New Grafco site to grow by $10 million
HANOVER, MD. - Bottle maker Grafco PET Packaging Technologies has opened a 120,000-square-foot blow molding plant in Dunkirk, N.Y., and plans further expansion at that site.
The Hanover-based firm will invest about $10 million in the new facility during the next three years, according to a Grafco news release. The plant will offer single- and two-stage injection stretch blow molding with automated support equipment.
The Dunkirk plant initially will produce about 150 million PET containers a year but has room to grow to 500 million containers.
The plant will make custom and stock PET bottles for food, health and cosmetics, beverages and pharmaceuticals markets, according to a published newspaper report. A Grafco spokesman would not comment beyond what was in the news release.
The site will start with 23 employees, but the work force could grow to as many as 70 workers, according to the report.
The privately owned company also has blow molding facilities in Bettendorf, Iowa, Hanover and Atlanta. Grafco was 36th on Plastics News' ranking of North American blow molders, with $50 million in sales for 2001.
Poeppelmann to put operation in U.S.
LOHNE, GERMANY - German injection molder Poeppelmann GmbH & Co. plans to announce the location of its first U.S. plant in the summer of 2003.
The Lohne-based firm is considering sites in about eight states in the eastern United States, said Jack Shelton, general sales manager for Poeppelmann's U.S. sales office in Cumming, Ga.
Shelton said the company ``is on a fact-finding investigation,'' but declined to offer details. The Pittsburgh Business Times reported Nov. 22 that Poeppelmann is considering sites in western Pennsylvania and eastern Ohio and that the proposed, 100,000-square-foot facility would employ 25.
Poeppelmann makes injection molded parts for food, cosmetic and medical applications. The 53-year-old firm employs more than 900 and operates about 400 injection presses and a dozen vacuum forming lines at two plants in Lohne. Its U.S. sales and distribution office opened in 2001.
Micro Molding founder opens new firm
RIVIERA BEACH, FLA. - Michael Bentz is back molding precise plastic parts after a career setback.
Bentz founded and was president of Micro Molding Technologies LLC in 1998 in Boynton Beach, Fla. However, owner Philip Meshberg opted to close Micro on April 9, idling 45 employees.
After regrouping, Bentz formed a subchapter S corporation and, about 19 miles away in Riviera Beach, leased 7,000 square feet effective Sept. 1. The new injection molder, Prime Molding Technologies Inc., shipped its first parts Oct. 14.
The strategy at Micro was to be big, Bentz said by telephone, but Prime aims to keep overhead low and leverage his 17 years of experience in the business.
``We landed the biggest customer from Micro,'' irrigation equipment maker K-Rain Manufacturing Corp., also in Riviera Beach, he said. ``We offered K-Rain some improvements,'' including a reduction in cycle time on a plastic part from 171/2 seconds to 6 seconds.
Prime Molding operates three new Nissei hydraulic injection molding machines, two with 89 tons and one with 40 tons of clamping force, around the clock, seven days a week. The processor uses ABS and some polyethylene and acetal.
Bentz is Prime Molding's president and majority owner, and Sergey Shulyak is vice president and minority owner.
Michigan molder buys plant, moves in
HOLLAND, MICH. - West Michigan Plastics Inc. has its own building to call home, and now is on the lookout for contracts to help it expand.
The Holland-based injection molder moved into a 16,250-square-foot building in September, replacing a rented facility, said Greg Cook, president and co-owner. With its own building, it has invested in automated delivery and production systems for its eight presses, which have clamping forces of 22-375 tons.
Cook declined to discuss the exact investment at the site, but the company received a $3 million tax abatement from Holland.
West Michigan runs a lean plant, with only six full-time workers turning out parts for the automotive, furniture and medical markets, including door-handle and seating components.
The company has not added any new presses, but it has room to add 15,000 square feet of manufacturing space, Cook said.