DETROIT - South East Partners Inc., a 4-year-old blow molder, is moving to a new facility in Novi, Mich., and expanding its product line of custom PET bottles. Joe Norton, president of the Detroit-based molder, said he hopes to have the company's two existing blow molding lines operating in the first quarter of 1996 and to add a third line in the new, leased 40,000-square-foot plant.
``This will give us a lot more flexibility,'' Norton said in a telephone interview. ``It quadruples our space, and will boost our capacity to about 60 million containers per year.''
South East specializes in water and juice containers from one-half to 11/2 liters in size. The new line will enable the firm to add liquor bottles to the custom line.
In addition, Norton said he would experiment making polyethylene naphthalate bottles in the new plant to determine if the firm can add the highly touted material to its production.
``Since the raw materials for PEN are becoming more plentiful, we feel it would be good to be able to blow PEN bottles to offer an alternative to our PET customers,'' he said. ``We are going to see if we can use a pre-existing preform design to blow a PEN bottle instead of doing it the way everyone else is, designing a preform first.''
He said interest in PEN comes from its ability to be hot filled and said that he wants to determine if his bottles can be made economically. PEN tends to be more expensive than PET, but Norton said using a PET/PEN blend with only 8 percent PEN content might yield a hot-fillable container without increasing the price of the bottle drastically.