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CHICAGO—With business strong in both industrial and packaging markets, Innovative Plastech Inc. is expanding thin-gauge thermoforming capacity.

The firm is installing a new Zed thermoformer at its 34,000-square-foot headquarters plant in Batavia, Ill. It made the announcement at the recent Pack Expo show in Chicago.

The Zed, an investment of almost $300,000, is faster than the firm's other six thermoforming machines, according to design manager Art Martinez. His father, Antonio, who founded the company some 30 years ago, is president.

At its Batavia plant, Innovative Plastech thermoforms plastic packaging for consumer products, shipping trays for electronic components and car door liners, among other applications. It also runs foam.

``We're trying to get into more auto applications,'' Art Martinez said.

The company currently makes door liners for suppliers to Detroit's Big Three automakers, but is working toward QS 9000 to become a first-tier supplier. Innovative Plastech's packaging customers include Coleman Co. of Wichita, Kan., and BRK Brands/ First Alert in Aurora, Ill., both of which make smoke detectors, he said.

Sales for the fiscal year ended Sept. 30 were $5.3 million, according to Martinez.