Two Sigma Plastics Group companies recently announced film production expansions.
Epsilon Polyolefin Corp. said it has entered the European shrink film market by forming a joint venture with Ipel Ltd. of Liverpool, England. Meanwhile, Sigma Stretch Film announced it has started its fourth plant, a 35 million-pound-per-year operation in Tulsa, Okla.
Epsilon installed custom-built extrusion equipment in Ipel's plant and began extruding shrink film a few months ago, Edward Weiss, Epsilon executive vice president, said in a telephone interview from his firm's South Plainfield, N.J., office.
He said the project is a multimillion-dollar investment, but he did not reveal capacity. Epsilon is providing the venture's technology.
The joint venture, Epsilon UK, will sell its Opti line of polyolefin shrink films throughout Europe. Peter Haydock, Ipel's managing director, also is managing director of Epsilon UK. Serge Lapointe was named director of operations and marketing. Lapointe founded shrink film company Cedel of France and sold it to DuPont Co. several years ago, according to Weiss.
Epsilon recently completed the second stage of its seven-phase shrink film production program in South Plainfield. Weiss said his firm's foray into Europe will help the firm develop a global presence. The market requires commitment ``and you have to get into it with both feet,'' Weiss said.
Ipel will continue making biaxially oriented polypropylene film, while Epsilon UK operates under its roof. Ipel has a range of downstream equipment useful to the venture and has been in business about 20 years. Weiss estimated its annual sales at about $10 million. Ipel was spun off in a management buyout a few years ago by Nyborg Plast International A/S of Nyborg, Denmark.
Sigma Stretch started a Battenfeld Gloucester blown film line in mid-April at Tulsa and plans to begin production on a Battenfeld Gloucester cast film line in May, said Sigma Stretch President Robert Nocek. Tulsa boosts Sigma's annual stretch film capacity to more than 200 million pounds.
Nocek said his firm also plans to open its fifth plant in Cowansville, Quebec, but he had no timetable for the project. That plant probably will have capacity similar to Tulsa, he said from his firm's Lyndhurst, N.J., head office.
The Tulsa facility formerly was owned by Atlantis Plastics Inc., which runs two other stretch film facilities in Tulsa.