Southcorp Packaging USA Inc. is consolidating two California manufacturing sites and expanding its product offerings with a blow molded line of industrial high density polyethylene bottles.
``Southcorp will be the only rigid plastic manufacturer offering a complete line of pails, bottles and tight-heads from one facility in the region,'' said Jim Sherbert, president and chief operating officer.
Southcorp began operations in early April at a leased facility occupying 150,000 square feet in Ontario, Calif., David Ray, marketing manager, said in a telephone interview from the firm's Atlanta headquarters.
The company expects to relocate all equipment from San Fernando and Modesto plants by the end of June.
The 42,000-square-foot San Fernando site has employed 60 and has a history going back to 1971 as a Bennett Industries Inc. plant. Southcorp bought Bennett in 1996.
The 50,000-square-foot Modesto site, which Southcorp opened in 1990, has employed 40.
The Ontario plant will employ 125, have injection presses with clamping forces of 350-1,000 tons and operate single- and multicavity blow molding units. Most San Fernando workers and key Modesto employees are following the business to Ontario, the company said.
Food processing, paint coating and janitorial supplies are core markets for the Ontario plant.
Husky and HPM are supplying some new injection molding equipment. Southcorp did not disclose details on the new machines.
Ray said Southcorp Packaging USA forecasts annual sales of $200 million. Other U.S. Southcorp plants are in Bryan, Texas; Cleveland; Dayton, N.J.; Indianapolis; Lithonia and Toccoa, Ga.; Valparaiso, Ind.; St. Joseph, Mo.; and Cidra, Puerto Rico.
Southcorp named Charles Clute operations manager in Ontario. Previously, he oversaw engineering and technical services in Indianapolis.
For the fiscal year ended June 30, diversified parent Southcorp Ltd. of Adelaide, Australia, reported profit of US$88.5 million on sales of US$1.7 billion. Its packaging group had sales of US$663.2 million.