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Next Generation adding more film lines in Ohio

By: Michael Lauzon

February 4, 2014

Next Generation Films Inc. is adding three new blown film lines and expanding a plant it opened last summer, the sixth at its Lexington, Ohio, campus.

The project is to "expand capabilities and grow with our customers," said Next Generation founder and CEO Dave Frecka in a phone interview.

Frecka said the expansion will cost about $12 million and will be completed this year. Due to go on stream in 2014 are Varex II lines supplied by Windmoeller & Hoelscher Corp. Renovation and expansion are underway at the 175,000-square-foot facility in Lexington.

"We want to solidify our position as a key player in the growing barrier market and are investing in the technology we need to do so," explained Frecka.

Lines being ordered from W&H are a seven-layer, 87-inch machine; a nine-layer, 103-inch system and a five-layer, 126-inch line.

Frecka said food packaging, Next Generation's main market, is growing rapidly. It entered the barrier market in mid-2012 and is expanding in the segment. Next Generation uses nylon, EVOH and proprietary materials as barrier layers.

Frecka declined to say which market niches are fuelling much of his company's growth but he predicts sales will reach an annual level of $350 million by mid-2015 from the $250 million level of 2013. Frecka founded the firm in 1994 and the business counts autom, courier, manufactured housing and protective packaging as key markets besides food packaging.

Next Generation will be running more than 40 film lines once the expansion is done. Employment will rise to about 340 in that period.

W&H, with its U.S. office in Lincoln, R.I., introduced Varex II technology at the K 2013 show in Düsseldorf, Germany, in October.