Packaging Personified adding space, production capacity

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Packaging Personified Inc. Packaging Personified Inc. installed this Reifenhäuser three-layer Evolution-brand blown film extruder in its Sparta, Mich., plant in September.

Packaging Personified Inc. is adding space, buying blown film, printing and slitting equipment and moving toward vertical integration for its operations.

The producer of customized flexible packaging extrudes and coextrudes film, produces unprinted and flexographic printed bags and roll stock and aims within a year to add plate-making capability. Also, the company provides lamination, conversion, graphic design, customized customer reporting and order management services.

“We want to be vertically integrated, and we are 99 percent there,” Dan Imburgia, general manager of sales, said in a telephone interview.

The firm is constructing a high-ceiling warehouse of 37,000 square feet that by June will bring the headquarters Carol Stream, Ill., facility to a total of 130,000 square feet. Another plant in Sparta, Mich., occupies 100,000 square feet.

“With the addition, we can bring in another extruder and printing press and increase splitting capacity,” Imburgia said. Also, Packaging Personified is “18-24 months away from bringing in pouching or zippering on roll stock.”

For 2017, the firm projects sales approaching $100 million and capital investments nearing $10 million. The 2016 capital investment figure was about $4 million.

The company installed a three-layer Evolution-brand blown film line in Sparta in September and has ordered a similar line from Reifenhäuser GmbH & Co. KG Maschinenfabrik for installation in Carol Stream this year. The inline flattening system is positioned after the primary nip roll but before the air turning bars. The goal is to improve flatness, increase the speed of converting systems and reduce waste.

“The new line with our ultra-flat system will give them superior film flatness” said Steve DeSpain, vice president of subsidiary Reifenhäuser Inc. The flattening system “will allow them to use all their printing and converting knowhow even better.”

After the new Evolution is operational, Packaging Personified will have five Reifenhäuser and Kiefel extruders in Carol Stream and four Reifenhäuser units in Sparta. Reifenhäuser bought Kiefel Extrusion GmbH in 2009.

Carol Stream has a monthly capacity to extrude 1.75 million to 2.1 million pounds, and Sparta can handle 2.25 million to 2.5 million pounds.

In addition to the blown film extruders, Packaging Personified’s equipment includes slitter lines from Deacro Industries Ltd., a wicketed automatic stack processor from Barry-Wehmiller Cos. Inc.’s Hudson-Sharp Machine Co. unit and wide-web presses from the KBA-Flexotecnica SpA subsidiary of KBA-Group.

Imburgia cited successes in recycling “all of our plastic and cardboard,” installing low-energy-consumption lighting and utilizing inks emitting low quantities of volatile organic compounds directly through a scrubber and air cleaner. “We use the VOC emissions to run our ovens,” he said.

In addition, Packaging Personified is repurposing its air conditioning system and controls.

For a customer sustainability project, Packaging Personified runs a thinner film for packaging paper cups. “It gives them better ratings with the Wal-Marts and Costcos of the world,” Imburgia said.

The firm has done similar thin-film projects for packaged ice customers.

The Sparta plant has expanded into breathable films for grocery produce bags.

Key end markets for the Carol Stream facility include bakery, bread and tortilla bags, printed and unprinted shrink films and table-top disposable serving ware.

In the spring of 2016, Packaging Personified received inspection rating of 960 in Sparta and 935 in Carol Stream from standards monitor AIB International Inc. of Manhattan, Kan. “Our outstanding ratings show our commitment to providing quality packaging,” the firm said in a statement.

Packaging Personified employs 220 including 115 in Carol Stream and 105 in Sparta.

While Dan Imburgia handles sales, his brother, Joe, is general manager of operations.

Their father, President Dominic Imburgia, and Vice President Phyllis Muccianti co-founded Packaging Personified in 1975 and continue as owners. The company acquired the Sparta location in 2002, extensively modernized the structure and replaced most of the processing equipment.

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