TORONTO - Samuel Manu-Tech Inc. decided to locate its first PET strapping plant in Fort Mill, S.C., near Charlotte, N.C. The Toronto firm indicated earlier this year plans to extrude PET strapping when it bought Wilton Packaging Products, a Win-chester, Tenn.-based extruder of polypropylene strapping and detergent box handles. Samuel Manu-Tech formerly only made steel strapping.
Samuel Manu-Tech will install two Sima strapping extrusion lines sourced from Italy at the Fort Mill site, where it will begin leasing 97,200 square feet in June, according to Don Eckhart, the firm's vice president of operations.
He did not disclose capacity or initial investment but confirmed a newspaper report that Samuel Manu-Tech plans to invest $20 million at Fort Mill over several years. It schedules PET strapping production to begin early next year on the two ``large'' extrusion lines.
Eckhart said in a telephone interview that Fort Mill is near Interstate Highway 77, allowing easy access to numerous customers in the southeastern United States and to PET resin suppliers.
Tax incentives and local training programs also make Fort Mill attractive, he added. Samuel Manu-Tech owns a steel strapping plant in nearby Rock Hill, S.C., which it acquired about a year and a half ago, and makes steel strapping at other U.S. and Canadian plants.
Samuel Manu-Tech has been reselling PET strapping made by other manufacturers. Eckhart said his firm is likely to continue sourcing some sizes from outside suppliers.
The company entered plastic strapping production because the materials are capturing market share from steel and opening new markets.
Eckhart said the firm has no immediate plan to expand the Winchester PP strapping plant as it focuses on quality and productivity.