Hallstar has been manufacturing polymer additives for over 50 years. Today, Hallstar Industrial Solutions continues to lead the way in the design and synthesis of speciality ester chemistries
Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, Hallstar is a global specialty chemistry company focusing on the industrial, beauty and personal care industries. A market leader in the design and synthesis of new specialty ester chemistries, with numerous products in commercial production (including PVC fittings and polymerics), Hallstar possesses a vast storehouse of knowledge that it uses to modify or completely customize monomeric and polymeric solutions.
In October 2018, the company took the decision to begin operating as two commercial companies, one of which would come to be known as Hallstar Industrial Solutions. Since 2019, Carmen Masciantonio has been spearheading the business as its President. “Here at Hallstar Industrial Solutions, we manufacture additives, plasticizers and various diversified materials for the rubber elastomer and PVC markets, and that has been our area of expertise for a number of years now,” he begins. “The primary users of the materials that we create are those companies making high performance products for industrial applications.”
The Hallstar Group has come to be recognized over the years for the high degree of quality that its products possess and for having industry-leading technical expertise, which it backs up with sales and aftercare support. Hallstar Industrial Solutions upholds these competencies, with the bulk of its efforts today emanating from its center of manufacturing, located in Bedford Park, Chicago. “Our products are generally specialized to such a point that we are able to serve customers via distribution channels all over the world, including Asia,” Carmen adds.
Hallstar’s reputation has also been built on its ability to innovate, something which has kept it and its respective businesses ahead of the curve compared to its competition. “Innovation is an area of the business that we constantly channel our efforts and investments towards,” Carmen continues. “We service a number of mature industries, which in itself can present challenges when it comes to realizing new ideas that are incrementally significant enough to attract attention; however we have become rather adept at developing unique ideas and turning these into solutions.
“To date, many of these efforts have been application-oriented, by which I mean developing new solutions that our customers can implement quickly to boost their efficiencies. We also have ongoing activities related to new molecule development, but those efforts, by contrast, take a more significant level of investment and their results must pass various regulatory approval processes.”
At Hallstar, success is not only measured in financial or innovation terms, but also by how it operates within the community and to the benefit of the environment. As such, its sustainability efforts focus on the environmental, social and economic issues that help to create and sustain long-term success for the planet as a whole. To this end, Hallstar is committed to reducing and eliminating any negative environmental impact whenever possible.
“Sustainability is, and always has been, a major focus for us,” Carmen agrees. “In past years, we have developed a range of green and bio-based products that today form part of our portfolio, and which are beginning to see an increased level of interest from our customers. More recently, our biggest effort in this regard has been made from a manufacturing standpoint, which can be seen in our obtaining Green-e Energy certified renewable energy certificates sourced from wind generation for our Bedford Park facility, and our receiving of a Silver award at the 2020 American Chemistry Council (ACC) Sustainability Awards.”
Hallstar was also awarded a Silver rating for its corporate social responsibility practices from EcoVadis, which placed the company in the top ten per cent of global chemistry suppliers in its category.
2020 was obviously a challenging year for people and businesses the world over, and for Hallstar Industrial Solutions one of the biggest obstacles it faced was how sudden shifts in demand for different solutions impacted its supply chain. “To their immense credit, our teams have performed admirably by remaining focused on how they could best handle such issues, even when a majority of team members continued to work remotely,” Carmen eulogizes. “As we have progressed into 2021, we are still facing some unique difficulties, particularly as different parts of the world emerge from the pandemic at different speeds, which in some cases has sparked a surge in orders.
“Nevertheless, we couldn’t be prouder of our people and the way they have delivered over the past year. Prior to – and even during – the pandemic, we set ourselves a number of targets and goals, and we have managed to achieve the vast majority of these. Arguably, the best result of all is that throughout this global crisis we have managed to avoid any lay-offs or cut-backs, thus keeping our hard-working employees in their jobs.”
In terms of the future, the immediate focus for Carmen and the rest of the Hallstar Industrial Solutions team is to continue to regain the momentum that it had prior to Covid-19. “As you would imagine, the pandemic meant that in a very short space of time the priorities of many of our customers changed, and this dynamic and fluid environment that we all found ourselves in remains to this day.
“We then want to advance forward with a number of initiatives, including accelerating our innovation pipeline, pursuing acquisition opportunities, and further improving on the efficiency and productivity of our Bedford Park facility. Lastly, one of our long-term aims is to be considered in the top percentile of specialty chemical companies in the world, and if we can continue to execute our plans I see no reason why this cannot be achieved sooner rather than later!”
Hallstar Industrial Solutions
Products: Additives, plasticizers and diversified materials