Duralam Inc. to open new Wis. film plant
APPLETON, WIS. — Duralam Inc. announced plans Feb. 2 to open a 60,000-square-foot film converting facility in Neenah, Wis., five miles south of its Appleton headquarters plant.
The company did not disclose the amount invested for the new facility.
The company plans to hire 30 new employees for the Neenah facility. The 140,000-square-foot Appleton plant employs 175 and has five printing presses, three laminators and miscellaneous machines. Duralam said the new plant will have similar equipment, though nothing is firm yet.
The company expects to begin making initial product shipments from the new facility in June, according to a news release.
Duralam reported sales of $50 million last year. Dan Baird, vice president of sales and part owner, said with the addition of the new facility, ``it is safe to say we're looking at doubling [sales] within the next three years.''
Duralam is a printer and manufacturer of flexible packaging serving the processed meat, candy, cheese, and snack food industries, among others.
Pulsar expanding molding operations
CARLYLE, ILL. — Pulsar Plastics Inc. will expand its custom injection molding operation to meet new orders.
The Carlyle firm will break ground on a 25,000-square-foot addition later this month and add new presses and auxiliary equipment. President Dale Pashea estimated Pulsar will spend $1.6 million this year on expansion.
Pulsar mainly molds housings for medical and laboratory equipment and for lottery terminals. Medical and lab products are its fasting growing markets, Pashea said in an interview. One recent, major contract, a departure from housings, is a wheelchair wheel it molds using gas-assist technology.
Pashea expects the building addition will be done in June or July. Equipment purchases will include three injection presses of about 720 tons, one of which will replace an existing machine. Pulsar now has 13 presses ranging up to 1,800 tons.
The expansion includes a new 20-ton crane to make mold handling easier. Pulsar also will install its own nitrogen-generating system for its gas-assist molding. The system will allow Pulsar to eliminate gas cylinder handling and storage.
Pulsar is running its molding presses at 85 percent of capacity, a level that prompts the firm to buy more presses. It does straight, structural-foam and insert molding and a lot of secondary operations, such as electromagnetic interference shielding and painting, for added value. Pulsar's sales last year were $16 million.
Prolific rebounding with new Ala. plant
OPELIKA, ALA. — Prolific Plastics Inc., a custom injection molder headquartered in Opelika will open a new plant in Auburn, Ala., by mid-March. The facility will have two buildings with a total of 17,500 square feet.
President Jerry Plath said the company has ordered four new Toshiba presses for the plant and plans to buy five more soon. The Opelika facility operates 11 presses and employs 47.
Plath said the new plant will start with 25 employees and could employ 40-50 within the year.
The need for the new plant arose from the addition of new customers in the past year. The company has a large contract with an undisclosed European company as well as with Wauwatosa, Wis.-based power equipment maker Briggs & Stratton Corp.
Prolific's 1998 sales dropped 16.7 percent to $1.8 million from $2.16 million in 1997. Plath attributed the sales slide to a major customer's bankruptcy, calling it a ``fairly serious blow for 1998.''
The company projects 1999 sales of $3.5 million for the Opelika plant and $1.5 million to $2 million for the Auburn plant. Plath based these figures on the addition of two large accounts.
Prolific mainly serves consumer products, electronics, food container and lawn and garden markets.