Post-acquisition, Testo said, SSP is focusing on developing its aerospace and defense niche markets, as well as specified certifications within those markets, where the company will be able to develop and test in-house.
"What we're learning with the defense contractor market is that the certifications, documentation and compliance are as important or more important than price," he said.
SSP's offerings for the defense market include critical applications in a niche part of aerodefense and telecom segments. The firm is focusing on investing an unspecified amount into its electromagnetic interference or radio-frequency interference shielding elastomers, the conductive silicones used for shielding gaskets.
In an effort to double capacity for extrusion parts for EMI RFI shielding, SSP purchased a new extruder to support the full-scale machine working on the product. The new extruder uses unique equipment to perform specialized work with conductive silicone, as opposed to non-conductive varieties. It also will open up some ability to do research and development work, while keeping customers' orders filled. The extruded products eventually will become bonded into O-rings and other seals, mostly with silver and nickel-filled materials.
"That market is growing rapidly because of the increased connectivity not just on the battlefield but in general," Testo said. "That would include 5G telcom applications where it's growing outside the military. Then within the military, electronic warfare is on the forefront, like missile defense and satellite. A lot of these applications call for good EMI RFI shielding."
Testo said SSP completed its ISO 9001:2015 certification, and its next step plans to reach its AS9100 certification. It also plans to qualify two products for MIL-DTL-83528, a U.S. military-level set of specifications.
Medical market growth
The firm also is further developing its medical-grade silicone offerings in the growth phase. Among those products is the SSP-2390 series, its one-part platinum cure HCR, which has a six-month shelf life. It also has the capability for custom pantones in low or medium volumes.
"We're continuing to grow and promote that market," Testo said. "If you said two years ago, you saw one or two inquiries or leads for it per month, we're now seeing about 10. It's huge."
Part of that growth comes from continued investment in content marketing such as technical blogs, promoting SSP as thought leaders in the industry, according to Testo. The development also is the result of a naturally growing segment of the consumer populations.
"I think what you're seeing is that the medical device market and the aging population just like we're talking about here continues to grow," Testo said. "And I think people in general on the design end of these things in medical device, blood filtration and drug filtration are getting smarter about what a peroxide catalyst is versus a platinum catalyst."
The market is coming to dictate platinum catalysts in medical applications more often, as a cleaner, non-byproduct material, he said.