ANN ARBOR, Mich.—JyTech Polymers Inc. is widening its reach with plans to launch a thermoplastic vulcanizates compound production operation in the U.S. for the North American market.
It has entered into a manufacturing partnership with Buckeye Polymers Inc. to produce custom TPV compounds for customers in North America, said Shawn Jyawook, JyTech's chief operating officer.
Jytech is purchasing and will install a large custom compounding line for TPV compounding at Buckeye's plant in Lodi, Ohio, he said. “The new compounding technology will be utilized by both partners.”
He said the line will use Buckeye's post-consumer polypropylene, a feedstock that “has properties and stability similar to virgin material and has already been validated by automotive OEMs.
“Our manufacturing relationship allows us to utilize each other's assets, including material approvals. The partnership is based on assets that we each bring to the relationship.”
Teaming with Buckeye will give JyTech a fast, solid foothold in North America, he said, adding that the company will be able to immediately expand its relationships with Tier 1 and Tier 2 compound customers.
JyTech was formed in 2014 and is headed by CEO Sam Jyawook, Shawn's father, who was the former CEO at sealing products maker Jyco Sealing Technologies Inc., which was sold to Cooper Standard Automotive in August 2013.
JyTech has its headquarters and a clean room in Ann Arbor and currently provides custom TPV compounds to automotive weatherseal manufacturing operations in Asia from the firm's joint venture in Shanghai.
It operates the plant in partnership with Shandhai Jinbao Industrial Co. Ltd., which is known for its research and development, manufacturing and sales of rubber and plastic automotive parts as a Tier 1 and Tier 2 supplier in Asia, JyTech said.
Producing products in Asia has allowed the company to establish a solid customer base, many with manufacturing operations in North America.
That has led some of those customers to request that JyTech produce its TPV compounds in the U.S., Shawn Jyawook said.
In terms of being global, he said “it's no longer a great idea—it's a market demand” for anyone in the automotive parts supply chain. JyTech focused first on China, and it is now bringing its capabilities to North America, he said.
He has a long background in the TPV field. The younger Jyawook was part of the management team of Jyco Sealing Technologies for years.
While JyTech will gain a great deal from the partnership, he said it “will bring Buckeye increased TPV compounding capacity, advanced weathersealing expertise and an entry into Asia if that can help them better service their core customer base.”
Established in 1995, Buckeye produces impact modified and reinforced polypropylenes, soft-touch thermoplastic elastomers and thermoplastic polyolefins, manufactured of prime or recycled content.
In addition to its compounding division in Lodi, it operates a recycling division in Sebring, Ohio, and other manufacturing, sales and service facilities in the U.S. and Canada.
The Jyawooks launched JyTech after the sale of Jyco.
They decided to focus on what and where their passions always have been—TPV/TPE material science because “it's in our DNA,” according to Shawn Jyawook.
TPV/TPE material formulation and the demands it must meet for weatherstripping are where they have their expertise, he said.
“We know that the sealing market needs technology and know-how in TPV/TPE that relates specifically to the industry's needs,” Jyawook said.
“We are exclusively focused on material compounding technology for the sealing market.
“We will support the other markets, but our core focus is for the sealing industry.”