By: Frank Esposito | Read story on Plastics News

Compounding firm Polymax TPE has almost doubled its annual production capacity through an investment of more than $1.5 million.

New production equipment was installed in July at Polymax’s production site in Waukegan, Ill. In a news release, officials said that the firm “is experiencing accelerated growth rates, exceeding forecasted figures, in response to high market demand for its custom TPE technologies and proven customer-centric service models.”

They added that the production expansion will allow Polymax to continue fulfilling orders “at the speed customers have come to expect and depend on.” The firm also will add an unspecified number of new jobs.

With the expansion, Polymax now can produce almost 18 million pounds of thermoplastic elastomer-based materials per year. The new line “was a necessity to ensure that our team continues to meet our standards and the demands of our customers,” Tom Castile, vice president of sales, said in the release.

Polymax officials added that TPE demand “is not planned to slow down anytime soon, as new and current customer programs are forecasted to continue to increase.” They also said that applications in food packaging, automotive and industrial industries are the leading market segments that are predicted to propel growth.

Polymax already plans to add another, smaller line in the fourth quarter to handle additional growth.

“There are new technologies in development that are expected to contribute to a continued increase of demand,” Castile said. “We’re watching material demands closely to determine the scale and location of the next large production capacity expansion.”

Polymax is a unit of Polymax Elastomer Technology Co. Ltd. of Nantong, China, is a producer and custom compounder of TPEs, including styrenic block copolymers and alloys.