Plastics News staff reporters Sarah S. Smith and Steve Toloken gathered the following items from Eastpack, held May 19-21 in Philadelphia.
Double r purchasing 2-stage blow molder
New Castle, Pa.-based double r enterprises purchased a new Sidel two-stage PET blow molding machine for about $400,000.
The machine, capable of making 15 million to 20 million bottles a year, will serve the noncarbonated-beverage, food and pharmaceutical industries, said Allan Papacek, vice president of sales and marketing.
With three plants — two in New Castle and one in Verona, Pa. — the firm operates 45 blow molding machines. Double r uses high density polyethylene and polypropylene as well as PET for the dairy, juice, water, pharmaceutical, personal-care and household detergent markets.
Papacek said double r hopes to open another plant in the Midwest in the next 12 months.
Liberty Packaging acquires Americal
Commerce, Calif.-based Liberty Packaging has purchased extruder Americal Plastics Inc. and changed its name to Liberty Packaging and Extruding Inc.
The custom converter now operates four polyethylene extrusion lines and seven bag machines, said Liberty President Bonnie Hudson. In addition, Liberty has developed several proprietary resin blends for clean-room, pharmaceutical and food-grade packaging requirements.
Terms of the November acquisition were not available. The company employs 65 at its two plants in Commerce.
Liberty makes oversized pieces, custom zippers and tapered bags. The 18,000-square-foot extrusion facility fabricates low density PE and ethylene vinyl acetate. The firm serves the electronic, semiconductor, biomedical, food and retail industries.
Canada blow molder consider U.S. site
Cousins-Currie Ltd. is adding a blow molding machine this year and plans to build a plant in the United States within four years.
The Woodbridge, Ontario-based company operates two plants with 165,000 square feet of production and warehouse space. The company extrusion blow molds high density polyethylene and polypropylene bottles from 4-30 liters. Cousins-Currie's 20th machine will be in place by the end of the year.
``We have been adding a machine a year,'' said Allen Gillies, senior account manager for Cousins-Currie. ``We're growing with our customers and serve Canada as well the northeast U.S. over to Chicago.''
Cousins-Currie employs 120. It custom blow molds consumer and technical parts as well as bottles for the agriculture chemical, lawn and garden, detergent, photochemical, food, automotive, medical and consumer product markets.
``Twenty-three percent of our business is in the U.S. and it's growing every year,'' Gillies said. ``We plan to build a plant in upstate New York in the next four years.''
Cousins-Currie is a 23-year-old firm with ISO 9002 compliance. It had sales of $20 million last year.
Poly-Seal Corp. buys 6 injection presses
Poly-Seal Corp. of Baltimore introduced two polypropylene closures this spring and invested $8 million in machines to make them.
The Accu-Flo and Em-Press dispensing closures each come in three sizes and have two components. Accu-Flo has center dispensing, while Em-Press has side dispensing and creates a stable base for inverted storage.
Poly-Seal bought six Krauss-Maffei injection presses in addition to assembly equipment for the new closures. The firm also modified its plant to fit the new equipment, said Dale Finley, director of sales and marketing.
Poly-Seal employs 650 and operates 75 presses with clamping forces of 150-550 tons. The firm molds high, low and linear low density polyethylene, PP, polystyrene and thermosets for packaging, containers and closures.
The company reported North American injection molding sales of $54 million, placing 87th in Plastics News' ranking.
Cookson touts pallet that meets GMA rules
Cookson Plastic Molding Corp. in Latham, N.Y., has developed what it says is the first 40-inch-by-48-inch, all-plastic pallet strong enough to meet the Grocery Manufacturers Association standards for stackable pallets. The high-density polyethylene structure, reinforced with composite bars, holds heavy weights without sagging, the company said.
Such GMA-certified pallets are the most common pallets used today, accounting for 35 percent of the U.S. market, the company said. But 97 percent of those pallets are wood, Cookson said.
Cookson announced the pallets at Eastpack and has been molding them for several months. The pallets are 10 times the cost of wood but last 20 times longer, said John Wood, inside sales representative for Cookson.
New film converter operating in Georgia
Coastal Sleeve Label Inc., founded two months ago, converts polyethylene stretch labels and PVC shrink labels in the same facility.
The 50,000-square-foot plant in Brunswick, Ga., converts and prints the film for the food, pharmaceutical, agricultural chemical and household cleaner industries. Sales manager Sherri Gravitt said the firm can make labels for 55-gallon drums.
``We can make tamper-evident bands as well as labels,'' she said.
The firm will employ about 40 when fully operational.
Amatech to double box-making capacity
Amatech will double its plastic box fabrication capacity when it opens a new facility in mid-June in Erie, Pa.
