Blow molder Robb Container Corp. has invested more than $2 million to expand operations at plants in Illinois and Minnesota. In January, Robb added a Uniloy MSCK/D continuous extrusion blow molder to make trilayer high density polyethylene containers that use an inside skin of post-consumer HDPE. The Uniloy, a $750,000 investment, marks Robb's entry into multilayer blow molding.
The firm uses the machine to blow mold 64- and 100-ounce containers at its Peru, Ill., plant for Strombecker Corp. of Chicago, which sells its Tootsietoy bubbles in them, according to John Andreotti, vice president of corporate planning and development. The containers meet source-reduction regulations regarding plastic content in California and Oregon, he said.
The new technology demonstrates Robb's commitment to growth, Robb President George Faulstich said in a recent news release.
Along those lines, last year Robb aggressively pursued acquisitions, Andreotti said, seriously bidding on two blow molding companies -including Constar International's Mableton, Ga., blow molding facility, which was picked up by CKS Packaging Inc.
The plan for the 1997 fiscal year, he said, is to match markets with geographies, to determine which end markets do well in certain regions. From the results of that study, Robb will decide whether to buy or build, he said Feb. 27 from his firm's Naperville, Ill., headquarters.
Recently, it reshuffled operations to focus its Yorkville, Ill., plant on stretch blow molding of PET, a business it entered about 11/2 years ago; and the Peru facility on extrusion blow molding of custom containers, he said.
In LeCenter, Minn., where Robb is tripling the size of a plant it built in 1987, its main business is large stock containers, handled and wide mouth.
By March 25, the 60,000-square-foot facility will have 60 workers and nine blow molders, predominantly reciprocating screw Uniloy machines.
LeCenter is adding two used 350R-3 Uniloys, newly purchased, to existing equipment there, and will relocate another Uniloy from Yorkville.
Plant and equipment will cost Robb roughly $1.6 million, according to Andreotti.
Robb formerly had about 47,000 square feet at two separate LeCenter sites. Consolidating operations will give the firm more capacity and a better setup for in-line machines and automated downstream operations, Andre-otti said. The new plant has room for 11 lines.
Robb also has a plant in Nashua, N.H. The firm's 1995 sales were about $25 million.
Andreotti said Robb hopes to expand its new multilayer container business by tapping the drug and cosmetic industries, which may be impelled, under law, to incorporate post-consumer resin into their packaging.
The company sells through distribution networks and directly to customers, including Colgate-Palmolive Co., Bristol-Myers Co., Nestle Foods Corp. and Abbott Laboratories.