The name changes took effect Jan. 1. Accella processes polyurethane coatings, binders, elastomers, rigid and flexible foams and polyurea sprays, as well as recycled rubber products.
At the time of the announcement, President and CEO Andy Harris said the new name “better reflects Accella's strategy to build the leading polyurethane systems house. In combining national manufacturing locations with a national sales network, we provide the speed and scale to enhance our customer's performance and profitability.”
Mr. Cunningham called the company's Berea plant “tremendous,” noting it has plenty of lab space and the region has a strong pool of research and manufacturing talent, so “it's a good place to hire.”
The Berea location is the home plant for Al Restaino, the company's vice president of marketing. He said when he joined the company in early 2014, the decision was made to spread the senior leadership team out over the company's different locations. Overall, the company has about 520 employees and makes about $450 million in annual sales, Mr. Restaino said.
Accella's tire-fill business makes a material used to fill pneumatic, or air-filled, tires to essentially make them “flat-proof,” Mr. Restaino said. The tires are filled with polyurethane gel, which then congeals. The brand name for the material is TyrFil.
It's useful in industries such as mining or construction, where a flat on one of the large tires used on equipment would hurt production. Accella Tire Fill also makes the equipment that is used to fill the tires with the material.
Small but powerful
The company's Berea plant has been through a number of changes in recent years.
It was previously a part of Arnco, which Accella — then known as Dash Multi-Corp. — acquired in 2013. Pathway Polymers was acquired the same year, and the two companies' names were soon combined. In 2014, the companies that had made up Dash became Accella, which is owned by private equity firm Arsenal Capital Partners.
After the renaming of the ArncoPathway and Zeus Tyre Fill businesses at the start of 2016, Accella began consolidating at the Berea plant the research and development efforts at its plants in South Gate, Calif. — which closed after operations combined with another California plant — and the company's Chattanooga, Tenn., facility.
This included relocating equipment and hiring a Berea-based research and development director for tire fill, Mr. Cunningham said. While there are still some chemistry R&D staff members at other locations, including in Germany, they report to the Berea plant. The team is small — there are seven people total, with three in Berea — but R&D isn't all that's going on in Northeast Ohio.
Mr. Cunningham said Accella also is moving its manufacturing and technical service support for the tire fill division to Berea. Mr. Restaino said Accella focuses on selling complete solutions to its customers, so offering the combination of the material, the machinery and the technical support is important.