The History Of Polyply Composites, LLC
Polyply Composites, LLC is a compression molder of sheet molding compounds (smc), bulk molding compound (bmc), and a variety of electrical grade sheet laminates. The custom molded products sell into a variety of industries including the electrical, transportation, construction, and recreational markets.
The corporate history began in 1953, with Bigelow Sanford Carpet Company's decision to establish an industrial division to diversify its basic business. The division was located in Amsterdam, New York. Bigelow Sanford's long term expertise and knowledge of textile weaving were applied to the new and emerging glass fiber industry.
The research efforts within the division created a new product called woven roving, the major reinforcement used in the production of fiberglass boats. The fourteen foot wide fabrics, woven from fiberglass were also sold for use in an assortment of products including radar domes, missiles, and bathtubs.
At the same time, Bigelow Sanford decided to vertically integrate its weaving and mat making operation with a compression molding capability to accelerate the use of its fiberglass products. Custom molded structures produced using the mat materials were referred to as "Polyply" laminates and included electrical, military, and heavy industrial applications.
In 1957, Fiber Glass Industries, Inc. (FGI), purchased the industrial division from Bigelow Sanford. The new corporation was formed by Ara Dildilian and Roger Knowles, the former operation managers for Bigelow Sanford. Shortly after this time, to minimize possible conflict between FGI and potential molding customers, the division was further separated. The reinforced plastic compression molding sector was purchased by Roger Knowles and became a separate entity incorporated as Polyply Inc.
Polyply Inc. expanded into epoxy molding for printed circuit boards and electronic shielding in the 1960's and 1970s to augment the polyester fiberglass operation still located in Amsterdam. Eventually, the company operated four production plants in the United States and Canada. It also owned a radio station in a major Massachusetts market.
The Grand Haven, Michigan, plant was added in 1966 and initially produced compression molded parts from fiberglass BMC, mat reinforcement, and preforms. The facility added SMC production capabilities in 1980 and eliminated their preform and mat molding operations at that time. In 1984, all the polyester reinforced plastics capabilities for the corporation including molding, development, design, and engineering were centralized in Grand Haven. The compression presses, tooling, and other related equipment were relocated from the Amsterdam headquarters.
In January of 1995, the polyester division in Grand Haven was sold to Polyply Composites Incorporated. Polyply Composites Inc. was headed by Thomas Soltysiak, the previous General Manager at the Grand Haven plant. Production continued to include large compression molded fiberglass reinforced parts, along with the company's long standing lines of electrical grade insulation sheet, channels, and angles, also adding pultrusion capabilities. The company revamped its production and quality programs and attained ISO 9001 certification in October of 1997. Polyply Composites' policy and promise, as always, is to out-deliver the industry.
In September of 2009 Tom White, the founder of Aurora Technologies, Inc. (ATI)( the fastest growing plastic fabricator in the United States) purchased Polyply Composites Inc..