ROMULUS, Mich.—Alliance Polymers and Services L.L.C. once again is expanding its capabilities.
This time it is adding its first injection molding machine to upgrade and complement the company's growing compounding and research and development operation, a spokesman said. The 100-ton machine is made by Arburg.
The compounder, limited manufacturer, distributor and technical support specialist will be able to test and run formulations for customers and ensure the selected thermoplastic elastomer will process easily and determine if formulations require additives or fillers from the firm's compounding department, he said.
Alliance's new press will be used to assist designers in fine tuning small parts and enable customers to prototype other resins and compounds, according to the spokesman.
In addition, the injection molding machine gives the company the ability to test molds and assure customers they will have the ability to put out quality parts, he said.
"Our initial goal, when we opened our doors four years ago, was to become a total thermoplastic elastomer resource, offering our own formulations of all types of TPEs as well as those we source from manufacturers worldwide," according to Stephane Morin, one of the owners of the Romulus-based firm.
With the company's recent introduction of its own line of products—Viprene thermoplastic vulcanizates and Zythane thermoplastic polyurethanes—"We knew we had better bolster the size and scope of both our compounding and R&D facilities," she said.
"That led to our recent purchase of the Arburg unit."
Launched in late 2009 by Morin and Roger Huarng, two former staffers at BASF Corp. with extensive experience working with TPEs, Alliance has grown steadily in the last three years.
Initially, the company was more of a distributor, reselling brands from all over world, and a service operation. But it has branched out and "now it needed to add machinery," the spokesman said.
Alliance also has been adding personnel, he said.
The firm's most recent expansion came in October 2012 when the company enlarged its 12,000-sq.-ft. facility in Romulus by another 6,000 square feet. In early 2013, the firm began producing its own branded SEBS-based TPU and TPV branded products.
The plant expansion was needed to handle growing sales, the addition of a new compounding line, a new product testing laboratory and the need for more storage and inventory space, Huarng and Moran said in a joint statement.