Ropak Corp. is expanding its Georgetown, Ky., plant to meet growing orders and to bring all the operation's molding in-house. The facility makes materials-handling containers. The Fullerton, Calif., firm announced Jan. 2 that it will spend about $3.5 million to add a fourth structural-foam injection molding press and more than double space with a 72,000-square-foot addition.
Ropak spokeswoman Kerrie Bauer said her firm ordered a 400-ton Johnson Controls structural foam press and plans to begin running it by July. The building addition should be done by late February.
Bauer said Fort Wayne Plastics Inc. of Fort Wayne, Ind., molds and assembles materials handling containers for an undisclosed Ropak customer but her firm wants to do all its own molding. Fort Wayne officials declined to comment on the impact of Ropak's plan.
Ropak's sales are growing and it needs the extra capacity, Bauer said in a telephone interview from Ropak's Atlanta office. Local auto plants are major customers. The containers, which collapse to save space during storage, transport a range of exterior, interior and under-the-hood parts. Ropak's sales to textiles, food, footwear, electricaland other industries also are growing.
Georgetown began production of the high density polyethylene containers in November 1994. It started with two 400-ton presses and late last year installed a 700-tonner.
According to Ropak, it will add about 10 more staff members to its 62-employee roster when it completes the expansion.
Fort Wayne Plastics molded Ropak's components prior to the Georgetown opening.
Bauer said the Georgetown expansion is unrelated to Ropak's acquisition last year by Linpac Mouldings Ltd. of the United Kingdom.
Ropak's other nine plants in North America mainly make rigid plastic containers such as pails and drums for food, chemicals and other industries.