastic plaque.
The Manchester facility was founded in 1995 as Americhem's first plant outside of the U.S.