Sudpack Holding GmbH has entered the North American packaging market through a joint venture with Duralam Inc.
The venture, Sudpack USA Inc., will supply top and bottom webs for form-fill-seal packaging of meat, cheese and medical products. Duralam will supply top webs, typically printed polyester film with a laminated polyethylene sealant layer and a barrier or peelable layer, from its Appleton, Wis., plant.
The venture will import bottom web material from Sudpack Verpackungen GmbH & Co. of Ochsenhausen, Germany. Sudpack makes flexible coextruded film with nylon, PE and ethylene vinyl alcohol layers. It also will supply its Ecoform coextruded polystyrene rigid and semirigid sheet with or without sealant and barrier layers.
Marv Schneider, president of Duralam and Sudpack USA, said the German firm has not been active in North America and after lengthy negotiations chose Duralam as a partner. He did not disclose Duralam's ownership level in the venture.
Schneider said Sudpack's coextrusion technology offers advantages over conventional laminated bottom webs. Coextrusions provide better yield and performance and can lead to downgauging and other cost savings, he said in a telephone interview. Such constructions are common in Europe, he said. Sudpack's Ecoform, for example, can give 25 percent or more yield gains than standard PVC and laminated polyester forming webs.
Schneider said the venture hopes to have a North American production plant in three to five years. The new facility will focus on heavy-gauge, coextruded film and sheet for thermoformed packaging. Sudpack USA now is based at Duralam's facility and probably will choose northeast Wisconsin for a new plant.
Duralam's annual sales are about $50 million, Schneider estimated. Its partner's sales are two to three times bigger.