Inteplast Group Ltd. and its AmTopp division are continuing to bulk up stretch-film capabilities, ordering a second nine-layer line that will be installed next year.
AmTopp, based in Livingston, N.J., operates from a section of Inteplast's sprawling plant in Lolita, Texas, a nine-building campus that sits on 700 acres and produces resin and 1.5 billion pounds of film and sheet annually.
AmTopp makes cast polyethylene film for stretch wrap and biaxially oriented polypropylene film. While its BOPP film has remained stable, the stretch-wrap operation has grown in capacity and applications, AmTopp President Homer Hsieh said at Pack Expo International 2004, held Nov. 7-11 in Chicago.
The division installed its first nine-layer coextrusion line in September 2003, adding 45 million pounds of annual capacity at Lolita, Hsieh said. With demand growing for multilayer film, AmTopp has ordered the second nine-layer unit, which should arrive in about nine months and will add another 45 million pounds of capacity.
``We are finding more customers who want to make multilayer stretch film,'' Hsieh said. ``The growth has been better than we expected.''
Both nine-layer cast lines come from Battenfeld Gloucester Engineering Co. Inc. AmTopp invested $5 million in the first line; the second, combined with more auxiliary equipment, will cost between $6 million and $7 million, he said.
The company will use both lines to make AmTopp X-Treme stretch wrap of linear low density PE. The film can be made with a variety of barrier materials, said AmTopp national accounts manager Ed Martinez.
The Lolita plant makes about 120 million pounds of stretch wrap annually with six cast lines, Hsieh said. AmTopp also runs six lines for BOPP film there.
Inteplast is an affiliate of Formosa Plastics Group of Tapei, Taiwan. Formosa will record about $27 billion in sales this year, Hsieh said.