Berkley Packaging Industries LLC ordered two in-line automated Sencorp model 2500 thermoforming machines Aug. 25 and ran the first machine Sept. 19, making PVC clamshells for the consumer market.
The two thin-gauge units should bring in $2 million to $3 million in sales, according to John Kelly, executive vice president of Berkley Packaging and Berkley Medical Industries LLC.
Sencorp Systems Inc., a subsidiary of DT Industries Inc., makes the equipment in Hyannis, Mass., and is scheduled to ship the second unit Oct. 30 to the Berkley organization's 193,000-square-foot facility in La Mirada, Calif. Kelly said all-purpose thermoforming should begin around Nov. 5, using PVC, high-impact polystyrene and glycol-modified PET for trays, lids, blister packs, components and other packages, principally for medical and consumer products.
The new thermoforming machines, acquired to meet demand for consumer blister and clamshell packaging, have bed sizes of 30 inches by 33 inches, topping the 25-inch-square mold size of an operational Sencorp 2500. The existing machine and five smaller ones operate in a 4,500-square-foot controlled environment. The facility also has another six thermoforming lines.
``Mostly, the other machines are specialized, cut-in-place thermoformers'' supplying Berkley Medical orders, Kelly said in a telephone interview. The thermoforming operation employs 80 and handles some jobs from Berkley Packaging and another sister company, Conceptual Design Industries.
Operating in the same building, the three vertically integrated firms employ about 200 and generated 1996 sales of $30.7 million from packaging systems, contract packaging and medical-related manufacturing and packaging. Berkley Medical was formed in mid-1996 to continue operations of the former Schneider Plastics Inc., then in San Marcos, Calif.
Kelly said Berkley Medical soon will introduce a new PVC product with anti-static properties for the electronics industry.