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

Bemis Co. reports sales growth

April 24, 2015 9:57 am ET

Bemis Co. Inc., in what the company is describing as a strong quarter, saw consistent earnings from continuing operations.    More

Image

Clopay Plastics suing Berry over breathable film trade secrets

April 23, 2015 2:08 pm ET

Clopay Plastics Products Co. is alleging Berry Plastics Group Inc. stole trade secrets involving its breathable film technology used for baby and...    More

Image

Adidas phasing out plastic bag use

April 20, 2015 11:50 am ET

Sporting goods company Adidas AG is phasing out the use of plastic bags in its own retail stores as part of a larger effort raise awareness about...    More

Image

Greif special committee to study 'transformation initiative'

April 20, 2015 12:22 pm ET

Greif Inc., an industrial packaging company that includes plastic containers, is forming a special board committee to help with the company's...    More

Image

Colormasters' film investments add capacity and capability

April 17, 2015 11:35 am ET

Colormasters LLC continues to invest in new film and converting capacity to keep up with demand for its flexible packaging products.    More

Market Reports

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

Injection Molding Market Analysis & Processor Rankings

Plastics News BUNDLED package contains our in-depth Market Analysis of the Injection Molding segment. You will gain keen insight on current trends and our economic outlook.

As a BONUS this includes PN's updated 2014 database of North American Injection Molders RANKED by sales volume. Sort, merge, mail & prospect by end market, materials processed, region, # of plants and more.

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

Upcoming Plastics News Events

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

September 15, 2015 - September 17, 2015Plastics Caps & Closures - September 2015

More Events