Published November 06. 2021 07:23AM
Two plastic-related businesses that have deep roots in the Nesquehoning area since the 1970s now have a new owner.
Officials at Westchester Plastics and Fluoropolymer Products recently announced that Ametek Inc. has sold the Nesquehoning facility to Niche Polymer. The sale was finalized on Sept. 7.
Sunny Naik, vice president of operations for Niche Polymer, said that Ametek approached Niche about the opportunity to take over the Nesquehoning facility late last year after the Maryland-based company showed interest in Ametek’s Ohio plastics facility that closed.
That acquisition fell through, but the companies’ relationship did not.
“We were approached as an off-market opportunity because we have an existing relationship and they have known about our presence in the plastic industry,” he said.
“They came to us with a goal to not only maintain and continue the business after the purchase, but with a strategic growth and projections on how to continue to provide services to the customers.”
Niche has been in the polymer industry for over 35 years, started by Naik’s father, Dr. Saurabh Naik, and currently has 17 facilities throughout the country. Its services align with the operations already being done here in the Panther Valley.
“We put a lot of time and dedication into making this investment in this plant,” Sunny Naik said.
“Plastic is what we have done since Day One. … I really think we have the ability technically and business-wise to really focus customers and give this plant what it needs to grow – from infrastructure, from customer base, from mechanical improvements – and that’s what we plan to do here.
“It’s important to reiterate that we’re plastics people. It’s what we do … and we’re really, really excited for the growth. This is a plant we really wanted to buy and we hope to make this a really long-term option.”
Mark Rother, director of sales and marketing for Westchester Plastics, echoed Naik’s thoughts, saying that it was exciting to have a company come in that knows plastics already.
Westchester Plastics is a toll compounder that specializes in creating formulated plastic pellets that are used by companies across the world to create everything from vehicle dashboards and carpeting to composite materials.
On the fluoropolymer side, that company specializes in heat exchangers and uses a specialized method using its plastics knowledge to create their products.
“We have a number of customers that we already shared with Niche, so we are going to be able to grow this business in this area of the plant,” Rother said.
“It’s exciting to be able to sit down and talk about growth instead of just trying to sustain.”
Rother commended Niche for its efforts in finding ways to not only work with plastic, but also create programs at their facilities to recycle plastic that has been used and put it back into the stream of reuse rather than the product going into landfills.
“These guys have been on the forefront and taking as much of the post industrial and consumer waste that they can get their hands on and recycling back through, to the point where we are now seeing a lot of the big resin producers are all interested in it. We want to be in the forefront of this. We are positioning ourselves based on what they’ve done for the last 20 years.”
Both Naik and Rother said that what is needed next for the new facility is employment growth.
“We have enough business for seven or eight lines that we can run 24 hours a day, five days a week, but we got enough people to maybe run only three,” Rother said, adding that Ametek has been a great owner of the facility over the years.
Naik said that it is important to provide sustainable jobs to areas such as Nesquehoning and hopes that over the next few months, the news of the acquisition will help bring more employees.
To apply for a position at Westchester Plastics, visit the Nesquehoning facility at 42 Mountain Ave. or call the plant at 570-645-6900.
The Westchester Plastics Nesquehoning headquarters, once under the Ametek umbrella, has been sold to Niche Polymer. AMY MILLER/TIMES NEWS
Mark Rother, director of sales and marketing for Westchester Plastics, holds a handful of a specific plastic pellet that has been formulated to be used in vehicle carpeting.
A view of the Westchester Plastics facility in Nesquehoning. AMY MILLER/TIMES NEWS
A view of the Westchester Plastics facility in Nesquehoning.
A view of the Niche Fluoropolymers facility in Nesquehoning.