Transilwrap Co. Inc. opened a converting and distribution operation in Kerkrade, the Netherlands, to serve fast-growing markets for thermal laminating films.
The Chicago-based firm's new plant is supplying thermal laminating films for identification cards, documents, book jackets and menus. Soon, it also will offer other films for Europe's graphics and industrial markets.
Jerry Klisiewicz, manufacturing vice president, predicts European markets for thermal laminating films will double in the next few years, to $100 million a year.
``The market for thermal laminating films in Europe is where the U.S. market was about 10 years ago,'' he said in a release.
The firms are switching from solvent laminates to thermal laminates. Environmental pressures also are creating opportunities to switch from vinyl films to films based on polyesters.
Transilwrap plans to supply Western and Eastern Europe from the operation. It began exporting to Europe in 1973 and stepped up sales efforts a few years ago.
Kerkrade initially will focus on slitting and sheeting and distribution. It eventually will expand to include manufacturing.
Transilwrap was founded in 1931. The company operates plants in Chicago and Richmond, Ind., and 13 converting and distribution sites in the United States, Canada, Australia and the Netherlands.