Milan, Italy-based Soten SpA is adding a United Kingdom manufacturing headquarters and research and development facility. The company, which makes oriented shrink film, is investing 2.6 million ($4.1 million) in the 15,000-square-foot site in Merthyr Tydfil, Wales. It will serve packaging customers in the United Kingdom and northern Europe.
The plant will start operating in May with 47 employees, one film extrusion line and finishing equipment, but has room to expand, according to Keith Brookman, the plant manager.
The 6-foot-wide line was constructed with proprietary Soten technology, Brookman said. It will make three-layer film, but eventually the company expects to make eight-layer film.
Soten specializes in multilayer oriented polyolefin shrink films. At first, the Wales plant will make general-purpose polyethylene packaging film and its Soterm-brand polypropylene film, which is used in high-speed packaging machines, chiefly to wrap frozen pizza.
Later the plant will add specialty products, including anti-fog and high-clarity varieties.
Soten has been working on the Welsh project since 1998.
"For a number of years, we have been looking at ways to service and supply our customer and distributor base in the United Kingdom more effectively. With this investment we will be in a position ... to serve new customers as well," a Soten spokesman said in a news release.
Soten is a 10-year-old company that started as a supplier of process technology, and later branched into film production in Italy. The company also has sales offices in Hong Kong and Los Angeles.
Finance manager Mario Lupi said Soten also is considering a second film plant in southern Italy.