Pechiney Plastic Packaging Inc. has installed four extrusion lines at a Wisconsin plant to meet a growing demand in the food market for high-barrier films.
Pechiney invested about $11 million to install the blown film equipment in Neenah, Wis., said Polly Moles, spokeswoman for Chicago-based Pechiney Plastic. The Windmoeller & Hoelscher equipment was installed in December and now is operational.
The new lines will produce multilayer polyethylene film in a variety of grades offering barrier protection, said Greg Seeke, technical manager for the Neenah plant, in a news release.
The film is blown and cooled slowly with air to create a tougher film with better moisture and oxygen-protection properties than cast film, Seeke said.
The company's sealant film, extruded at the Neenah plant and elsewhere, is used to package such products as cheese, meat, condiments, coffee and pet food, Seeke said. The film replaces metal cans for some food packaging, he added.
The Neenah plant added about five employees last year and has about 245 workers.
Pechiney SA of Paris was purchased by Montreal-based packaging firm Alcan Inc. in a sale completed in December. Pechiney Plastic Packaging still operates as a separate unit, but its future status has not been determined, Moles said.
The plastic group recorded about $700 million in North American film and sheet sales during 2002, according to Plastics News figures.