Brazilian distributor becomes processor
PORTO ALEGRE, BRAZIL — Brazilian packaging distributor Montplas-Montenegro Pl sticos Ltda. is entering the processing industry with thermoforming, sheet extrusion and polystyrene foam manufacturing equipment.
The company's $2.8 million real (US$2.5 million), 10,736-square-foot plant in Triunfo, Brazil, started up in late September with four Canadian GN thermoforming machines and tooling, said President Sergio Correa.
In April, Poto Alegre-based Montplas will begin operating a coextrusion line, capable of making three-layer sheet, from Welex Inc. of Blue Bell, Pa. The line can make 6.6 million pounds per year of PET and polypropylene sheet, including multilayer products with oxygen barrier properties for food packaging.
The company also thermoforms biaxially oriented PS film, which it imports from Italy.
Montplas is focused on supplying the fast-food, fruit and vegetable, bakery and snack sectors, among others.
The company was founded in 1996 and, since then, has been importing packaging from two Argentine processors — Claveplast SA, a maker of PP and PS disposable thermoformed products, and Kovalplast srl, which makes thin-wall injection molded disposable PS cups, trays and ice cream dishes.
Correa said the firm is establishing a 50-50 joint venture with Santa Fe, Argentina, processor Celulosa Moldeada SA. Named Belpack SA, the venture will operate a plant in Montenegro, Brazil, and manufacture 8.8 million pounds annually of PS foam packaging for the food industry.
``The unit should be operational as of the first half of 1998,'' Correa said.
He said the project will demand a $6 million investment and that the main pieces of equipment already have been contracted: a Sencorp extrusion lines and two Irwin thermoforming machines.
QuesTech developing LCP food tray kit
NEWPORT NEWS, VA. — After winning a contract Oct. 1 with the U.S. Army, QuesTech Packaging Inc. of Newport News is examining the use of liquid crystal polymers as a barrier material in food trays.
The initial contract for $572,363 is for the design, development and testing of a polymeric tray kit for the U.S. Army Soldier Systems Command, Natick Research, Development and Engineering Center. This phase is expected to take a year.
Research involves scrutinizing different types of material that will increase shelf life to 36 months. The microwaveable plastic container must hold 96 fluid ounces of food.
The company is considering polypropylene for the tray and LCPs as well as ethylene vinyl alcohol for barrier materials. QuesTech plans to use its scrapless, melt-phase technique to thermoform the trays.
The firm operates three thermoformers and employs about 10. It is a subsidiary of QuesTech Inc. of Falls Church, Va., which has 600 employees and had sales of $72 million last year.
QuesTech Packaging is best known for its thin-wall, deep-draw liners for baby bottles. According to Randy Wright, general manager, applications of the company's technique work best for packaging materials that cannot be recycled.
The uniform walls and smaller containers result in material savings of as much as 40 percent.
Toronto Plastics Ltd., one of the first North American processors to get ISO 9002 certification in 1992, said it recently received QS-9000 registration. The Toronto firm said that, as a Tier 2 supplier of automotive parts, it doesn't require QS-9000, but it decided to be proactive.