As part of a major expansion, Waddington IP Jaycare has acquired and is relocating the health and beauty aid, wide-mouth jar business of Kerr Group Inc.
Now, Waddington is evaluating West Coast acquisition candidates, particularly in the production of plastic personal-care and pharmaceutical containers, Douglas Ellis, president, said in a telephone interview.
Waddington employs 230, had sales of $25 million for the fiscal year ended March 31, and anticipates sales of $32 million for the current fiscal year.
Plastic bottles and closures for nutritional vitamin and food supplements account for about half of the business, and those for pharmaceutical products, about 25 percent.
Ellis envisions employment of 500 and annual sales of $75 million by March 1999.
Waddington aims to be a full-service bottle and closure provider, ultimately supplying the design and development aspects for packaging systems, Ellis said.
Waddington IP Jaycare, a division of Leeds, England-based, Waddington plc, benefits from its parent's capital-equipment investments, resin-purchasing leverage and engineering talent, officials said. Waddington plc formed the division with its July 1995 acquisition of IP Container Corp., then of Paterson, N.J.
In the Kerr transaction Oct. 31, Waddington acquired injection molding machines, molds, decorating equipment and intellectual property. Terms were not disclosed.
Kerr moved the operations in 1996 from Santa Fe Springs, Calif., to Bowling Green, Ky. Now, Waddington is relocating the hardware and technology to its 100,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Saddle Brook, N.J.
The business, known as the Santa Fe line, has annual sales of about $8 million and includes single- and double-wall jars ranging in size from one-half ounce to 32 ounces, with matching closures.
Waddington is restarting the operation with its own employees. A production ramp-up in Saddle Brook will begin by Dec. 1.
In addition to the Saddle Brook plant, Waddington has a 90,000-square-foot warehouse and corporate facility in Carlstadt, N.J.
Waddington is acquiring stretch blow molding PET equipment from Aoki Technical Laboratory Inc. of Nagano, Japan, and injection blow molding, stretch blow molding and extrusion blow molding units from the Manchester, Mich.-based plastics machinery division of Johnson Controls Inc. Some have robotic capabilities.
``We are bolting on equipment,'' Ellis said. ``We are not trying to sell capacity and then add the equipment.''
Within a year, Ellis said, he expects a general balance in New Jersey operations among its injection blow, extrusion blow, stretch blow and proprietary modular blow molding, and injection molding processes.
The modular mold technology, originating with IP Container, allows Waddington to simultaneously injection blow mold 24 different sizes, shapes and weights of containers ranging from 40-500 cubic centimeters in individual single-cavities on one frame.
``We build a cavity for a couple thousand dollars and run it with 23 other things,'' Ellis said. ``That is appealing to European markets,'' now served from Waddington's European operations after a technology transfer.
Further, the modular system allows variations around the container, adding thickness to the label panel and land seal, speeding the process and reducing packaging weight.
In the United Kingdom, Waddington division Jaycare is the company's pharmaceutical packaging unit.
Another division, Waddington North America Inc., is based in Covington, Ky., and includes operations at WNA Comet East Inc. of Chelmsford, Mass.; WNA Comet West Inc. of City of Industry, Calif.; WNA Carthage Inc. of Longview, Texas; WNA Hopple Plastics Inc. of Florence, Ky.; and WNA Cups Illustrated Inc. of Lancaster, Texas.