Materials firm Ampacet Corp. is moving forward with plans to consolidate its Australian operations and to expand its Canadian site by the end of the year.
The Tarrytown, N.Y.-based firm also is bringing several new materials to market, including one that can be used to make synthetic paper.
In Australia, Ampacet is spending $15 million to build a large new facility in Melbourne, officials said in a July 26 phone interview. The site will include the operations of Allied Color & Additives — a materials firm that Ampacet bought in late 2014 — and Oceania Plastics, a resin distributor that Ampacet acquired in late 2015.
After Ampacet bought Allied, Oceania owner Andrew Marsh approached the firm about buying his business as well. Oceania had served as Ampacet's distributor in Australia since 2012. Oceania also distributes a variety of commodity and engineering resins.
“We don't do resin distribution anywhere else, but Australia is a bit of a different case because of its location,” Ampacet CEO Yves Carette said. The combined site — including production equipment from Allied — is expected to open in November.
In Canada, Ampacet is spending $5 million to expand its concentrates plant in Kitchener, Ontario. The expansion will add warehousing space and will create 15 new jobs over the next few years. The Ontario government is supplying C$400,000 (US$303,000) for the project, which also will include installation of a new production line sometime during 2017.
The Canadian project will be completed by the end of the year and is “an expansion of an existing location based on the needs of our customers in Canada,” said Carette, a 30-year Ampacet veteran who assumed the top job in 2015.
New products for Ampacet include paper 2.0, a polyethylene-based concentrate that can be used to make a cost-effective alternative to standard paper. Potential applications include tape, shipping envelopes and stand-up food pouches.
“The concept for synthetic paper isn't new,” executive director Mike Gaudio said. “But we've been able to resurrect it and inject it with new materials.”
“It's being tested by large processors and is getting a good response,” he added.
Ampacet's FusionFx line of color concentrates has allowed the firm to keep up with ever-changing color preferences. “We have a global color insight group that stays on top of color trends all around the world,” Gaudio said. “Color palettes can be different in each region, and color life cycles are getting shorter. We need to stay ahead of the curve.”
ReptyleFx colors, special effects and additives from Ampacet can give customers a wide range of textures to choose from. The line is a response to consumer demand for differentiated products, according to Gaudio.
“Consumers now expect entertainment value from products,” he said. “They want to engage as many senses as possible.”
Ampacet is a leading maker of color and additive concentrates, both in North America and around the world. The firm has annual sales of more than $1 billion, employing more than 2,000 worldwide and operating 24 production plants.