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Buckhorn Inc. has begun manufacturing structural foam molded reusable containers for industrial shipping, handling and storage at its new plant in Bluffton, Ind.

In July, Buckhorn installed two new 750-ton structural foam presses at Bluffton to make high density polyethylene containers, said plant manager Richard Singer. The Myers Industries Inc. subsidiary bought the 174,000-square-foot plant last year.

This summer, Buckhorn also took its structural foam molding machines from its Dawson Springs, Ky., facility to Bluffton, said Robert Rothfuss, vice president of sales and marketing.

That move made way for a new 1,500-ton injection press at Dawson, where it now operates 18 presses total, with clamping forces of 700-1,500 tons, he said from Buckhorn's booth at Pack Expo. The company is based in Milford, Ohio.

By early 1997, Buckhorn expects all six structural foam molding machines to be operational and will employ about 60 at the Bluffton plant, said Myers spokesman Steve Durinsky.

New customer contracts for the HDPE containers include automotive supplier Magna International Inc. of Markham, Ontario; and Carrier Corp., a manufacturer of air conditioning systems in Syracuse, N.Y.

Driving container sales is the push for just-in-time deliveries and quick turnaround, Singer said.

Buckhorn also buys back and recycles its damaged containers, he said. Myers, based in Akron, Ohio, manufactures plastic, metal and rubber products.