Transparent Containers Co. Inc. plans to spend about $500,000 before the end of the year to expand capacity at its new Bensenville, Ill., thermoforming plant. The firm, headquartered in Berkeley, Ill., expects to add two more thermoforming lines at the Bensenville plant, said Daniel Wyss, vice president of sales. The company now has four lines at the plant, which it opened last fall.
Transparent paid about $1.8 million last year to buy an existing, 71,000-square-foot plant and land at Bensenville, said Bernie Frett, chief financial officer. The company spent another $550,000 to renovate the building and about $950,000 to install four thermoforming lines and computer equipment.
Wyss said Transparent needed the extra capacity and space to meet growing sales and to improve efficiency. The firm's thermoforming sales grew to $20 million for the year ended Sept. 30, from about $16 million a year earlier.
Wyss said the Bensenville facility specializes in low- to medium-volume production, making 18-20 different package types on one form at a time.
``We offer customers [high-] volume pricing because we make the products in tandem,'' Wyss said in a telephone interview from Berkeley. ``It saves tooling costs.''
Transparent makes thermoforming machinery in Berkeley but does not sell it to other companies, according to Wyss.
Frett said Transparent may upgrade thermoforming equipment at Berkeley and is considering the addition of one or two more thermoformers at its Livingston, Scotland, plant. Its other thermoforming plants are in Chicago and Conyers, Ga.
Transparent began thermoforming packaging in Scotland about a year ago to supply a major, undisclosed customer's business in the United Kingdom, Frett said.
The firm invested more than $1 million in the operation, which started out as a distribution warehouse.
Wyss said his firm mainly thermoforms thin-wall blister and general-purpose consumer packaging such as clamshells, trays and inserts.
It thermoforms PVC, recycled PET and styrenics. The company purchases plastic sheet from outside suppliers.
Transparent's total sales of $28 million last year included contract packaging and fabrication of transparent folding cartons and round containers. About 260 of its 275 employees work in thermoforming operations.