Winpak Portion Packaging Inc. recently completed a 50,000-square-foot addition to its 75,000-square-foot Chicago facility.
The $10 million addition includes a new Processing Technologies Inc. in-line coextruder and an International Thermoforming Systems Inc. thermoformer. A second in-line extrusion/forming system will be installed this fall, giving the company a total of three of the large lines.
Langhorne, Pa.-headquartered Winpak - a leading producer of portion-control containers for condiments, pudding and applesauce - added the capacity to meet increased demand for polypropylene barrier containers.
The trim-in-place equipment will produce clear, three-layer barrier containers, including Winpak's new 4-ounce applesauce package. The containers consist of PP outer layers with ethylene vinyl alcohol sandwiched in between.
``Our first line sold out within two years, and we anticipate the second line to be sold out and the third line will follow,'' John Rose, vice president of manufacturing, said in an Aug. 2 telephone interview.
``It's a significant business opportunity for us; we've invested heavily and will seek those kinds of returns,'' Rose said.
The ITS thermoformer can process 3,000 pounds of sheet per hour, producing 60,000-100,000 containers per hour, depending on the size.
The company, which has a second thermoforming plant in Toronto, is a unit of publicly traded Winpak Ltd., based in Winnipeg, Manitoba.