Novapak Corp. has completed phase one of a $10 million expansion program by tripling production of PET preforms and doubling the size of its Paris, Ill., plant.
Novapak, a recently formed division of PVC Container Corp., markets injection stretch blow molded and extrusion blow molded containers that had carried the PVC Container name.
The first phase, a $3.1 million expansion, involved adding injection presses and about 20 employees at the 130,000-square-foot plant. Company officials would not disclose the number of presses at the plant but said it manufactures more than 100 million PET preforms per year.
``This is a strategic move to continue our growth in the custom PET market,'' John Krebs, Novapak vice president of marketing, said in a telephone interview.
The firm injection molds its preforms at a single location to allow it to make higher-volume runs efficiently. The preforms are shipped to Novapak's Eatontown, N.J., and Walterboro, S.C., plants, where bottles are stretch blow molded.
The remaining expansion phases will be implemented in the second half of this year and in 1999. They involve installing blow molding machines and adding injection molding equipment at the Paris plant.
``Universal preforms are both shorter and narrower than conventional designs, which increase blow ratios by 10-15 percent, improving biaxial molecular orientation and corresponding wall strength while reducing weight,'' Krebs said in a news release.
Novapak offers standard PET bottles in sizes of 8-64 ounces in a variety of finishes, and more than 50 standard and custom shapes. The Eatontown firm also offers extrusion blow molded high density polyethylene, glycol-modified PET, polypropylene, PVC and trilayer bottles in sizes of 1 ounce to 21/2 gallons. The bottles are offered in more than 400 standard and custom shapes and finishes, including oval, round, handle and specialty packages.
Novapak employs about 380 at its three plants.
Publicly held PVC Container had blow molding sales of about $45 million for the year ended June 30. The firm placed 36th in Plastics News' 1997 ranking of North American blow molders. Total sales for PVC Container were $58 million.
Other PVC Container companies include Airopak Corp. of Manchester, Pa., a blow molder of in-line fluorinated and untreated HDPE containers; and Eatontown-based Novatec Plastics Corp., a compounder of PVC and PVC alloys for blow molding, profile, sheet and film extrusion and injection molding.