(From the Aug. 8, 2011, issue of Rubber & Plastics News)
NEW PHILADELPHIA, Ohio—Performance Additives Sdn. Bhd. has opened a manufacturing facility, its first in the U.S., in New Philadelphia.
When fully operational, the plant will produce additives for the rubber and plastics industries, with special emphasis on tires, according to Michael E. Wolers, managing director of Performance Additives.
The chemicals will be exported predominately into the Asia-Pacific and European markets, he said. “The local market will hopefully develop over the next few years,” when the company will be looking for a 70-30 split, export vs. local.
The new facility spans 15,000 square feet and sits on 3.4 acres, giving the company plenty of space for future expansion, Wolers said.
Performance Additives, which is part of the Behn Meyer Group, initially will staff the plant with eight, but that figure probably will increase to between 15 and 20 in 2012.
“Our company has always been striving for a low carbon footprint,” Wolers said. “That means we are trying to be close to our customers and/or our raw materials base. For the product line that we are going to manufacture, the U.S. provides the best raw material supply situation.”
Logistics was a key factor, he said, but the firm also selected the area because of a highly qualified work force available in the region.
The addition of the new facility puts Performance Additives in a strong position in the U.S., the official said. And “through the acquisition of Flexsys' dithiocarbamate business, we also have a large manufacturing facility in Europe, which gives us further expansion opportunities.”
Flexsys, a division of Solutia Inc., sold its DTC and tetrabenzyl thiuramdisulfide operations to Performance Additives on Feb. 1. The deal expanded Performance Additives' global portfolio for the rubber and latex industry. The businesses were renamed Performance Additives S.p.A.
The acquisition included a state-of-the-art plant in Termoli, Italy, to go with Performance Additives' facility in Malaysia. Now with the addition of a factory in the U.S., the firm is well positioned on three continents: North America, Europe and Asia, the company said.
Performance Additives is growing, Wolers said, and “we are obviously in for expansion, not only for our current market but also into other related fields. The recent acquisition of the Flexsys' DTC business is proof of that.
“Our development over the last 12 years from a new kid on the block to one of the three largest suppliers of processing additives shows clearly that we are determined to grow. Our strategic locations on three continents will help us to further advance our position.”