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Emerald Packaging adding pouch making and digital printing

By: Roger Renstrom

November 13, 2013

Flexible packaging manufacturer Emerald Packaging Inc. is embarked on a $13-million expansion — its largest — in Union City, Calif.

On property adjacent to its headquarters, Emerald acquired a 120,000-square-foot building from private equity firm KTR Capital Partners in July for $8.76 million, part of the overall investment.

Emerald has begun making improvements and anticipates ramping up production in the first quarter of 2014.

“The building has been used to manufacture and warehouse foam for packaging,” said CEO Kevin Kelly,. The location had gone under several names, most recently as an Induspac operation of Specialized Packaging Group LP of Lachine, Quebec.

“We had to increase the power from 200 amps to 2,000 amps in order to handle the electrical load of our bag converting department,” he said. “We have started wiring the facility to handle our 28 bag lines.”

This expansion will enable Emerald to move into pouch making and digital printing, which Kelly characterizes as a process that facilitates going from computer to press without printing plates and can significantly increase speed to market and production flexibility.

To expand production, Emerald is acquiring additional equipment including lamination capacity from Nordmeccanica SpA of Piacenza, Italy; a third laser perforation/scoring unit from the Somerset, Wis., facility of Preco Inc.; pouch-making capability from Totani Corp. of Kyoto, Japan, or Hudson-Sharp Machinery Co. of Green Bay, Wis.; and digital and traditional flexography printing capacity from the Lincoln, R.I., North American unit of Windmöller & Hölscher KG.

Emerald says the additional building will facilitate the creation of a contiguous campus with facilities occupying 270,000 square feet.

Emerald is among the biggest U.S. suppliers of produce packaging and projects adding approximately 20 jobs in the next year.

Emerald employs about 250 and reported sales in excess of $77 million for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31.