Epsilon Polyolefin Corp., the newest member of film manufacturer Sigma Plastics Group, has embarked on a seven-phase, $50 million project to become a major player in the domestic shrink film industry.
In the second phase, Epsilon plans to upgrade its 80,000-square-foot headquarters, located on 7 acres in South Plainfield, N.J.
``This brings Sigma into a new industry,'' Edward Weiss, executive vice president of Epsilon, said by telephone. ``This is a sophisticated marketplace that we're not into yet. Of what we do, nothing is as high-tech or as highly specialized. Not even close.''
For the past two years, Epsilon has been developing, testing and introducing a polyolefin shrink film in a selected market. Now, the firm has a national distribution network in place and is ready to go full steam ahead, making commercial quantities.
This type of packaging film has limited production worldwide. Weiss said Epsilon's primary competitors are Intertape Polymer Group of St. Laurent, Quebec; DuPont Co. of Wilmington, Del.; and Cryovac, which is now part of Sealed Air Corp. of Saddle Brook, N.J.
Epsilon's film serves the food, electronics, publishing and toy markets. Its optical properties and tamper evidence make it appealing to customers, Weiss said.
The Plainfield facility houses research and development, extrusion, distribution and warehousing. Converting equipment includes single-wound custom slitting. Company officials declined to provide information on the plant's extrusion lines.
Epsilon officials expect to install a continuous stream of equipment, manufacturing a variety of films of various grades.
``We have an ongoing plan, an evolution, that is multiyears long,'' Weiss said. ``It's step by step, machine by machine.''
Its first product is Opti 95, a multilayer, biaxially oriented shrink film. Epsilon plans to expand the Opti line, introducing a new film several times a year.
``The Sigma Group has been reasonably successful over the years and has its homework done,'' Weiss added. ``We're approaching the industry with the respect it deserves.''
Lyndhurst, N.J.-based Sigma Group reported sales of about $575 million for the fiscal year ended April 30.