ANAHEIM, CALIF. — Film and foil converter Western Plastics Inc. is constructing additional facilities and buying more winders for its Calhoun, Ga., manufacturing operation and exploring additional expansion in North America.
Industry merging — consolidation at both the distributor and manufacturing levels — is ``giving Western Plastics more opportunities than in the past,'' Thomas Cunningham, president of U.S. operations, said at Westpack, held Sept. 23-25 in Anaheim. There are ``more opportunities for smaller players,'' he added.
Western Plastics supplies food-service and industrial packaging segments with linear low density polyethylene pallet stretch film, PVC film and aluminum foil.
In Georgia, the firm is adding 40,000 square feet to its 55,000-square-foot plant. The site employs 58 and may add eight people, Cunningham said.
A European vendor will supply four winders to go along with 12 units in Georgia. Western Plastics has proprietary control of the winders' processing capabilities. January is the operational goal.
Cunningham said Western Plastics' ``food-service [business] may be growing faster'' now, overtaking the industrial market, but each segment accounts for about half of the company's sales in the United States.
Family-owned Western Plastics is based in Galway, Ireland, and employs about 200 at five manufacturing plants—in Galway, which opened in the early 1970s; Georgia, which started in 1983; Temecula, Calif., 1989; Lyon, France, 1992; and Dublin, Ireland, 1995.
One new winder will become operational in Temecula in November, giving that site five machines, said Patrick Cunningham, vice president and a brother of the president. The 30,000-square-foot Temecula plant employs 23.