Plastics, Chemical Companies Locating, Expanding in Dalton
From the carpet under your feet to the facial tissues on the nightstand, household products that make life more comfortable are made with chemicals produced in Dalton.
"We don't make those products – we make those products better," says Vann Brown, president of ArrowStar.
ArrowStar and its sister companies, PolyStar and StarChem, manufacture advanced chemicals used in everything from paper and textiles to flooring. ArrowStar counts Dow Chemical Company and DuPont among its major customers.
"We have 14 acres dedicated to the chemical industry," Brown says of the company's manufacturing and research facilities in Dalton. "We have all the chemists and all the technology to focus on any industry."
Consumers may never be aware of those chemicals, but they are everywhere. Take facial tissue, for example.
"We make silicones that are used in tissue softeners, so if you blow your nose, you don't wear it out," Brown says.
Ideal for Innovation
ArrowStar is one of many advanced chemical and plastics companies that call Dalton and Whitfield County home. World famous for carpet manufacturing, the area is also becoming a magnet for companies that produce products used in oil wells, food packaging and more.
Like International Polymerics Inc. (IPI), all of them are thriving. IPI, which imports guar from India and Pakistan and turns it into products used by the carpet and oil well drilling industries, is adding a new production facility and creating 20 new jobs, bringing employment to 60.
“The oil industry is growing so fast that we’re using a lot of this material,” says IPI founder and president Donald Bramblett.
Guar powder manufactured in Dalton is injected into deep underground wells to keep oil and natural gas flowing smoothly to the surface. The oil and gas business is booming, and that’s good for IPI.
“We’ve been working 24/7 for two years,” Bramblett says.
IPI in Dalton also supplies guar used in carpet dyes. Divisions in Minnesota and Wyoming make guar used in food products and explosives.
Most of IPI’s customers are in Western states, but Bramblett plans to keep his headquarters in Dalton. With its interstate connections, available workforce, dependable electrical power, ample water supply and extensive waste treatment facilities, the city is an ideal location, he says.
Location of Choice
Another growing enterprise, Puma Polymers, recently expanded to Dalton, which president Gerret Peters Jr. describes as “our location of choice.”
Puma Polymers develops and manufactures chemically advanced next-generation polyurethane products used in food packaging, precast concrete, commercial roller products and other industries.
Dalton has exactly what the company needs, Peters says, including quick access to I-75, an available workforce with the right skills, close proximity to potential customers, and an existing building and site large enough to handle the company’s tremendous growth. By the end of 2011, Puma expects to double the volume of 2010. Puma Polymers will employ 25 people initially.
MFG Chemical, a specialty chemical manufacturer, celebrated the opening of its new production facility in Dalton early in 2011. The facility also serves as the company’s corporate headquarters and its technical and product development center. The expansion is creating 20 jobs.
Expanding in Dalton, where the company already has a significant presence, will enable MFG to better meet the needs of existing customers and grow in the future, says president Chuck Gavin.
“It also strengthens our position as a supplier to the specialty chemical markets,” he says.
Attracting Foreign Investment
The Greater Dalton region is also catching the eye of foreign investors, Belgium-based IVC U.S. relocated its North American headquarters to the city. The company distributes a wide range of cushioned back sheet vinyl products specifically designed for the U.S. market. IVC’s new 520,000-square-foot facility houses the world’s longest vinyl flooring production line.
Other plastics and chemical companies growing in Dalton include:
•XL Brands is relocating its Northwest Georgia operations to the Carbondale Business Park. The company develops environmentally sound adhesives and moisture sealants for the floor covering industry.
•Standridge Color Corp. recently underwent a $2 million expansion. The company provides custom color concentrates, additives and resins to the thermoplastics industry.
Dalton's Plastics and Chemical Industry: By the Numbers
520,000 square feet
Size of new IVC facility that will house the world's longest vinyl line
Number of new jobs recently created by plastics and chemical companies in the Dalton region
Recent expansion investment by Standridge Color Corp., which provides custom color concentrates, additives and resins to the thermoplastics industry