PET bottle and preform maker CNC Container Corp. has put plans for an Asian facility this year on hold, but still will spend $30 million on capital expansion, including the addition of a research lab and more molding machines.
The economic slowdown in Asia is prompting the firm to move more slowly than it had hoped, but CNC still plans to open the factory, said President and Chief Executive Officer Mel White.
Company officials have said the Asian plant probably would have been smaller than the company's recent U.S. plants, which are at least 130,000 square feet.
The Tumwater, Wash.-based firm plans to open a previously announced plant on the West Coast in mid-1999, and may open another in 1999, he said.
CNC said it will spend $11 million at its Commerce, Calif., plant. Those plans include the addition of three Husky injection molding machines — two 600-ton, 96-cavity machines and one 300-ton, 48-cavity model — for making preforms for that plant and for its Tucson, Ariz., plant, White said.
The Tumwater headquarters also will get a $7 million make-over, including two injection molding machines and a 3,000-square-foot research lab to let it make full production tooling in six weeks, White said. The lab should be operating by mid-April.
The company also is adding three blow molding machines at its two California plants, and additional downstream equipment, such as fully automatic palletizers. The Tucson plant will get $3 million in additional equipment, including blow molding machines, while a Lathrop, Calif., plant will get $2 million in equipment, White said.
The balance of the money, about $7 million, will be spent on equipment and building improvements on future plants, he said.
The firm entered the liquor bottle market last year, and introduced a series of long-neck bottles for products like syrups. CNC also began making heat-set bottles in 20- and 16-ounce sizes. Some of the $30 million will go for tooling for those markets, White said.
CNC spent $40 million on capital expansion in 1997.
The firm tied for 22nd place in Plastics News' 1997 ranking of North American blow molders, with $80 million in sales.