Cleveland — Technical compounders are embracing technology as they prepare for the future.
Executives with three such firms — compounders that use engineering resins and other high-performance materials — formed a panel Nov. 3 at Compounding World Expo, a conference hosted by AMI in Cleveland.
"We're making better use of what's available and getting up to prime standards with recycled material," said Jean Sirois, managing director with RTP Co. in Winona, Minn. "The auto space is providing opportunities with electric vehicles, and we're also seeing opportunities in electronics and portability."
At Polymer Resources of Farmington, Conn., "there's still a call for recycled products," according to President and Chief Operating Officer Scott Anderson. "Everyone wants post-industrial recycled, but it has to have the right attributes," he said.
"It's all about sustainability," added Jack Chiang, marketing director at Techmer PM in Clinton, Tenn. "We want zero waste to landfill and minimize how much waste we create."
Looking to the future, Chiang said that Techmer's customer base "is changing and we need speed to market. … Colors are a big thing and they're changing every year. … There's a new refresh or rebrand."
Anderson said he's concerned about a lack of resources in manufacturing talent. "We can't backfill like we used to, and we spend a lot of time training new employees," he added.
For RTP, Sirois said that sustainability and recyclability will be even more important in the years ahead. "We need to be smart about the polymers we use," he added.