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Liqui-Box upgrading Ohio and UK plants

By: Michael Lauzon

November 27, 2013

Liqui-Box Inc. is upgrading polyethylene extrusion operations as part of overall upgrades to facilities in Ashland, Ohio, and Wythenshawe, England.

Liqui-Box, based in Worthington, Ohio, makes bag-in-box packaging and blow molded PE containers for bulk liquids and semi-liquids.

Liqui-Box’s upgrades are aimed at bag-in-box packaging sizes from 1-5 gallons, said the firm’s director of strategic planning Paul Kase in a phone interview. The two plants are fully integrated film extrusion, lamination, bag-making and fittings producers.

“The upgrades will be for our full range of markets,” Kase explained. Key markets are dairy, beverage and bulk food. The firm’s product range goes up to 370-gallon totes. Blow molded containers are mainly for water in a 2.5-gallon size that fits residential refrigerators.

Kase did not disclose the cost of the upgrades which will be finished in mid-2014. Other parts of the program involve installation of new multi-lane bag machines and extensive automation.

Liqui-Box’s plastic bags are housed in paperboard containers. Bags are made of PE extruded by Liqui-Box and higher barrier materials such as laiminated ethylene vinyl alcohol, nylon and metallized films. The barrier substrates are bought from outside suppliers.

Liqui-Box bag-in-box plants are in Ashland and Upper Sandusky, Ohio, Sacramento, Calif., Elkedon, Md., England and China. In the latter country Liqui-Box is moving its current production plant in Shenzhen to Taizhou by the third quarter of 2014. Liqui-Box recently announced the move to a leased, 120,000-square-foot facility in Taizhou.

“These new investments will allow Liqui-Box the ability to even better serve its customers with packaging solutions in the fastest and most cost efficient manner,” stated Liqui-Box President and CEO Ken Swanson in a news release.

Kase said his firm blow molds containers at several U.S. locations.

Liqui-Box is majority owned by Sterling Group, a private equity company based in Houston.