Materials maker Americhem reached the eight decade mark on Nov. 29.
The Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio-based firm was founded in 1941 as the Caldwell Co. in a small office in Akron, Ohio, by Sylvester Caldwell. At that time, its business consisted of selling pigments and additives to the rubber industry, much of which was based in Akron and northeast Ohio. Today, Americhem is based in nearby Cuyahoga Falls and operates 12 plants worldwide.
In 1953, the Caldwell Co. hired Richard H. (Dick) Juve, who had experience with Goodyear Tire & Rubber, which accounted for about 80 percent of Caldwell's business. Caldwell opened its first plant in Akron in 1959 and changed its name to Americhem that same year. Americhem moved its headquarters to Cuyahoga Falls in 1965.
A key product move was made in 1969, when Americhem made its first masterbatch concentrates for vinyl siding. Juve and Vice President Harvey Cooper — another key figure in the firm's growth — each had acquired a one-third stake in Americhem in 1958. In 1979, Juve became majority owner.
Juve's son Richard C. (Rick) Juve joined the firm in 1982, first working in a production role in order to learn more about the company. Americhem in 1991 made its first masterbatch concentrates for PVC decking applications.
Rick Juve became president and CEO of Americhem after his father retired in 1993. Dick Juve died in 1995. Mark Juve, Rick's son, represents the third generation of the Juve family at Americhem. He currently serves as vice president and general manager of commercial, North America,
New product developments at Americhem in the last 20 years include PET solution dye products for automotive fabrics, clarified polypropylene pharmaceutical products and outdoor color lines for PET fabric.
Americhem also has grown through acquisition, making five deals since 2013. Most recently, the firm in September 2020 acquired Controlled Polymers A/S, a compounder and concentrates maker based in Ribe, Denmark.
Today, Americhem employs more than 900 and is one of North America's 30 largest compounders and concentrate makers, according to Plastics News data.