CHICAGO — Sonoco announced it is investing $1.5 million to buy and install a laminator, and introduced its first plastic film cores at Pack Expo 98 in Chicago.
The new machine will apply dry-bond and solventless lamination to film for medical packaging. The equipment should be installed and operating in the first quarter of next year, Dudley Jones, market manager with the Flexible Packaging Division, said at the show.
He would not disclose which of three flexible packaging operations will receive the laminator — Edinburgh, Ind.; Fulton, N.Y.; or Morristown, Tenn. The Hartsville, N.C., company also has a facility in Charlotte, N.C.
Sonoco makes film for disposable medical pouches. With this entry into solventless adhesive and the investment in laminating and converting, it expects to triple sales within 18 months. Dudley would say only that Sonoco's current sales in that market are $3 million to $5 million.
Also at Pack Expo, Sonoco Burk unveiled its ABS and polystyrene film cores. The patented, interlocking cores come in seven sizes, with outside diameters of 11.4-34 inches. Depending on demand, Sonoco Burk may add a 40-inch-diameter model.
The cores are superior to fiber cores, the company said, because there is no dust, they can be used 30-50 times and can be injection molded for exact measurements.
If the cores are well-received in North America, the company plans to add U.S. production, said Peter Janich, market manager with Sonoco Crellin.
Sonoco acquired injection molder and extruder Ing Klaus Burk KG in February, making it part of Sonoco Crellin. In the purchase, Sonoco gained Burk's three manufacturing facilities, in Overath, Vilkerath and Delmenhorst, Germany.
Burk makes tubes and cores, reels, core plugs and end walls. Its 1997 sales were about $19 million.
Sonoco also announced that a British unit, Sonoco Capseals of Berkshire, England, has arranged sales in the United States and Canada through an agreement with Tri-Seal International of Blauvelt, N.Y. Tri-Seal will market Sonoco's Quadraseal and Deltaseal products.
Quadraseal is a glued-on membrane liner for sealing dry beverage concentrates. Deltaseal, which made its world debut at Pack Expo, is designed for induction heat sealing.