Global expansion under way at medical packaging thermoformer Prent

Mike Verespej

Published: February 15, 2012 6:00 am ET

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Topics Packaging, Medical, Thermoforming

ANAHEIM, CALIF. (Feb. 15, 2:35 p.m. ET) — Medical packaging thermoformer Prent Corp. is building on its strategy of supplying customers globally, with expansions under way in Costa Rica, Malaysia and Denmark.

All that growth is on top of a 50,000 square foot expansion at its headquarters plant in Janesville, Wis., last year that boosted the square footage of that facility to 300,000 square feet.

“We started on the Costa Rica project in late 2011,” said President and CEO Joseph Pregont in an interview at the Medical Design & Manufacturing West show, held Feb. 14-16 in Anaheim. “It’s going to be ready late in the second quarter.”

The Heridia, Costa Rica, plant will be approximately 20,000 square feet and the company’s seventh plant globally.

“It is primarily to serve our medical device customers who manufacture their devices or products in Costa Rica,” Pregont said. “They will get a lot of savings because we will be shipping raw materials there now, instead of shipping products from the mainland United States to Costa Rica.”

Pregont also said that Prent will be moving into “a brand-new facility this month” in Johor, Malaysia, that is approximately 180,000 square feet. The new plant will replace its current 80,000 square foot facility in that country.

“It’s a greenfield facility with Class 8 clean rooms. We’ve been working on it for about six months. Our expansion in Malaysia is based on a recovery in electronics markets and the growth in the medical device market.”

That’s similar to a move two years ago when Prent moved into a new plant in Shanghai that doubled its capacity in that country, and increased the number of clean rooms in China from one to three.

Additionally, the company’s 30,000 square foot facility in Holbaek, Denmark, is “getting itself in position for an additional equipment expansion sometime this year” that will increase the production capacity of that plant by 50 percent, he said.

“We are continuing to position ourselves for the next move for where we need to be for our customers,” Pregont said. “We have to continue to supply our products where our customers wants us to manufacture them. Prent is dedicated to our customer base and our global supply concept.”

Pregont credits the company’s continued expansions and double-digit growth the past decade to “good people who are willing to work hard to improve our quality.”

“We are the only true global supplier to our customers, and we offer superior design and better quality,” Pregont said. “We are working hard to be innovative, develop new product solutions and ways to reduce costs because that is the objective of our customers. With the continued spiraling resin costs, our customers are demanding we come up with cost savings. So we continue to take costs outs out of our products and processes through more labor-efficient equipment, better designs and lighter products.”

Prent currently has approximately 1,600 employees — about one-third of them in Janesville. Prent custom builds its own thermoforming equipment and designs all of its facilities to be identical so that it can move production and equipment from plant to plant.

Prent also has plants in Yauco, Puerto Rico, and Flagstaff, Ariz. Prent’s sales are estimated to be in the neighborhood of $300 million.


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Global expansion under way at medical packaging thermoformer Prent

Mike Verespej

Published: February 15, 2012 6:00 am ET

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