AKRON, OHIO — A pair of former Huntsman Packaging Corp. officials are preparing to launch their own stretch film plant in Shelbyville, Tenn., later this year.
The new company, Quintec Films Corp., broke ground April 9 on a 20,000-square-foot building in Shelbyville, 65 miles south of Nashville. All of the fledgling firm's production will be done with a seven-layer, five-extruder Black Clawson cast line.
In a May 14 interview in Akron, Quintec Vice President Marty Leonard said he and fellow majority shareholder Terry Jones decided to strike out on their own after seeing the need for a company to sell specialty seven-layer linear low density polyethylene stretch films to local and regional distributors.
Leonard said these smaller distributors were becoming frustrated since some major stretch film suppliers give preferential treatment to national distributors.
``Local and regional distributors had a hard time,'' Leonard said, because some suppliers ``give national distributors first priority on their lines and do special items for them.''
The opportunity united Leonard, who has 15 years of industry experience with Wingfoot Films, Co-Ex Plastics and Huntsman; and Jones, a 12-year film veteran whose father Jerry founded Co-Ex. Leonard most recently was Huntsman's stretch film business manager, while Jones served as operations manager of Huntsman's Lewisburg, Tenn., plant.
Leonard and Jones also have brought on David London to serve as Quintec's plant manager. London spent a total of 12 years working with Co-Ex and Huntsman before leaving Huntsman last month.
All of Quintec's films will go into pallet wrap applications, a 1 billion pound market in North America that's growing at a 3-6 percent annual rate.
But Leonard pointed out the pallet wrap market is very splintered, with the top two distributors controlling a total of only about 12 percent of the market.
Quintec also plans to capitalize on fast-growing metallocene technology, which will be used in about three-quarters of the company's 18 million-pound annual output.
Specializing in this manner will allow Quintec to avoid the overcapacity situation that has damaged the stretch film industry's profitability in recent years, Leonard said.
``Most of the overcapacity has been in monolayer and trilayer films,'' he said. ``With seven-layer, we can get into more specific applications and higher-quality films.''
Leonard believes Quintec will benefit from its focus on stretch film, a segment that made up only about 15 percent of Huntsman's business.
``We won't have to worry about what the company is doing in other films,'' he said.
One area in which Quintec will be different is ownership, as eight to 10 local and regional distributors have invested in the company. Although these businesses will own less than 25 percent of Quintec, Leonard said the arrangement will allow them ``to have some say in how their supplier is run and managed.''
Quintec expects to have 20 employees when it opens its doors in late September. The site also has room for the planned addition of a second Black Clawson line.