Flexo Transparent Inc. plans to expand bag-making and printing capacity at its Buffalo, N.Y., facility.
Flexo will invest about $1.8 million in new machinery, including an eight-color press, said President Ron Mabry. It will order the equipment in about a year and complete the expansion within two years, he said in a recent telephone interview. The program will boost employment at Flexo's plant to 99 from the current 81.
Mabry cited booming sales for the expansion program. Flexo's sales of printed plastic bags to customers such as L.L. Bean and Rubbermaid Home Products have increased significantly in the past year, Mabry said. The firm also is reaping new business from its new bag-in-a-bag products.
Crispy Keeper, Flexo's first such product, has a breathable inner bag to prevent cooked chicken from getting soggy. Flexo began product trials two years ago and now has a growing customer base among delicatessens and other retail outlets. Crispy Keeper's inner bag is made of VisPore, a porous film supplied by Tredegar Film Products of Richmond, Va. Mabry said the VisPore film his company uses is a blend of high density and low density polyethylene. The outer bag is an HDPE construction.
Flexo recently added Rotisserie Keeper, for whole cooked chickens, and Safety Keeper, for medical applications, to its bag-in-a-bag lineup. Safety Keeper, designed for vials of fluids, also contains an absorbent pad. Each new product relies on a breathable inner bag. Mabry said his firm patented Crispy Keeper and Safety Keeper.
Flexo's expansion will qualify for low-cost electrical power from the New York Power Authority. Mabry estimated the new machinery will run on electricity costing about a quarter of the regular rate.