RPC plc is boosting output of multilayer polypropylene bottles with a new investment at its RPC Containers Ltd. plant at Oevel, Belgium.
RPC, headquartered in Raunds, England, is installing a new Bekum 704D coextrusion blow molding machine as part of a $1.84 million investment there to create a second European source of supply for the multilayer containers.
The Bekum machine primarily will manufacture 4-liter bottles, but it will be able to produce the company's larger-size, Eclipse-brand bottles.
Since the mid-1980s, RPC has established a strong market position in the manufacture and supply of the bottles for food applications through production at its British plant at Corby, England. Growing demand for the multilayer containers in mainland Europe has seen the company's Corby plant shipping an increasing number of bottles and jars to France, the Netherlands and Scandinavia.
RPC acquired the Oevel plant as part of its $103 million purchase of Schmalbach-Lubeca AG's non-PET bottle unit, Continental Plastics Europe. It has been producing small quantities of multilayer containers.
``The establishment of a second manufacturing facility at RPC Oevel will enable the company to develop these markets even further,'' RPC said in a news release. ``In addition, with interchangeable tooling, each site will be able to provide the other with instant backup to cover any short-term supply difficulties.''
Evert Bron, Oevel's general manager, added: ``RPC Oevel is, of course, no stranger to multilayer technology, but we welcome the opportunity to extend our knowledge and capabilities into the important food market.''
RPC said last year that it will install another coextrusion blow molding machine at Corby to produce multilayer half-liter and 1-liter retail bottles.