Resin distributor Chase Plastics has expanded its line card twice so far in 2019.
In January, Clarkston, Mich.-based Chase began offering specialty engineering resins from Saudi Basic Industries Inc. and 3D filaments from Jabil Inc. to its customers.
Chase now offers Sabic's full line of specialty resins, including Noryl-brand PPO/PPE, Ultem-brand polyetherimide, LNP-brand compounds and copolymers and polycarbonate-based, high performance copolymers. The partnership covers the United States, Canada and Mexico.
Chase Plastics' primary focus for the Sabic materials has been on introductions and orientation to programs in process with select customers. The firm's sales reps also have access to Sabic's global application design and testing resources.
The Sabic deal "allows us to add another premiere supplier and expands our product offering with no overlap," Chase president Kevin Chase said in a recent interview. "That's why the alignment is so clean."
The Sabic materials now distributed by Chase Plastics are used in many markets, including aerospace, water filtration, electrical/electronic and what Kevin Chase described as "high-end, specialty automotive applications," such as high-temperature lighting and impact-modified panels.
Sabic — based in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, with North American headquarters in Houston — ranks as one of the world's largest suppliers of commodity and engineering resins. Sabic employs 34,000 worldwide and posted sales of almost $40 billion in 2017.
The 3D filaments and sintering powders that Chase Plastics is distributing for Jabil, a major injection molder based in St. Petersburg, Fla., are based on PC, nylon 12, polyurethane and elastomers. They're used in aerospace, automotive, electrical/electronic and industrial applications.
"Our customers had been asking for these [3D]
materials for a while, and the reaction has been tremendous so far," Kevin Chase said. "They needed assistance for the products they need to make, and this lines up with what we want to do."
In a news release, Jabil officials said that their firm will evaluate, qualify and validate materials alongside certified machines and processes as part of an integrated solution that matches specific part performance with application requirements.
Jabil also recently opened a Materials Innovation Center in Chaska, Minn., to deliver complete 3D solutions under one roof, encompassing polymer formulations, compound development and ISO 9001 certification. At the center, additive manufacturing engineers, chemists, materials scientists and production experts can consult with customers and oversee each step of making custom powders and filaments.
Looking ahead, Kevin Chase said that his firm "is always looking for niche suppliers to fill certain holes in our lineup." Sales have been strong so far in 2019, he added, with his organization working on a large number of metal to plastic conversions.
Chase Plastics distributes from 32 distribution centers and warehouses in the United States, Mexico and Canada. The firm offers more than 18,000 grades of material from almost 40 resin makers and compounders. Kevin Chase and his wife Carole founded the company in 1992.