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1/7/2016 | 2 MINUTE READ

Former Laminating Exec Starts Own Sheet Business

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Apex 'fills void' by furnishing high-gloss sheet for laminating.

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A newcomer to the sheet business knew a bit about the process before he started his first extrusion line. Ronnie Buck, founder and owner of Apex Plastic Extrusion LLC, New Bern, N.C. actually was a buyer of sheet for more than 35 years while he owned a decorative laminating business.  There, he made high-gloss laminates for the automotive, marine, heavy truck and signage industries. His biggest frustration, he recalls, was finding a supplier of high-quality sheet for applications demanding perfection.  

To fill what he perceived was a void, Buck founded Apex and took on his former company as his largest client. He recently installed a complete sheet line from Davis-Standard (D-S), Pawcatuck, Conn. to process sheet with a Class A surface from acrylic, ABS, HIPS, PC/ABS and TPOs in thicknesses ranging from 0.010 to 0.187 mil and widths up to 54 in.

“After looking at several extrusion vendors, we chose D-S because of their quality, support services and longevity in the business,” say Buck. “For me to produce the very best sheet, we had to go with the best equipment, even if it cost more. Not only is D-S’s equipment proven, but they survived the economic downturn when many others did not. The fact that they are in it for the long haul and have the reputation for quality is huge in terms of support and value after the purchase.”

Before buying the line, Buck sent two of his most critical resins to D-S’s lab. Davis-Standard was able to test the resins on a full-scale sheet line, successfully running both resins in various thicknesses and to the exacting quality requirements. For Buck, this was confirmation that his new company would have exactly what it needed prior to making such a large investment.

“My business has very specific goals and the lab trial was crucial. The line has performed as advertised and the training my operators received from Davis-Standard’s engineers was invaluable,” Buck explains. “Specific to the technology, I appreciate the automatic nip control for quick gauge adjustment and changeovers as well as the customized screw design, which enables us to process all resins using the same screw.”

Buck says he is steadily building his client base and looks to add another Davis-Standard system in the near future as production grows. Apex offers sheet in both rolls and sheet and with custom color matching.

“My customers will consistently receive the highest quality rolls and sheet on the market,” he maintains. “We may not be the cheapest, but we will be the best. We look forward to growing our U.S.-focused market base in creating quality products that will be used all over the world.”


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