Israeli materials firm Tosaf Inc. has spent $2 million on a new silo system and two new extrusion lines in Bessemer City, N.C.
One of the new lines is a production line for color concentrates, while the other is a lab-scale line, general manager Chai Tsadaka said in a May 18 phone interview with Plastics News.
"For us, this is continuous improvement and part of our long-term plan in the U.S.," he added. "This is a natural second step after our initial investment in 2016. It was delayed a little bit by COVID, but we needed to improve our efficiency."
Packaging has been a major end market for Tosaf, a maker of compounds, additives and color and white concentrates based in Tvunot, Israel. "In the U.S., we're focused on color masterbatches," Tsadaka said. "That's where we want to grow the most."
Overall, Tosaf has invested $20 million in Bessemer City. The firm has added 15-20 jobs there since 2021.
The new silos were installed to take advantage of a rail spur that serves the plant. Officials said the site now has the infrastructure to receive raw materials via rail, which reduces labor and packaging needed for manufacturing. The silos and new extruders also allow Tosaf to better meet short lead times for its rapidly growing customer base. The firm can respond to orders in seven work days or less.
Tosaf's North American 2021 sales surged 30 percent above 2020. A large portion of that growth is attributable to new customers who represent 28 percent of active buyers.
In Bessemer City, 20-30 percent of the plant's output is color materials and additives for the food industry. Those materials then are used in flexible packaging, film wrappings and other products.
Seventy-five percent of Tosaf's product portfolio is made to customer specifications. For custom colors, that percentage rises to more than 90 percent. The plant also makes masterbatch concentrates for rigid pipes, building and construction materials, agricultural supplies and supply chain commodities such as crates and skids used to move goods in and out of warehouses and stores.
Most of Tosaf's material inputs need to be prime material because of customization requirements, but the firm is working to use more recycled content. It's also implementing programs to recycle as much plant waste as possible and partnering with recycling companies to repurpose other products.
Tsadaka said Tosaf plans future growth in Bessemer city and also will look to grow via acquisitions. In 2020, the firm acquired Vision Color LLC, a maker of compounds, concentrates and powder blends in West Unity, Ohio.
Looking ahead, Tsadaka said he expects "solid growth" to continue in 2022. "We're watching the economy so we can see what our customers are seeing, but we still expect a strong year," he added. "It's a healthy industry."
Tosaf was founded in 1986 in Israel by the Megides family. The firm now employs more than 1,000 at 15 manufacturing sites, serving 5,000 customers in more than 50 countries.