Plastics News correspondent Roger Renstrom and Plastics News reporter Jinida Doba gathered these items at the Westpack trade show, held June 19-21 in Anaheim, Calif.
Innovative Plastech to set up Texas plant
Innovative Plastech Inc. of Batavia, Ill., plans to establish a leased Monahans, Texas, plant with 11 employees and two relocated thermoforming lines by late July to serve existing customers. One person will relocate from Batavia.
``A number of electronics firms moved out of the Chicago area and down South to Mexico'' in the Ciudad Juarez area, said Will Henry, vice president of sales. Supplying Mexico sites from Illinois was not feasible ``because we ship so much air.''
The firm employs 50 in Batavia and operates seven thermoforming lines making retail packaging and industrial material-handling trays. The new plant will open capacity in Batavia.
``Business has grown some in the last few weeks'' in the automotive segment, Henry said. Sales for 2000 were about $7 million.
Capco to complete move in Texas in July
Providence, R.I.-based thermoformer Capco Plastics Inc. plans on completing the move of its El Paso, Texas, operation to a recently acquired facility by mid-July.
The El Paso plant employs 32 and will occupy 50,000 square feet instead of its current 38,000 square feet. Capco needs the space to meet inventory demands, said President Richard Capuano.
Capco employs 65 in Providence and added a Sencorp model 2000HP in February.
Bob Carey joined Capco as vice president of sales in December.
AVC Corp. is shipping big clamshells to Asia
In-line thermoformer AVC Corp. of Torrance, Calif., began shipping container loads of oversized clamshells to Asia in June. The company projects annual start-up volume at 2 million units, said Wayne Cohen, vice president of sales.
Cohen and John Lawrence, senior consumer products packaging engineer with Compaq Computer Corp. of Houston, developed the accessory kit that holds documentation, accessories and adapters and accompanies each shipment of a Compaq laptop computer.
Measuring 16 inches by 13 inches when closed, the patented clamshell of talc-filled polypropylene copolymer replaces a corrugated pizza box. In direct comparisons, the clamshell saves assembly time, performs better on drop tests and is cost-competitive.
Spartech Corp.'s La Mirada, Calif., facility and Primex Plastics Corp.'s Mesquite, Nev., operation participated in the development and are supplying sheet to AVC.
Shipments are going to Seoul, South Korea; Taipei, Taiwan; and Shenzhen and Shanghai, China. AVC is dispatching ``a container every two to three days,'' Cohen said. AVC employs 150.
JSN adds two presses, doubles its facilities
JSN Industries Inc. in Irvine, Calif., added two 500-ton injection molding presses this year and doubled facilities to accommodate warehouse floor planning for customers.
John Ulibarri projected this year's sales will increase about 17 percent over sales in 2000. Ulibarri is sales manager for JSN Packaging Products Inc., which markets flexible plastic squeeze tubes, and JSN Industries, which handles the molding functions now involving 18 presses of 85-500 tons. The operations employ 120.
A contiguous 60,000-square-foot addition was completed last year, bringing the facility to 120,000 square feet.
JSN has a captive closure line and is pursuing custom work in medical, pharmaceutical, pool-spa and fluid-control markets, Ulibarri said. The business opened in 1966.
Aisapack SA puts squeeze on dispenser
Aisapack SA of Vouvry, Switzerland, exhibited a flexible food dispenser that uses a stretch blow molding variation now being patented. Product samples contained about 12 ounces of honey.
Shown for the first time in the United States, the squeezable, trademarked Pakido package consists of a clear bottle-grade PET container and a polypropylene dispensing cap that serves as the base.
Aisapack is looking for people interested in producing the package, said Chairman Joachim Sander. Aisapack was formed in early 2000.
Sketches suggested potential custom shapes for jam, cheese spread, peanut butter or guacamole. Possible forms range from semiliquid through semisolid, said Carole Mazieres, marketing specialist.
During its introduction in Europe, the package received the second prize for innovative technology at Packinnove Europe 2001, held June 12-13 in Troyes, France.
Mercury boosts daily processing capacity
Fast-growing film extruder Mercury Plastics Inc. of City of Industry, Calif., has boosted its daily processing capacity to 260,000 pounds of virgin low-density polyethylene. The company also can reprocess 50,000 pounds of scrap from its operations and others.
President Luben Rabchev projected an annual sales rate exceeding $120 million with the late May acquisition of Amcor Ltd.'s Bowling Green, Ky., flexibles plant and the early January purchase of Stretch-Vent Packaging Systems Inc., with operations in Ontario, Calif., and Santiago, Chile.
``It was about $60 million with capacity of 160,000 pounds per day in 2000 before the acquisitions,'' Rabchev said. ``We are in the process of absorbing our new operations and improving our efficiencies.''
The Bowling Green site employs 170 now, up from 140 three weeks earlier. Family-operated Mercury also employs 500 in City of Industry, 150 in Ontario, 70 in Santiago and 30 in Salamanca, Mexico.
Mercury purchased a PE reprocessing machine from Erema of Ansfelden, Austria, in October to recycle its own scrap and the scrap or misprints from others, Rabchev said. The company may sell the reprocessed material or use it internally.
Molded Container updates equipment
Molded Container Corp. of Portland, Ore., has completed a major equipment modernization and is exploring use of translucent materials for food packaging.
``We could not have gone in this direction if we did not have the microprocessor controls we have on our molding machine and Maguire material feeders,'' President Melvin Ellis said. ``We cut our energy usage by 25 percent, our scrap rate is down and quality is way up.''
Molded Container operates 11 new Sumitomo hydraulic injection molding presses of 125-350 tons and three rebuilt 350-ton Impcos. A new cooling water system and an eight-color lid printer were added, and acquisition of a nine-color container printer is being considered. In mid-1998 the firm had 39 presses.
The company makes and decorates sports bottles and stadium cups at its Florence, Ky., plant. Molded Container employs about 200 and projects 2001 sales of about $18 million.
Pactiv introduces bag for protective packing
Pactiv Corp. introduced a new line of Hefty Slide-Rite cushioned, static-shielded bags for protective packaging applications.
``This is primarily geared toward electronics,'' said Tom Trauscht, product manager for air cushioning products. ``Because of the Slide-Rite function, it's being positioned as a reclosable product for intra-plant handling to transfer products from one work cell to another, or from [original equipment manufacturer] to one of their suppliers.''
The line of reclosable, reusable bags can be used for electronics components like circuit boards, which require cushioning protection and anti-static properties. The three-layer bags are made of a layer of polyethylene, a layer with a conductive metalized film and a third layer of anti-static, amine free bubble made from low density PE.
The bags are the first nonconsumer application for the Slide-Rite product. Trauscht said the company hopes to see this product expand into general industrial, electronics and agricultural markets.
``There's a lot of opportunity, because within those three segments there's a number of products that can be substituted,'' Trauscht said.
Western Plastics exhibits new film line
Film maker Western Plastics U.S.A. exhibited AirFlow Ultra, a new line of vented pallet stretch films for agricultural product packaging.
The linear low density polyethylene wrap features die-cut holes to promote ventilation, which reduces spoilage and keeps foods cooler.
The 20-inch-wide film competes with standard netting used mainly for produce packaging, said Western spokesman Berto Fraga Jr.
``The difference is in the strength and amount of space created by twisting mesh together,'' Fraga said. ``At this time of year, it's a really great product for the produce season.''
Western Plastics, of Temecula, Calif., serves food service and industrial markets with specialty packaging items including pallet wrap, food wrap, vented wrap, wide web films and pre-stretch films.