The 20,000-square-foot building will employ about 50, all taking polypropylene sheet the company buys from another manufacturer and making it into collapsible, reusable shipping containers using a ridged hinge the firm has patented, said Executive Vice President Dave Amatangelo.
The building will replace a 10,000-square-foot facility in Erie and will cost $750,000.
The plastic box is six to eight times the cost of cardboard but can be reused more than 100 times, he said.
Advantage making conveyer systems
Injection molder Advantage Puck Group Inc. has branched out into making integrated packaging conveyer systems with the opening of a plant in Newark, Del., in February.
The firm got its start manufacturing pucks — essentially custom-molded cups that carry oddly shaped bottles and containers while they move around standard conveyer systems.
The new, 6,800-square-foot plant develops conveyers and the equipment to put containers into and out of pucks, said President Kurt Sieber. The Mishawaka, Ind.-based firm developed the new company, Integrated Puck Systems, because customers wanted to automate the pucks, he said.
The firm does about $2.4 million in business — half in making pucks and half in designing conveyer systems, Sieber said.
Western considering Mexico for next site
Film converter Western Plastics opened its sixth plant in early May, a 12,000-square-foot facility in Mississauga, Ontario, and is considering construction of a facility in Mexico City.
The plant will handle all of Western's business of PVC food films, aluminum foil wraps and linear low density polyethylene stretch films. About 75 percent of the firm's business is in plastics, with two-thirds of the plastics in PE, said President Thomas Cunningham.
The $650,000 facility includes three film winders and other equipment, and will focus on value-added, private-label wraps for existing customers, the company said. The firm expects to name Canadian distributors.
The Calhoun, Ga.-based company has plants in Calhoun and Temecula, Calif.; two in Ireland and one in France.
Most segments of the packaging markets are plagued by overcapacity but Western feels it must be closer to customers, Cunningham said.
The Mexican plant probably will be built, but the company has not picked a date, Cunningham said. Western, which has about $30 million in annual sales, is a subsidiary of Western Plastics Ltd. in Galway, Ireland.
Foam Concepts adds machines, new shift
Foam Concepts Inc. of Uxbridge, Mass., added two steam- chest molding machines in March and has increased production to three shifts.
The company purchased two 54-foot-by-40-foot Berndorf machines to mold expanded polystyrene for the medical, pharmaceutical and appliance industries. Foam Concepts, a custom packaging manufacturer, invested about $1 million in the equipment.
In addition, Foam Concepts may buy a grinder, said design engineer Jean Valerus. The firm is a drop-off site for PS recycling and would like to use 5-8 percent post-consumer material in its products.
Polytop builds plant, purchases 6 presses
Dispensing closure maker Polytop Corp. built a 20,000-square-foot plant with six injection molding machines on its campus in Slatersville, R.I. — giving the firm a total of 70 presses. The facility opened in the past six months, said Vice President Donald LaVange.
The new machines have clamping forces of 350-650 tons, and are needed to handle growth in the firm's existing businesses, LaVange said. The company has sales of about $35 million a year, and has about 10 percent of the national market for such caps, LaVange said.
Chinese firm planning first U.S. sales office
Chinese extruder and thermoformer Winko Science & Technology Chemical Co. Ltd. plans to establish a sales office and small warehouse in New Jersey this summer. Eastpack was the first North American show at which the Shenzhen-based firm exhibited, said Harry Hou, vice general manager of sales and marketing.
Winko will sell its biaxially oriented polystyrene sheet, most of which is exported now, he said. The company makes 30 million pounds of BOPS each year and has 12 thermoforming machines at facilities in Beijing and Shenzhen. Hou declined to identify the firm's investors, except to say they are in China.
Winko will store 220,000-440,000 pounds of BOPS at the warehouse. It hopes to sell 2.2 million to 4.4 million pounds in North America its first year, he said.
The company claims to be the biggest BOPS sheet supplier in the Asia-Pacific region.
Plastiry Containers expands Mexican HQ
Plastic container maker Plastirey Containers Inc. is expanding its Monterrey, Mexico, headquarters facility and said it may establish a warehouse on the East Coast to complement warehouses in Laredo, Texas, and Ontario, California.
The firm plans to add five machines in the next three months, increasing its total to 26, and also started making and filling a customer's shampoo bottles in April, said President Roger Elizondo.
Most of Plastirey's products are exported, he said. The firm makes polyethylene and polypropylene bottles.
Indiana Bottle Co. eyes Florida facility
Extrusion blow molder Indiana Bottle Co. Inc. may build a small satellite factory in north-central Florida and put two or three machines there, said sales manager Mike McCarty.
The company has made no final decisions but wants a facility there by the first quarter of next year. The firm, which specializes in small-volume runs and specialized bottles, now makes all its bottles at a Scottsburg , Ind., plant
The company has about $2 million in sales from 10 machines, he said, and works in polyethylene, polypropylene and glycol-modified PET.