Thermoplastic composite material supplier breaks ground for plant near Denver

Polystrand's new 120,000-sq-ft facility 10 miles southeast of Denver, Colo., will produce continuous reinforced thermoplastic composites for transportation, armor and aerospace applications and will have capacity of 60 million to 90 million lb annually.

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The sun shone on the June 3 groundbreaking ceremony at the site of Polystrand Inc.’s (Montrose, Colo.) new 120,000-ft2/11,148m2 manufacturing facility in Douglas County, Colo. Polystrand, a Gordon Holdings Inc. company, will be the first tenant in the new Highfield Business Park, located 10 miles/16 km southeast of Denver. The plant will produce continuously reinforced thermoplastic composite materials for a variety of markets, including commercial transport.

Gordon Holdings Inc. president Mike Gordon led the event and said the move was prompted by the company’s robust growth, adding, “We never thought that the demand for the Polystrand product would come as fast and as strong as it did.” According to Gordon the venture will be fast tracked; plant construction is on a one-year time frame and production is expected to begin by mid-2012. The Highfield site was chosen after a search throughout the Denver metro area. “We like Colorado,” said Gordon. “We needed good logistics, proximity to shipping routes, and this was the best location.”

Polystrand’s existing operations will continue in Montrose in western Colorado, as will those of Gordon Composites, also part of Gordon Holdings. The new facility, located immediately adjacent to Centennial Airport, will house Gordon Holdings’ new corporate headquarters as well.

Polystrand president Ed Pilpel (see photo), described the company’s business model and market outlook. The 22-year-old company numbers truck trailers, automobiles and armored military vehicles and, eventually, aerospace applications as its primary targets. Pilpel emphasized green manufacturing and recycling, noting that scrap generated at the plant will be reused in the manufacturing process, and waste material will be collected from customers and reused as well. “This industry is too far behind steel and aluminum in recycling efforts and in truly delivering green manufacturing,” he contended. “We’re making big strides in this area .... We’re moving from the incubation stage to a true commercial product.”

Key to the new facility’s stated annual capacity — between 60 million and 90 million lb (27,215 and 40,823 metric tonnes) of product — is a new processing machine, on its way via ship from Germany, said Gordon.

Gordon also announced that Gordon Holdings intends to partner with nearby Arapahoe Community College to develop a workforce training program.