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Polymer Conversions opens division for silicone testing

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Patrick Meheran

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y.—Polymer Conversions Inc. launched a new division, Silikon Technologies L.L.C., with the opening of its facility on Oct. 1.

The Silikon Technologies building is located about three miles away from Polymer Conversions, said Patrick Meheran, director of silicone operations at Silikon.

The 3,750-sq.-ft.-facility will offer precision silicone injection molding services that are focused on the tight tolerance components aimed at the health care, aerospace and electronics industries. Meher-an said the firm is not dis-clo-sing the investment costs for the facility.

Polymer Conversions has been in business for about 34 years, he said, with its niche in the injection molders in thermoplastics in the very tight tolerance, high accuracy, strict, stringent and regulated environments for the products its components go in.

Meheran said that about 25 years ago, Polymer Conversions decided process monitoring was important, and while many systems at the time were focused on monitoring accounting—such as how many seconds per cycle, how many cycles per day, etc.— Polymer Conversions took a different path.

The company decided to use the other side of those monitoring systems and process the parameters and understand them by watching them and making sure every cycle is in control.

Over the years, Polymer Conversions developed “somewhat of a proprietary system” for validating processes for developing and then obsessively controlling them, he said.

“And by that I mean every single cycle, every single parameter, has to be within its specified limit or else the part made during that cycle, or parts made during that cycle, are automatically segregated out,” Meheran said.

Polymer Conversions saw a niche for a silicone molder that could replicate its thermoplastics validation process. That's where the idea of Silikon Technologies emerged.

“We've had several customers who have said if we were going to get into that market, they would be very interested in being customers, and it's mainly on the reputation of our thermoplastics side,” Meheran said.

The aim is for the company to start with a couple employees on each shift, Meheran said, as the firm intends to run around the clock, then build from there.

“Our intention is to have this be a separate standalone company that will be its own responsibility, its own profit center,” he said. “We will hire for that company without poaching from the current company.”

Silikon expects to place somewhere up to five machines in this facility over the next five years, Meheran added.

Currently, Silikon has an Arburg all-electric 110-ton machine, a GraCo fluid automation pump system and Frigel chillers, he said.