Harbison Corp. will enter the PET blow molding market at the former Simi Corp. plant it acquired in Anaheim, Calif.
The Anaheim facility has been part of Harbison's operating company, Pretium Packaging, since early September, when Harbison bought it for undisclosed terms. Harbison renamed its operating company, formerly Matrix Packaging, in early August.
Pretium President Keith Harbison said his firm will spend a few million dollars to set up a PET stretch blow molding operation at the Anaheim plant by the end of 1998's second quarter. It is working on PET development projects but Harbison would not disclose details in a telephone interview from Pretium's head office in St. Louis.
Harbison said Pretium eventually will get into PET preform production, probably starting with single-stage equipment and proceeding to two-stage equipment. It also will seek other acquisition opportunities.
Pretium already has begun expanding Anaheim's capacity. It shipped two blow molding machines there from its Hermann, Mo., plant, boosting Anaheim's total to 26 machines. Within a month Pretium will buy new extrusion blow molding equipment for Anaheim.
Harbison said Simi will boost Pretium's sales about 50 percent. The Anaheim unit's sales will be about $18 million this year, compared with Pretium's $37 million.
Most of Pretium's sales are from blow molding, from plants in Hermann, Seymour, Ind., and Easton, Pa. Harbison stressed Anaheim also extends Pretium's geographic reach, making it easier to serve customers with operations on the West Coast. The Simi purchase doubled Pretium's employee count to 580.
Pretium announced Simi's former owners will continue with the Anaheim operation as vice presidents. Tom Safstrom, formerly chairman, chief executive officer and founder of Simi in 1967, will be in charge of operations. Gary Tippitt, formerly Simi president, will head sales.
Pretium focuses on consumer markets such as food, drugs, beauty, household chemicals and auto products, using high and low density polyethylene, polystyrene, PVC, polycarbonate and other resins.
Anaheim mainly blow molds PVC and polyethylene for consumer applications, including stock products. Its mold-building operation is a new capability for Pretium. It also injection molds closures. Anaheim and other Pretium plants have extensive decorating services.
Harbison said Pretium's Hermann 100,000-square-foot plant has 24 blow molding machines and seven injection presses for closures.
The Seymour and Easton operations each have 92,000 square feet and nine blow molding lines.
Harbison entered blow molding in 1992 when it bought Blanke Plastic Co. Its next purchase was Travomatic Corp. in 1995.