PopFoam, a custom manufacturer of a proprietary ethylene vinyl acetate-based injection molded foam, is partnering with a plastics manufacturer in the United States to boost production capacities and serve its North American customers.
Troy Lewis, co-founder and vice president of sales & marketing at PopFoam, said in a Dec. 12 phone interview that he could not disclose the name of the plastics manufacturer at this time. The production facility is in Oregon, but Lewis declined to give a specific location.
"We're sharing space with them and, of course, we're working with them in the actual production as well," he said, adding that the two manufacturers will also be sharing some equipment.
The EVA foam manufacturer uses injection molding machines up to 300 tons.
PopFoam has two factories in China and one in Taiwan, and employs 250. Lewis said the company has a three-year plan that includes adding equipment and creating 15-30 jobs.
"The last three years we've been on a pretty good growth curve. Our Taiwan facility is almost at capacity, and we're adding a machine there," Lewis said. "There is potential growth in China, but we actually want to refocus to work with the U.S. [facility]."
Lewis said there is a growing trend of U.S. companies that want to make their products domestically. The Oregon facility meets this demand and will allow PopFoam to work with faster delivery schedules.
EVA foam is primarily used on footwear, such as Crocs Inc.'s foam clogs. But Lewis said PopFoam does "almost anything but shoes." The company's proprietary EVA-based injection molded foam, which it says is "virtually indestructible," is used for sporting equipment, exercise rollers, soccer balls and footballs. PopFoam is also starting to expand into accessories for car applications, such as armrests on car seats for children.