Converter C&H Packaging Co. Inc. is spending $3.5 million to add 25,000 square feet of manufacturing space, a stand-up pouch machine and a slitter/rewinder at its plant in Merrill, Wis. About 35 miles northeast, in Rhinelander, sister firm American Plastics Co. plans to boost capacity for five-layer coextruded custom and stock films, said Bob Madderom, C&H vice president of sales and marketing.
American supplies C&H with five-layer coextruded structures, but the firm also buys film from a number of sources, including DuPont Co., AET Packaging Films and CT Film, and converts it mainly to food packaging. Cheese packaging is its No. 1 market.
Madderom pegged this year's sales at about $25 million.
Most C&H products are customized PET laminates; new to its product offerings is a laminated barrier film for block cheese packaging. The company also makes rollstock as well as pre-made zipper pouches for shredded cheese for both consumer and industrial uses, lidding films for cheese spreads, meat packaging and stand-up pouches for dog treats and candy.
Annual growth of 15-20 percent for the past five years has driven the expansion, Madderom said. The company plans to begin building a new facility behind its 90,000-square-foot plant in Merrill next year.
The new equipment includes a Totani pouch machine, which makes stand-up, flat zipper and standard three-sided seal pouches; a Dusenbery slitter, and, slated for sometime next year, a flexographic printing press.
American's president, Jack Haug, owns both firms.