The plant, which complements USP’s existing facility in Lawrenceville, Georgia, US, consists of compounding equipment which expands production of its portfolio of thermoplastic elastomers including traditional SEBS-based TPE, TPO, TPU, and special products such as acrylic-based TPE compounds.
“This investment reaffirms our continued commitment to the engineering TPE plastics market in the US, Mexico, and also outside of the Americas,” said Benedict Herbst, executive VP, USP.
“The expansion of our manufacturing assets will play a key role in meeting the application development needs of our customers and further unlock new business opportunities and maintain our customer response time.”
Herbst said the plant represents a strategic market repositioning which enables USP to move closer to raw material hubs and high-volume customer accounts in Mexico, the Southwest US, and Asia.
The company plans to hire up to 25 production employees and additional new lines as they come on-stream.
The additional capacity will allow the existing USP plant in Georgia to further focus on specialized product development.
The manufacturing facility will be run on a twin-screw extrusion system furnished by KraussMaffei Berstorff, equipped with an underwater pelletizer from Nordson.
The nearly 20,000 ft² facility is also equipped with testing equipment and a laboratory.
In response to continued growth, USP has undertaken extensive product development work and now offers a broad portfolio of TPE products.
The company’s product line includes standard grades adhering to PP and special adhesion grades for non-PP overmolding applications with substrates such as ABS, PC, PA6, and PMMA.
Other materials have been developed to meet special regulatory requirements within the FDA, EU food contact, and NSF.
The range of products also includes acrylic-based TPEs which offer an ultra-transparent profile and a smooth dry surface with improved oil and chemical resistance.
The company’s TPE materials are used to produce injection molded, extruded, and blow molded parts such as consumer grips and handles, beverage closures, over-molded gaskets and seals, sporting goods, and soft-touch applications.