CHICAGO — Canadian thermoformer Sicht-Pack Hagner Inc. is expanding and looking to become a dominant player in the North American clear packaging market by offering a cost-effective alternative to PVC.
The company, based in Saint Laurent, Quebec, plans to grow in sales, capacity and employees in the next 18 months, said Tim Toskin, vice president of sales and marketing.
Its parent in Germany has converted all its PVC packaging to PET in the past decade.
``Outside North America, the industry is being forced to no longer use PVC,'' Toskin said at Pack Expo 98, held Nov. 8-12 in Chicago. ``In North America, it's more a matter of cost concern. We've devised a viable, economic alternative that allows you to be environmentally friendly and cost competitive.''
Until recently, Sicht-Pack in North America exclusively used PVC, which it sourced from North American suppliers. In August, it also began offering packaging made from PET extruded by its parent, Sicht-Pack Hagner GmbH of Dornstetten, Germany. Sicht-Pack GmbH employs 300-350 and has a 450,000-square-foot plant.
Toskin, who joined the Canadian firm two months ago, said it will boost staffing 30-50 percent in the next 18 months; it currently employs about 50. In three years, it hopes to double sales. The company expects to boost capacity 15-30 percent in the next year, including a 10 percent increase from a new die-cutting machine it recently added. Toskin declined to provide sales figures.