Star Plastics Announces Installation of New Equipment | News, Sports, Jobs

Star Plastics in Ravenswood held a groundbreaking ceremony this month to celebrate the installation of a new specialty twin-screw extruder that will improve production rates, increase capacity and allow the company to expand its product offering . (Photo provided)

RAVENSWOOD — Star Plastics has announced the installation of new equipment marking the first phase of an investment of more than $5 million.

A new specialist twin-screw extruder, a 58mm Leistritz, was installed at Star’s Ravenswood plant in December, with trials running throughout January. It is the company’s largest extruder to date, improving production rates and tripling capacity in anticipation of continued long-term growth, according to a company statement.

The new high-torque machine improves material incorporation and dispersive mixing during production and its special screw design can be modified to generate higher quality production outputs, according to the release.

Star Plastics plans to introduce more product offerings for its customers and become a full-service supplier of engineering-grade composite resins to the plastics industry.

“Our customers have asked us to expand our current portfolio and capabilities – they want our quality, service and delivery on even more hardware options, and we’re going to deliver just that,” said CEO Donald Wiseman.

The additional polymer types will open the door to new markets and product development, allowing the company to offer a wider range of glass-filled and composite-type materials that are not part of its product line, according to the press release. Investments in equipment will further support Star’s growth with Italian specialty resin compounder LATI, which produces LATI materials in North America.

“The extruder is an exciting investment for us,” said Star founder Doug Ritchie. “We look forward to providing Star Plastics customers with even greater access to more advanced engineering compound grades and meeting their long-term needs.”

While the increase in capacity and production rates is significant, COO Mike Vacek said: “This new twin screw not only improves our ability to produce consistent high quality materials; more importantly, it also improves our ability to operate even more safely, thanks to its state-of-the-art safety interlocks. »

Star Plastics celebrated this milestone with a ribbon cutting this month. Those in attendance included Polymer Alliance Zone President Keith Burdette, Jackson County Development Association Chairman of the Board Rick Anderson, Ravenswood Mayor Josh Miller and Bob Fehrenbacher, former Chairman of the Board of Directors. administration of the West Virginia Manufacturing Association.

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Clifton L. Boyd