Some Arkansas executives of a bottled water company are branching into the molding of plastic containers to package commercially prepared foods, health and beauty aids or beverages.
Veriplas Containers Inc. is conducting qualification runs in mid-April and by early May expects to be manufacturing 19.8-gram PET preforms and a variety of generic PET water bottles on new Krupp Corpoplast injection presses, Breck Speed, chairman and chief executive officer, said in a telephone interview.
``We start blow molding generic containers, but we are much more interested in seeking customers for proprietary containers outside the beverage industry,'' Speed said, adding that he does not intend for Veriplas to mold bottles for his current water business.
Veriplas was incorporated in September and employs 20. It is setting up two lines in a leased, 60,000-square-foot building in Little Rock, Ark. The site had been part of a tire warehouse and can accommodate nine molding machines.
Veriplas took delivery this month of a 360-ton, 48-cavity injection molding unit and a six-cavity stretch blow molding machine capable of making five bottle sizes, from 101/2 ounces to 11/2 liters.
``We are negotiating for additional PET equipment,'' he said, and two or three more machines are expected by the end of the year.
Veriplas employs 20.
Brad Frieberg serves as chief financial officer, and beverage-industry veteran Jim Haguewood is executive vice president and marketing director.
Speed also is chairman and CEO of Little Rock-based Raleigh Spring Water Co., which bottles Clear Mountain and Sterling spring water in 5-gallon containers. The company sells through 23 distributors to more than 15,000 customers in nine states. It has bottling plants in Little Rock and Kansas City, Mo., and has plans to add a Louisville, Ky., plant.