Lawrenceville, Georgia — United Soft Plastics, a manufacturer and custom compounder of thermoplastic elastomers, has opened a new 10 million-pound-per-year production facility in Houston, Texas.
The new plant, which complements USP's existing facility in Lawrenceville, will help meet to strong market demand across a wide of TPE products, said in a company statement Nov. 1.
The nearly 20,000 square-foot facility will be run on a KraussMaffei Berstorff twin-screw extrusion system, equipped with a Nordson underwater pelletizer.
USP supplies TPE materials for injection molding, extrusions and blow molding applications in the automotive, healthcare, electrical, electronic, construction, packaging and consumer products industries.
In particular, it said, the Houston units will expand production of traditional SEBS-based TPE, thermoplastic olefins (TPOs), thermoplastic polyurethanes and speciality products such as acrylic-based TPE compounds.
The company "envisions" creating around 25 new production jobs at the site and further employment opportunities as additional lines come on-stream.
The additional capacity will allow the existing Georgia operation to further focus on specialized product development, the company added.
The Houston project will enable USP to move closer to raw material hubs and high-volume customer accounts in Mexico, the U.S. southwest and also Asia, said executive vice president Benedict Herbst.
"This investment reaffirms our continued commitment to the engineering TPE plastics market in the U.S., Mexico, and also outside of the Americas," according to the USP boss.
The company's product line includes standard grades adhering to PP and special adhesion grades for non-PP over-molding applications with substrates such as ABS, PC, nylon 6, and PMMA.
Applications include injection molded, extruded and blow molded parts for areas, such as interior and exterior automotive trim, consumer grips and handles, beverage closures, over-molded gaskets and seals, sports goods, and soft-touch applications.