Ronnie Buck knows the laminating business and he says the hardest part of it is finding consistent quality in the materials.
That's why he started Advanced Plastic Extrusion LLC, a company which opened its doors in 2015 but is just starting to get its name out. It is also known as Apex, a shortened version of the name.
Buck, the owner and general manager of Advanced Plastic Extrusion, said in a phone interview, that he had owned a decorative laminating business for 35 years. He sold it in 2014 and turned to extrusion for his next challenge.
The new company focuses on processing high-quality sheet with a “class A” surface fore specialty and laminating sheet applications. It has been processing sheet using acrylic, ABS, HIPS, PC/ABS and TPO resins in thicknesses ranging from .010 to .187 millimeters and in widths up to 54 inches.
“Over the years I had seen the decorative laminating business as a niche market. It was really hard to find extrusion companies that would cater to the quality needed. I saw the opportunity there for me to structure a company to produce and cater to that market,” Buck said.
He said that the desire for the highest quality led him to research the machinery before opening his doors.
Buck brought the two of resins that were critical to his needs to the Davis-Standard LLC technical lab in Pawcatuck, Conn., and was able to see them used on an actual production line. He then worked with the company to come up with a line designed for the specific needs of Apex.
“I actually sent all the resins up there and once I knew they could run them, I was very confident that they would work here,” he said.
Buck set up his new company in a 64,000-square-foot building that he owned. It is using about 40,000 square feet of space but it does have room to grow. The company has 12 employees, including a plant manager with 27 years of experience and a lead operator with 14 years of experience.
He said that they supply companies throughout the U.S. and some of the companies have worldwide operations. Apex's website is still under construction and should be live soon.
“We have a new company, we have the right equipment, we have the right people in place and it is finally paying off,” said Buck.
He said that business is growing and that he expects to add another Davis-Standard system in the next year. The goal is to reach $10 million in sales.