Dutch packaging firm Ten Cate Plasticum has launched an assault on the U.S. aerosol cap market by opening a new injection molding plant at McHenry, Ill.
Meanwhile, the company has purchased Dr. Horst Ilkenhans GmbH of Waldkirch, Germany, for an undisclosed sum. Ilkenhans makes aerosol caps and bottles.
TCP released few details about Ten Cate Plasticum USA, its first U.S.-based plant, but did indicate that it represents the initial stage of an ongoing expansion scheme in North America.
The plant has an undisclosed number of injection presses ranging from 100-250 tons of clamping force, according to TCP, a unit of Royal Ten Cate NV of Almelo, the Netherlands. The plant will mold polypropylene and polyethylene caps for U.S. customers, said Sjoerd Spaanjaars, TCP's international production vice president.
TCP designs and molds caps and closures for the personal-care, household, food and pharmaceutical sectors. It is a European leader in aerosol caps with five closure and other packaging plants at Alfreton, England; Chartres, France; and Tilburg, Ede and Rijen, the Netherlands.
TCP has a number of U.S.-based customers it serves in Europe, including Gillette Co., Procter & Gamble Co. and S.C. Johnson Wax, said Spaanjaars, director of TCP's Tilburg molding plant.
``The American market can learn a lot from the developments we have in Europe. Caps are lightweight and more fashionable in Europe ... We can export experience of 40 years to the U.S. company,'' he said.
Spaanjaars would not reveal investment in the McHenry plant, nor why TCP had set aside acquisition plans in the United States in favor of building a new plant.
The Ilkenhans purchase gives TCP a new base in the central European market. Ilkenhans operates one plant that molds PP and PE closures and bottles. The Waldkirch facility has 20 presses and about three blow molding machines, Spaanjaars said.
In other news, Royal Ten Cate has acquired U.S. advanced composite materials firm Bryte Technologies Inc. of San Jose, Calif., which will complement Royal Ten Cate's composites division in Nijverdal, the Netherlands. Bryte has annual sales of about $10 million.