TOTOWA, N.J.-Volta International U.S.A. Inc. has moved its headquarters to Totowa from Fairfield, N.J., tripling its floor space to 80,000 square feet.
The move-completed in mid-September-primarily was needed to allow commercialization in the U.S. of the company's thermoplastic elastomer transmission belting system.
Prior to now, Volta only sold the TPE belt manufacturing system to companies in China, Taiwan and Israel, said Chairman Itzhak Raam. The firm chose these trial markets because they're dominated by classical belting.
``Until recently, the system only had the capability to produce classical belting,'' Raam said.
``We didn't feel we were ready for the American market until we had narrow (raw edge) belting because that's where the whole world is going,'' he said. ``We've invested $5 million in (research and development) the past five years, and now we have the capability for narrow belting.''
Raam estimates that Volta's belting system will capture between 10 and 20 percent of the international market within 10 years.
The three-machine system, Raam said, allows belt manufacturers to:
reduce production costs between 30 and 50 percent;
virtually eliminate scrap; and
better handle short runs.
The tough task will be convincing what Raam calls the ``seven sisters''-Gates Rubber Co., Goodyear and Dayco Products Inc. in the U.S., Optibelt Corp. and Continental A.G. in Europe, and Mitsuboshi Belting Ltd. and Bando Chemical Industries Ltd. in Japan-to invest in the Volta system.
Selling these seven companies on the benefits of TPE belting is essential, since he said they control about three-fourths of the international belting market. ``If we get the majors, we'll capture 20 percent of the market.''