Package Development Co. Inc. hopes to crack open another market with its new thermoforming plant in Parsons, Tenn., near Memphis. The Rockaway, N.J., company opened the 22,000-square-foot Parsons plant July 28 to get closer to clients and capture a bigger piece of the Southeast, said John Murphy, vice president of sales and marketing.
Meanwhile at Rockaway, they're not sitting still. This month the plant expects delivery of a new in-line machine with an 8-inch draw from Armac Corp. Also this month, PDC will break ground on a 15,000-square-foot addition to the 6-year-old facility, which now has 27,000 square feet, houses seven in-line thermoforming machines and employs about 50.
The company will pay about $400,000 for the new Armac, ``by the time you get all the bells and whistles and associated equip-ment,'' Murphy said. But the machine already is picking up new business, and its ``stupendous rates'' will yield PDC customers good prices, he said.
``The parts and packages we run on that machine probably will be very competitive in the market,'' he said.
At Parsons, two thermoforming machines and 12 workers will custom form the same types of plastics products PDC makes at Rockaway - everything from simple blister packs to complicated, upscale clamshells, Murphy said.
Packaging for personal-care items - cosmetics, lotions and lipsticks for customers such as Avon Products Inc. and Maybelline Co. - makes up PDC's biggest market, he said. But its end markets encompass many products, including lock sets, cameras, flashlights and promotional liqueurs.
The firm also does contract packaging, a service needed especially by companies that have downsized their own work forces, Murphy said. Design, engineering and tooling will continue to come from Rockaway, though each plant has its own sales force.
Murphy pegged this year's sales at roughly $8 million.
The company was founded 15 years ago by its president, Charles Schwester. Brendan Ward heads Tennessee operations as plant manager, reporting to vice president of operations, Jerry Lane, who is based at Rockaway.