By: Michael Lauzon
August 30, 2012
ALBERTVILLE, ALA. (Aug. 30, 2:15 p.m. ET) — Flexible packaging producer Colormasters LLC will become integrated in polyethylene film by constructing and starting up a new blown film extrusion plant across the street from its existing plant in Albertville.
The company also said it will set up another new printing and converting plant in Albertville to complement its existing operation and to allow for expansion. This plant will be located in a former Berry Plastics Corp. duct tape plant that Berry closed at the end of 2010. The ex-Berry facility was reported to have 318,000 square feet of space and had employed about 100.
Colormasters said the new film plant will supply the majority of its film needs. It initially will employ about 30 and boost the payroll to about 60 over the next few years. It is due to begin running by the end of the year.
The new blown film plant and equipment will be an $8 million initial investment, said Colormasters general manager Ben Fryer in a telephone interview. Colormasters will start with two Windmoeller & Hoelscher film lines and expects to add three more next year.
“We felt to ensure quality and lead times, it was necessary to vertically integrate,” Fryer explained. Making PE film in-house also takes some costs out of the films, he added.
Fryer said his firm will still buy other types of films, such as PET, polypropylene and EVOH to and multilayer films make its constructions.
Colormasters is investing about $5 million to buy, renovate and equipment its second conversion plant, the former Berry facility.
Fryer said Colormasters’ main markets are in consumer retails, such as food, beverage and pet products.
Colormasters’ owners Dennis Hicks and Gus King started the business 26 years ago. Fryer estimated 2012 sales will be about $50 million and officials are targeting double that size in the next few years.
Colormasters’ second printing and conversion plant will feature the latest in equipment, the company claimed. About 25 employees will launch the operation Oct. 1 with staff rising to more than 200 in the next couple of years, the company predicted.
The Sand Mountain Reporter stated in an article that Colormasters co-owner Dennis Hicks said his firm has been sourcing PE film from out of state.
“Gus King and Dennis Hicks chose to start their operations in Albertville 26 years ago and it has proved to be a fantastic place to operate our business,” noted Colormasters general manager Ben Fryer in a news release.
Colormasters performs high definition flexographic printing, makes re-closable features on roll-stock, converts film to bags and pouches, does slitting and uses laser scoring to make easy-open and breathable packaging.
Company officials were unavailable to provide costs and equipment details.