Hoover Materials Handling Group Inc. has increased its blow molding capabilities by acquiring drum manufacturer Tubingen Plastics Group on Nov. 10, and plans to move the drum operations to a facility three times the size of its current plant.
Hoover of Alpharetta, Ga., claims to be North America's largest intermediate bulk container manufacturer and offers container sales, rental and leasing services. It purchased TPG for an undisclosed amount.
``Drums are a natural extension to our IBC lines,'' Hoover Materials Handling President John Redmond said in a news release. ``This new capacity allows us to manage a wider range of packaging options for companies shipping various quantities of liquids.''
This acquisition follows on the heels of Red Bank, N.J.-based Russell-Stanley Corp.'s purchase of Smurfit Plastic Packaging Inc. of Wilmington, Del., last month.
``The drum industry is consolidating pretty quickly,'' Peter Suttoni, president of TPG, said in a telephone interview.
Hoover Materials Handling reported blow molding sales of $55 million last year, placing it at No. 32 in Plastics News' 1997 North American blow molders report. TPG had sales last year of about $2 million.
Plastic drum sales are expected to expand 5.2 percent per year through 2001 to $340 million as the drums continue to capture market share from their steel and fiber counterparts, according to a study done by Freedonia Group Inc. of Cleveland. Almost 85 percent of demand is generated by chemical and related packaging applications, particularly hazardous industrial chemicals.
TPG makes high density polyethylene 35- and 55-gallon open-top drums. The firm also tracks drums for its customers, from the manufacturer to the filler, during freight and emptying and back for cleaning so they can be sent out again.
``TPG sold the complete package, not just the drums,'' Elizabeth Webb, marketing manager at Hoover, said in a telephone interview. ``Now we can offer IBCs and drums all over North America.''
Hoover makes plastic and stainless-steel intermediate bulk containers ranging from 255-550 gallons. It has eight distribution centers across North America.
Charlotte, N.C.-based TPG plans to move its operations from a 40,000-square-foot plant to a 120,000-square-foot facility before the end of the first quarter. The number of employees will increase from 20 to 50 during the course of next year. In addition, the firm ordered a second blow molding machine for the new plant.
``TPG has trip leasing and reconditioning under our roof for drums, something Hoover didn't have. And we did not have access to IBCs," said Suttoni. "Now we are set to grow in the 21st century.''
Hoover employs about 500, has two plants and three blow molding machines, and supplies industrial chemical, petroleum and food processing markets, according to Plastics News' ranking of North American blow molders. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of Hoover Group Inc., also of Alpharetta. Its plastic intermediate bulk containers are made in Mount Vernon, Ohio, and Anniston, Ala.