ExxonMobil to add oriented film line
MACEDON, N.Y. — ExxonMobil Chemical Co. will expand oriented polypropylene film capacity at its Shawnee, Okla., plant.
The firm said it will add an oriented film line with annual capacity of more than 30 million pounds at an undisclosed cost. The line will make white, opaque OPP film for food packaging, labeling and imaging markets. The film major, based in Macedon, said the new line will start late in 2002.
ExxonMobil now runs six oriented film lines, three coating lines and several slitting lines at Shawnee, according to spokeswoman Brenda Donnelly. Shawnee, the firm's specialty OPP films center, opened in 1978 as part of Mobil Chemical Co.
ExxonMobil claims to be the largest OPP film producer in the world. Its seven plants have current capacity exceeding 506 million pounds per year. Shawnee is one of four sites in North America, and there are three in Europe. ExxonMobil supplements its own capacity through agreements with other suppliers.
The expansion is the firm's third in the past 15 months, ExxonMobil Chemical President Dan Sanders said in a news release.
Graham to shut down Quebec plant
YORK, PA. — Graham Packaging Co. LP will close one of its Canadian plants as some customers relocate from the Montreal area.
The York-based firm said it began shutting down its Anjou, Quebec, plant Jan. 11 and expects the facility to be completely closed by March 27. The operation extrusion blow molds high density polyethylene, polypropylene and PVC for the food and beverage, household, personal-care and automotive markets.
Anjou accounted for sales of US$4.5 million last year. Between US$1.7 million and US$2.5 million of that business will be picked up by sister plants in Burlington and Mississauga, Ontario. Other accounts will be served out of Anjou until the plant closes, at which time Graham will lose the accounts to other suppliers, according to Graham spokesman Donald Sarvey. Graham recorded total sales of $716.1 million in 1999 from 56 plants in North America, Europe and Latin America. North American blow molding sales were an estimated $554.9 million.
Graham will move some of Anjou's equipment to other facilities and sell older machines. Officials did not disclose how many shuttle blow molders Graham runs in Anjou.
"The packaging industry in general has been in a period of transition and consolidation," George Stevens, vice president and general manager of Burlington-based Graham Packaging Canada Ltd., said in a Jan. 11 news release.
Graham Packaging Canada was formed in 1993 when Graham bought the former Plax Inc. blow molding business. Graham said the 75 Anjou employees will get "equitable severance packages."
Danisco invests in coextrusion line
ILKESTON, ENGLAND — Flexible packaging firm Danisco Flexible has invested 1.6 million ($2.38 million) to install a new Windmoller & Holscher coextrusion line at its blown film plant in Ilkeston.
The line, the plant's 10th blown film line, needed to meet rapidly growing demand from the firm's film converting operations.
The 81/2-foot-wide Varex Optifil P2 line provides three-layer coextrusion, allowing Danisco to expand into wider and more complex films. It will run a range of polymers including linear low density polyethylene, metallocenes for high-grade lamination and coextruded films, the company said.
The project called for significant structural work that included raising the plant roof 13 feet to allow for bubble cooling height.
The line features gauge profile control for tighter tolerances and a winding system with fully automated roll change and tension control. It has two Corona treaters to ensure treatment of both sides of the film, according to the company.
The line will be used for long runs with PE films for frozen food, confectionery and detergent packaging, and peelable films, said the company, part of packaging and food ingredients group Danisco A/S of Copenhagen, Denmark.
Advance Polybag to finish expansion
OKLAHOMA CITY — Advance Polybag Inc. expects to finish expanding its Oklahoma City retail bag-making plant by midyear.
The firm is investing millions of dollars in the program to boost film extrusion and converting capacity and to diversify its printing capabilities, according to Victor Platta, vice president of sales and marketing.
Advance recently installed process color printing in Oklahoma City and its new Las Vegas facility to supplement its line flexographic printing technology.
Process color printing provides enhanced images because it can blend three colors. Less than six months after it introduced the system, Advance now has more than a dozen customers buying bags decorated with the new process. New customers and existing ones have asked for the process, Platta said in a telephone interview from his firm's Metairie, La., head office. Advertisements and seasonal messages are a few examples of how customers are using the system's visual potential.