Placon Corp. will invest $5.3 million to add 70,000 square feet and three pressure formers at its Madison, Wis., plant this year. The company, which turns 30 in 1996, makes plastic packaging for manufacturers that sell to the retail market, primarily hardware, personal-care, medical and food-service products, said Joan McNulty, vice president of sales and marketing.
Placon will spend $4 million to expand its 200,000-square-foot headquarters plant, and $1.3 million on the new equipment, she said. McNulty would not disclose the current capacity of the plant, which has mostly Irwin and German-made Illig machines.
Groundbreaking is set for June, and the new presses should be in place by November, she said. The company also will redesign the plant's layout.
About 265 employees do thermoforming, ABS and polystyrene sheet extrusion and some contract manufacturing at Madison. The firm buys PVC and PET roll stock. This is Placon's seventh expansion since its founding by Chairman Tom Mohs.
The company offers two brand names of its own. The Blister Box, made of PVC or reprocessed PET, is used for packaging hardware, automotive aftermarket and office products that sell from pegboard displays. Bon Faire, a two-color, hinged styrene container, is used to package food served on airlines.
But ``quite a bit'' of its $38 million business is in custom thermoforming, including package design, McNulty said. It recently became ISO 9001 certified.
``We try to understand what's going on in the retail environment so we can help manufacturers understand how to better fill the needs of retailers,'' she said.