Midwest Supplier Poised for Growth; Will Dramatically Increase Capacity with High-Output ENTEK HR3TM 73mm Twin-Screw Extruder
Based in the tiny Midwestern town of Meredosia, Ill. (population 1,044), BPC Toll Compounding & Blending is a young company with state-of-the-art compounding capabilities. BPC produces a wide range of compounds based on polyolefin and engineering polymers.
Originally founded in Houston in 2007 to conduct testing services for major petrochemical companies, BPC moved to Illinois in 2012 and began offering custom compounding services. Since then, business has steadily increased to the point where the company was running at full capacity, and needed to expand by adding new machinery and equipment.
BPC has run numerous materials trials in ENTEK’s In-House Pilot Plant, testing a wide variety of fillers and formulations. When the time came to purchase new machinery they chose a new ENTEK high-output HR3 73mm, 48:1 L/D twin-screw extruder, which will be on display at ENTEK’s booth at the upcoming NPE2018 show in Orlando.
In a recent interview Mike Krause, Operations Manager at BPC and Greg Larson, BPC’s Vice President-Business Development, discussed their company’s growth and their decision to work with ENTEK to expand their operations.
A History of Success
Mike Krause joined BPC as Operations Manager after working for several years at wood-plastic composites major Fiber Composites Inc. (FCI), the makers of Fiberon decking and railing products. While at FCI he had several ENTEK twin-screw extrusion production lines in operation, running ‘‘high quality materials with very low downtime”.
“Besides their machinery, which is extremely high quality, ENTEK’s service was always exceptional,” he said. “They were much more than a supplier to us; in fact, their service and support was instrumental in our company’s growth. ENTEK has an outstanding group of people that is very responsive to customer needs. I saw this firsthand when I was at FCI and I wanted the same thing for BPC now and going forward.”
Like many compounders, BPC does extensive materials trials to perfect each compound they produce for their customers. They take advantage of ENTEK’s In-House Pilot Plant for these services, working with ENTEK’s team, testing and running numerous formulations until they get it right. “We’ve run numerous trials at ENTEK’s lab at their facility in Oregon,” said Mike Krause. “Dean Elliott and his team are second to none when it comes to their professionalism and knowledge.”
Since BPC began their compounding operations in Meredosia in 2013, they have grown steadily with a focus on toll compounding. “Toll compounding helps our customers increase their compounding capacity without having to invest in new machinery and equipment,” said Greg Larson. “We can do the materials production for them and provide a full range of other services, very cost-effectively.”
Polypropylene and polyethylene are the main materials processed at BPC, along with a wide range of fillers including talc, mica, calcium carbonate, flame retardants, and cellulose. Natural and white, black, and a full spectrum of colors are produced. Currently TPO and TPE materials are processed on a 70mm 52:1 L/D twin-screw designed to handle rubber-based raw materials and liquid additions.
Under the Radar – But Not Much Longer
The new ENTEK HR3 73mm twin-screw extruder will be brought online at BPC after the NPE show. Once up and running, the line will allow them to gain more customers and increase their toll compounding capacity dramatically, from 22 million to 60 million lbs./year.
Greg Larson said that BPC has deliberately kept a low profile in the past, but that’s about to change.
“We have traditionally stayed under the radar, but our growth has led our owners to invest heavily in our plant,” he said. “We’ve added staff, and are about to launch a new corporate identity. NPE2018 is a big show for us – while we are not exhibitors, we are proud to show off our new machine at ENTEK’s booth.”
Greg Larson, Mike Krause, and Robin Fourness, BPC’s Vice President, Sales & Marketing, all have many years of plastics industry experience, and they’ve been brought to BPC to promote and grow the business. “We have a great team in place,” said Larson. “We all come from the plastics industry compounding arena and are excited to build the BPC business. I believe a real strength is our independence; we aren’t owned by a larger company. We are very lean and we are very successful.”