ATLANTA - Inteplast Group has built itself into a major producer of both biaxially oriented and cast polypropylene film, bags and liners by focusing on a small number of goals. John Young, president of the group, a North American wing of Taipei, Taiwan-based Formosa Plastics Corp., said the company has sprung from a green-field site in Lolita, Texas, to a $700 million- per-year extruder and converter in about five years.
Fueled by the support of Formosa, Inteplast soon anticipates having 22 percent of the North American BOPP capacity and is the only producer on the continent making both BOPP and cast PP film, Young said.
The firm has made 300 million pounds of high density polyethylene bags in slightly more than two years of operation at its Lolita bag and liner plants. It provides a wide range of other products, including film for tape, coextruded snack packaging and slip barrier film. It recently started making metalized film.
``We have taken many valuable lessons to heart,'' Young said. ``We have already put together an organization with a clear vision as to what we want to do and where we want to end up.''
The company is debottlenecking its four BOPP lines and is adding two 8-meter BOPP lines at Lolita within two months.
While the company's development has been on a grand scale, it was accomplished by limiting its scope at first, Young said at the Packaging Strategies '96 conference, held March 25-27 in Atlanta.
``We had to find products that were of superior value and economically sound, so that they could truly benefit the end-user,'' Young said. ``We had to be innovative to establish our own identity, use the latest technology and, finally, select the right people to make and sell the products.''
For example, Young said, the company decided to make bags from HDPE, rather than low density or linear low density PE, which causes them to be of thinner gauge, stronger and more responsive to environmental concerns. Inteplast also decided to invest in cast PP.
``In all of this, building an organization from the ground up becomes key,'' Young said. ``An ownership program must be in place to fully motivate all the direct-line personnel, who are, in fact the ones performing the bottom-line work for the company.
``Our current concept is that incentive must be instituted so that the operation is contracted out to small self-supporting teams of people who must be made to feel they are running a business of their own. When justified by performance, it is our intent to allow line-function personnel to make significantly more than their base salaries, and for supervisors to fill the role of facilitators.''