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Clear Lam Packaging boosts sheet capacity with cast line

By: Michael Lauzon

September 20, 2012

ELK GROVE VILLAGE, ILL. (Sept. 20, 4:05 p.m. ET) — Clear Lam Packaging Inc. has expanded its rigid plastic roll stock capacity with the addition of a new cast line in Elk Grove Village.

The firm spent about $2 million on the project, it announced Sept. 19. Central to the expansion is a 15 million-pound-per-year sheet coextruder that boosts Clear Lam’s capacity for its Forming Films division to 45 million pounds per year. The division makes sheet for thermoforming and for form-fill-seal applications.

The new line, made of components sourced from various suppliers, is aimed at boosting output of sheet made of PET, recycled PET, polylactic acid and bio-based PET. The division also makes sheet from polypropylene and high-impact polystyrene, multilayer sheet and laminates such as PET/ethylene vinyl alcohol/polyethylene. Clear Lam said its “environmentally beneficial” products are included in its EarthClear offerings.

“With new polymer technologies and our continued innovation in the development of new sustainable packaging formats, we see rigid roll stock as a growth area, especially in the food and personal health-care segments,” said Clear Lam President and CEO James Sanfilippo in a news release. The firm completed the expansion in mid-September.

Clear Lam’s main sheet markets also include electronics and toys. It supplies sheet as wide as 54 inches and offers slitting services.

Clear Lam, based in Elk Grove Village, operates two plants in the municipality. A 245,000-square- foot facility contains Forming Films operations and Clear Lam’s CL Polymers division, which makes proprietary polymer additives. Also in Elk Grove Village, Clear Lam runs its Flexible Films division, which specializes in printed film, in a 230,000-square-foot building. In Nanjing, China, Clear Lam runs an 80,000-square-foot plant housing Forming Films and Flexible Films businesses. Spokeswoman Mary Brophy said in an email that Clear Lam plans to open another facility in China.

In May, Clear Lam exited thermoforming to concentrate on its sheet, films and CL Polymers businesses. D&W Fine Pack LLC of Fountain Inn, S.C., bought the $80 million-per-year business, which represented about 35 percent of Clear Lam’s 2011 sales.

Brophy said Clear Lam has begun an expansion of its Flexible Films division that includes additional printing and laminating equipment.

Clear Lam reported annual film and sheet sales of $124 million in Plastics News’ 2012 ranking of North American film and sheet companies. The company has about 325 employees.