A plastics recycler is opening a new $5 million location in Indiana that expects to eventually handle about 20 million pounds of material each year.
SPS Plastics LLC specializes in processing scrap plastics from Tier 1 automotive molders and now has seven locations around the country with the opening of the new site.
That location in Vincennes, Ind., currently features four grinders and four balers with plans to expand and eventually include compounding operations, SPS Plastics Chief Operating Officer Shreyas Naik said.
"We focus on high temperature polymers. That's getting pretty big for our industry, stuff that's going under the hood," he said, for example.
Materials handled by SPS Plastics include engineered resins, polycarbonates and acrylics.
SPS Plastics currently has about 30 employees in Indiana and is at about half of its capacity, but expects to ramp up volumes in 2018 and eventually have about 60 workers.
The new Indiana location is in a 220,000-square-foot facility owned by the company and previously used for distribution, Naik explained. The former Superior Essex Inc. site once made wire and cable, but that operation closed about 10 years ago.
SPS Plastics, aside from the new location in Indiana, has sites in Flora, Ill., Muscle Shoals, Ala., Florence, S.C., Parkersburg, W.Va., Richmond, Va., and Heath, Ohio.
The company also is making plans to open three additional facilities in Mexico, including a 50,000-square-foot site now under construction in San Luis Potosi. That location is expected to open this spring, Naik said.
The company is looking at locations in Querétaro and Monterrey, Mexico, where the firm is currently outsourcing work to third-party recyclers, he said. Those locations could open next year.
SPS Plastics has been growing, in part, due to molding companies looking to incorporate more of their own manufacturing scrap in to new products in recent years. Companies are now viewing this material as an asset rather than manufacturing waste with a disposal cost.
"I think the big thing, recently in the last five years, they've been putting a large emphasis on environmental health and safety," Naik said.
SPS Plastics has been able to grow during the past decade after others faltered as a result of the 2008 economic downturn. The company actually has around for more than a quarter century, and has been growing in recent years. SPS Plastics can handle a total of about 87 million pounds throughout its facilities, and Naik estimated ab out 50 million pounds comes from Tier 1 molders.
A key to success for SPS Plastics since the recession is development of domestic markets for its recycled plastics. And that's more important than ever with China's recent push to stem the flow of that material to its shores.
"In our time since them, it's really been trying to find ways to use our products in the United States," he said.
The new SPS site plant is located near a Toyota automotive plant in Princeton, Ind., as well as several Tier 1 molders located in the region, Naik explained. The facility recycles plastics from portions of Indiana and Illinois.
SPS Plastics is part of the SirNaik Group of companies, which made headlines last fall due to a massive fire at a recycled plastics warehouse in Parkersburg, W.Va. That facility is operated by sister company Intercontinental Export Import Inc. SirNaik is led by Shreyas Naik's father, Saurabh Naik.