BROADVIEW, Ill.—Star Thermoplastics has expanded its facility in Broadview by another 5,000 square feet, its second addition in less than a year, and is in the process of building up its work force.
The division of Star Thermoplastic Alloys & Rubbers Inc. added a section adjoining its 47,000-sq.-ft. plant to house sales, service and corporate administrative personnel.
The addition includes conference areas, offices, communications equipment and software.
Star personnel began moving into the new section in January, a spokesman said, but work has continued since then with the addition of training rooms and other units.
The firm, founded in 1993, is planning to add several internal sales personnel and outside sales representatives to give the TPE producer better coverage in North America.
It wants to hire a sales manager, one or more marketing coordinators, several laboratory technicians, a project manager and one or more project coordinators, the spokesman said.
Star has a work force of about 30, but it's still growing, he said. Financial details of the addition weren't released.
The need for the expansion and more personnel was spurred by strong sales growth in 2011, a pace that has continued at record levels for the first six months of 2012, Star President Thomas A. Dieschbourg said.
He said the higher figures can be attributed to stronger efforts by the company's sales force; growth in new markets, including consumer and pet products; and enhanced TPE product offerings.
“At long last all the pieces are falling into place,” Dieschbourg said. “Among them are exciting new market opportunities, new production and laboratory equipment, new market openings, our enhanced capabilities to offer more refined standard and custom TPEs in existing markets, and our ability to provide lower cost substitute TPEs for products like TPVs (thermoplastic vulcanizates) or our cloning of competitive TPEs.”
In late 2011, Star opened a TPR rheology/analytical laboratory at the Broadview facility. The lab measures the rheological properties over a full range, including shear and elongation, Dieschbourg said.
He said the company, founded in 1993, added the laboratory to bring more depth to the firm's products with new or existing formulations, “or determine the precise ingredients to make a given grade work for a customer and his application the very first time.”