If you wanted to meet with compounder Polymer Resources (Farmington, CT) at NPE2018, you were in for a long hike to the very end of the south hall of the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL. The area was an oasis of calm compared with the hustle and bustle in the west building and the front section of the south building. William Galla, Vice President of National Sales, wasn’t complaining, however. “We had plenty of attendees drop by our booth, but they came specifically to see us and find out if the things they were hearing about Polymer Resources were true.” Many of those questions revolved around the company’s customer service portfolio and, in particular, its recently launched express services.
|William Galla, Vice President of National Sales, and Daniel Damas, Account Executive, at the Polymer Resources
booth at NPE2018.
The company culture at Polymer Resources is steeped in good, old-fashioned customer service. “When you call, a human being answers the phone. When you send an e-mail, you get a response. Guys on our floor are accountable for every pellet until it hits your floor,” said Galla. Effectively serving customer needs begins by attentively listening to them, which is how the company developed its express services portfolio.
Typical lead times at Polymer Resources are two weeks for regular orders; four weeks for custom colors. Last year, one customer was in a real bind and needed resins right away. There will be a surcharge, he was told, but Polymer Resources would be able to fulfill the order within one week. The customer agreed to the terms and was able to successfully mold the product and ship it in time to take advantage of a rare business opportunity. Galla and the Polymer Resources team figured that there might be other customers who would be interested in expedited service from time to time, “so we invested in staff and resources to make that available,” said Galla. “It’s a small percentage of our business right now, but it’s growing rapidly and has been a real game changer for some companies dealing with a very tight window of opportunity.”
Designed to accommodate short forecast orders and increase speed to market, the recently launched services include express manufacturing, which offers a one-week turnaround on orders for standard and customer-formulated resin grades, and express color matching, which provides precisely matched color chips for approval by the customer, when needed, within one week. The process begins as soon as the part, pellets or Pantone color are received, along with the application requirements, said Polymer Resources.
UL-listed resin introduced
At NPE2018, Polymer Resources also introduced a new, impact-modified polycarbonate/polybutylene terephthalate (PC/PBT) material that complies with the UL94 5VA and V-0 standards and targets electrical and electronics applications.
“The electrical industry is evolving rapidly, with higher heat requirements, higher flame demands and thinner walls,” Galla told PlasticsToday. Many plastics suppliers are rationalizing their portfolios and reducing their product offerings, according to Galla. Not so at Polymer Resources, which carries well over 70 UL-listed grades and has invested in new certifications and expanded testing, he adds.
The new PC/PBT material combines chemical resistance to oil, gas and tough household cleaners; impact strength; and weatherability (i.e., resistance to UV light and moisture). Its listings under UL 94 5VA and V-0 give customers the flexibility to design both thinner- and thicker-wall geometries for their flame-retardant parts in applications such as electrical sockets and plugs in medical devices, residential switch plates and components for exterior fiber-optic installations.