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By Jim Martin, Doug Oathout Erie Times-News staff bloggers
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Posted: May 9th, 2012
Corry company feels impact of plastics shortage

The effects of a March factory explosion in Germany continues to be felt by auto parts makers around the world, including at least one Erie County company.

The German plant was one of a handful of worldwide producers of a plastic resin called PA-12 that’s commonly used in fuel and brake lines because of its ability to carry gasoline and other fluids without deteriorating.

That’s a concern for auto parts giants such as Delphi Automotive as well as smaller companies, including Viking Plastics in Corry.

Viking, which employs more than 100 people, makes a handful of parts that use PA-12, said Kelly Goodsel, the company’s owner.

“There are only three suppliers around the world and I believe this is the largest of the three, so it’s a significant impact,” Goodsel said.

But his company and others are trying to manage the effects of the shortage.

“We are communicating on a daily basis on how much inventory we have and what our future needs are,” he said. “The first thing you want to do is assess how long its going to take to get out of this situation and how long it will take to get back online.”

Goodsel said Viking and other companies are looking at alternative plastic resins that might be used in place of PA-12.

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