Star Plastic Inc. is growing internally and through acquisitions, and also plans to set up thermoforming capability in a customer's Mexican facility.
Star bought the thermoforming operations of Reliance Packaging Corp. of Anaheim, Calif., in May and Marfred Industries of Sun Valley, Calif., in April. Star incorporated equipment, tools and business from the two companies into its Harbor City, Calif., operations and now supplies thermoformed parts to both Reliance and Marfred.
In July 2000, the company nearly doubled in size by acquiring LB Enterprises, and absorbing LB's City of Industry, Calif., operations into the Harbor City site.
Now Star operates 12 thermoforming machines and three computer numerically controlled trimming machines, Andy D'Esposito said in a June 27 interview at Mexport 2002, in San Diego. D'Esposito is vice president of sales and marketing and a Star owner since 2000.
Six in-line die-cutting machines and six off-line presses are mostly Sencorp and Brown models, he said. The CNCs are from Haas, Fadel and Lagun. Star employs 70 at its 25,000-square-foot Harbor City operation, which focuses on small and midsize, quick-turnaround deep-draw jobs, often for other thermoformers and corporations. ``Five of our top 20 accounts are other thermoformers,'' D'Esposito said.
Longtime customer Livingston Unlimited of Anaheim, Calif., which does assembly in Tijuana, Mexico, uses Star clamshells in contract packaging of nuts, bolts and screws for Home Depot Inc. stores in the West.
Star plans to purchase three used Brown machines in Oregon, retrofit them in Harbor City and, by September, have them up and running in Livingston's 50,000-square-foot Tijuana plant. Star currently exports parts to the facility from Harbor City.
Adding on-site plastics processing will upgrade the packager's turnkey capabilities, said Howard Livingston, executive vice president. ``We take their plastic and either [radio frequency] seal it or blister-card seal it'' with customer products. Family-owned Livingston Unlimited, which employs about 230, set up the Tijuana site in 1998.
Star thermoforms thin-gauge materials to package cellular accessories, dental products and cosmetics, including recent jobs for Neutrogena and Physicians Formula. ``We work closely with corrugated- and folded-carton companies to make products that complement their packaging,'' D'Esposito said.
Other brand-name customers include Gerber, Samsonite and Velcro. Also, Star is a master distributor of DuPont's Surlyn film.
D'Esposito projects 2002 sales will approximate $5 million.