Winpak Portion Packaging Inc. plans to install its first dedicated polypropylene sheet and thermoforming line to extend its range of food packaging.
Winpak Portion will put the new line in at its South Chicago Heights, Ill., facility, according to Winpak Ltd. President J. Robery Lavery. It will start production in early 1998. He did not disclose the cost of the expansion or equipment suppliers.
Winpak Portion has focused on thermoformed polystyrene to make creamers, yogurt cups and similar packaging. Lavery said the PP line will be able to make larger cups, dipping cups for fast-food restaurants and other new products. The company has a PP sheet line but has had no thermoforming program dedicated to the material. It also does some polyethylene thermoforming.
Winpak Portion has 13 thermoforming lines at South Chicago Heights; Rexdale, Ontario; and at its headquarters facility in Bristol, Pa. It logged thermoforming sales of $83 million for 1995, when it processed about 37 million pounds of resin.
Lavery said in a telephone interview from Winpak's Winnipeg, Manitoba, headquarters that the PP project is part of a C$30 million (US$22.3 million) capital program that Winpak plans for 1997.
The firm's other scheduled expansion this year will be to add plastic film capacity at an undetermined site.
Lavery said the new film capacity will be for modified atmosphere packaging for perishable foods, which he noted is a fast-growing market.
Winpak has not chosen a site for the expansion. Winpak's board of directors will vote on the project soon and Lavery said he is confident the board will approve it. Officials will select a site about that time.
Lavery said his firm made a small acquisition last year of an undisclosed Boston firm and it is examining other acquisition opportunities.
Winpak's sales for the nine months ended Sept. 30 were C$214.1 million (US$158.9 million), up from C$211.1 million in the previous year's period. Profit, at C$8.4 million (US$6.2 million), was 5 percent higher than in the 1995 period.