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

Kydex, Allen Extruders joined under Sekisui SPI name

September 17, 2014 4:12 pm ET

Sekisui Chemical Co. Ltd. is combining plastic sheet makers Kydex LLC and Allen Extruders LLC under one roof as Sekisui SPI.    More

Image

American Renolit sees steady gains in the film market

September 16, 2014 11:51 am ET

American Renolit Corp. has changed its product mix, changed its customer base and managed to grow in a market that was initially skeptical about the...    More

Image

Flexibility for complexity key for Brampton

September 16, 2014 11:26 am ET

Blown film machinery maker Brampton Engineering Inc. is well positioned to meet growing demand for complex film structures, highly customized...    More

Image

Primex finds success among diverse product offerings

September 15, 2014 3:09 pm ET

What was once a run-down stretch of road in Richmond, Ind., has given way to building after building of extrusion machinery at Primex Plastics Corp....    More

Image

Primex names new tech center after John Farber, a steady supporter

September 15, 2014 3:00 pm ET

RICHMOND, IND. — John J. Farber was there when Primex Plastics Corp. was founded in 1965. And he has been a steady source of support...    More

Market Reports

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

Shale Gas Market - Analysis of North American Region

This report highlights the impact of shale-based natural gas on the North American plastics market and features an in-depth analysis of production trends in the United States during 2013 and a forecast for 2014 and beyond.

Learn more

Thermoformed Packaging 2014 Market Review & Outlook – North America

This in-depth report analyzes economic and market trends, legislative/regulatory activity impacting supply and demand, business opportunities and threats, materials pricing, manufacturing technology, as well as growth strategies being implemented by thermoformed packaging companies.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

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

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

More Events