Next Generation sees growth

Published: September 26, 2012 6:00 am ET

Next Generation owner and CEO Dave Frecka demonstrates the tear strength of some of his firm’s plastic packaging. (Plastics News photo by Jessica Holbrook)

Related to this story

Topics Film & Sheet

LEXINGTON, OHIO (Sept. 26, 1:30 p.m. ET) — Film converter Next Generation Films Inc. is enjoying a growth spurt.

The company, based in Lexington, recently launched its latest expansion — a $35 million investment that, when completed next year, will include 10 new multilayer film extrusion lines and a newly acquired, 175,000-square-foot facility.

“We’re growing very fast, but we’re very focused on what we sell and how we make it,” said Dave Frecka, CEO and owner of the company, during a tour of facility.

The new plant, which will manufacture five-, seven- and nine-layer films, will be the company’s sixth.

The blue buildings, which house a recycling facility, research and development lab and warehouse, are all located in the same industrial park in central Ohio. The buildings are visible from the full-length windows in the company’s headquarters.

The plants house Next Generation’s 30 film lines — mostly finely tuned, customized machines from Windmoeller & Hoelscher Corp. — and are separated by product and quality expectations. For example, one plant manufactures modified-atmosphere packaging for food products while an adjacent building produces industrial packaging.

The campus setup keeps Next Generation efficient and focused, allowing it to offer cost savings, and ensures the company is manufacturing a high-quality product, according to Frecka.

“Most converters do a lot of everything in one place — that’s where we’re different,” he said. “We have the best equipment money can buy, doing the biggest output we can do.”

Frecka said he is serious about keeping his plants high-tech and up-to-date. They’re outfitted with real-time monitoring and data-tracking systems, and the company is constantly investing in new equipment and technology, like a 12-story blown film line, or an energy-saving alternative to conventional screws.

“We don’t have an old piece of technology here,” he said. “We don’t have old assets; I’ll shut them down.”

Next Generation takes the same approach with its materials. The company’s R&D lab specializes in analyzing and reverse engineering specialty films.

The lab can take multilayer films down to their molecular level, identify the polymers, analyze the structure and then create a better version — one that meets the same barrier requirements but seals better or has better optics, Frecka said.

Next Generation only deals with specialty films — it doesn’t manufacture T-shirt bags or commodity films. Frecka said the firm is a leader in the modified-atmosphere and barrier-packaging markets.

Manufacturing high-end specialty films requires an investment in polymer science that most manufacturers are not willing to make, and that sets Next Generation ahead of the pack, Frecka added.

“That’s why we think we’re ahead; we’re not a ‘me too,’ ” he said.

The approach appears to have paid off: Next Generation boasted $245 million in sales this year, a $90 million increase from last year, and jumped from No. 45 to No. 32 in Plastics News’ ranking of North American film and sheet manufacturers.

The company has grown exponentially from a single plant in 1996 and has no plans of slowing down now.

When the current expansion is completed and up-to-speed, Frecka plans to add more buildings on the 20 undeveloped acres of the company’s campus.

“We’re hungry. We’re hungry for success. We’re hungry and we’re going to keep growing,” he said.


Comments

Next Generation sees growth

Published: September 26, 2012 6:00 am ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

Brown signs California's plastic bag ban into law

September 30, 2014 1:38 pm ET

Gov. Jerry Brown (D) made it official today: plastic bags are banned across the entire state of California.    More

Image

Amcor planning more growth in Asia

September 30, 2014 10:24 am ET

Flexible packaging firm Amcor Ltd. is rapidly expanding its presence in the Asian market. The company's top official in the region said it will soon...    More

Image

Uflex to build large flexible packaging plant in western India

September 30, 2014 10:01 am ET

Flexible packaging company Uflex Ltd. is planning a major new plant in the western Indian state of Gujarat.    More

Image

Malaysia's Scientex investing in PE, BOPP film capacity

September 30, 2014 9:51 am ET

Flexible packaging manufacturer Scientex Bhd, based in Malaysia, is planning investment of 300 million Malaysia ringgits ($91.4 million) over three...    More

Image

Sigma's Packworx center geared at helping customers solve problems

September 29, 2014 3:41 pm ET

Sigma Stretch Film has opened a training center to help customers find the best solution to using the packaging films.    More

Market Reports

Plastics in Mexico - State of the Industry Report

This report analyzes the $20 million dollar plastics industry in Mexico including sales of machinery & equipment, resins and finished products.

Our industry analysis highlights macro industry trends and micro trends faced by companies that do business in Mexico. The report also provides key industry statistics and forecasts to anticipate future industry expansion.

Learn more

Plastics Caps & Closures Market Report

The annual recap of top trends and future outlook for the plastics caps & closures market features interviews with industry thought leaders and Bill Wood’s economic forecast of trends in growing end markets. You will also gain insight on trends in caps design, materials, machinery, molds & tooling and reviews of mergers & acquisitions.

Learn more

Injection Molders Market Report & Ranking 2014

This special package contains our 132-page 2014 Market Report on the Injection Molding segment and our exclusive 2014 RANKINGS database of 500+ Injection Molders for a discounted package price.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

June 2, 2015 - June 3, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - Chicago 2015

September 16, 2015 - September 18, 2015Plastics Caps & Closures - September 2015

More Events