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Orbis expanding pallet production to Mexico

By: Jim Johnson

May 8, 2014

Certain details are still being finalized, but Orbis Corp. already has broken ground on a new reusable plastic packaging manufacturing facility in Mexico.

The new location, in Silao, will give the company its first manufacturing site in that country.

Orbis already has three service centers in Mexico where it manages and cleans reusable plastic packaging, said Norm Kukuk, vice president of marketing and new product development for the firm.

The new location in Mexico provides Orbis with manufacturing capacity in that country for the first time.

“The big thing,” Kukuk said, “it’s freeing up U.S. capacity for growth in the U.S. and it’s creating capacity for growth in Mexico.”

Orbis current ships its reusable packaging products from manufacturing locations in Kansas, Ohio and Kentucky to Mexico.

“In the future, it will allow those plants to focus on growth within their respective areas,” he said.

Orbis expects to be in the newly constructed site about 250 miles northwest of Mexico City in the fourth quarter.

“We’re moving where we’re seeing growth, to help support our service level to our customers in that region,” Kukuk said. “This just adds the production piece.”

Details such has just how many people the site will employ as well as the specific products that will be made at the new location are being held back for now by the company.

“As Orbis grows, we want to add capacity where our customers need it,” he said.

Orbis, a subsidiary of Menasha Corp., makes a variety of reusable plastic products, including hand-held containers, totes, trays, cases, pallets and bulk containers.

Orbis, which employs about 1,600 people, has about 40 sales, service and manufacturing sites in North American, Europe and Asia.

News of the growth in Mexico comes about six weeks after the Oconomowoc, Wis.-based company said it would be closing its Kissimmee, Fla., injection molding facility in the third quarter. Work from that site, the company’s smallest injection molding plant, will be absorbed into other Orbis locations.