Next Generation sees growth

By Jessica Holbrook

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
Companies & Associations

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

By Jessica Holbrook

Published: September 26, 2012 6:00 am ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

Getting a real feel for how 'vinyl saves lives'

March 27, 2015 6:00 am ET

While I'm certainly not shipping off to Africa anytime soon, I got a taste of what medical professionals go through in the fight against Ebola and...    More

Image

Bubble cooling technology offers quick return on investment

March 25, 2015 9:52 am ET

Gloucester Engineering (Booth W6744) claims its new, retrofitable bubble cooling technology can boost blown film output by as much as 20 percent,...    More

Image

Transilwrap buys Clear Focus, expands in advertising films

March 20, 2015 10:03 am ET

Film extruder Transilwrap Company Inc. has bought Clear Focus Imaging, a manufacturer of printable plastic films for large-scale display advertising...    More

Image

PVC gets a spotlight at NPE for its role in saving lives

March 17, 2015 11:51 am ET

“Ripped from the headlines” is a phrase more associated with prime time television than trade shows. But it does apply to a special...    More

Market Reports

Flexible Packaging Trends in North America

North America represents about 30 percent of the global consumption of flexible packaging. Annual growth in this region is forecast at 4 percent during the next 5 years.

For more insight on growth opportunities, drivers of growth and the outlook for 2015, download this report.

Learn more

Plastics Recycling Trends in North America

This report is a review and analysis of the North American Plastics Recycling Industry, including key trends and statistics based on 2013 performance. We examine market environment factors, regulatory issues, industry challenges, key drivers and emerging trends in post-consumer and post-industrial recycling.

Learn more

Plastics in Mexico - State of the Industry Report

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

Our analysts provide insight on business trends, foreign investment, top end markets and plastics processing activity. The report also provides important data on exports, production, employment and value of plastics products manufactured.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

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

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

More Events