After changing its name, SCA Consumer Packaging has its thermoforming sights set on becoming a supplier to Asia.
SCA Consumer Packaging, formerly Alloyd Co., plans to start making products in China as soon as the first half of next year, said Ron Leach, president and chief executive officer of SCA North America. He is based in De Kalb, Ill.
Two other U.S.-based thermoformers, Placon Corp. and Prent Corp., have started plants in China during the past year. SCA's approach is to use plants already established by parent Svenska Cellulosa Aktiebologet of Stockholm, Sweden, Leach said at Pack Expo International, held Nov. 7-11 in Chicago.
SCA, a $12 billion maker of packaging and hygiene products, has 27 facilities in China, Malaysia and Singapore, he said. The sites, most of them in China, generate about $125 million in annual sales.
SCA Consumer Packaging will use several of the China sites to launch thermoforming operations, Leach said. The company has not decided yet on specific locations or how much capacity it will install, he added.
As one of North America's largest light-gauge thermoformers, SCA specializes in blister packs and clamshell designs for consumer and medical applications. Its customers - especially multinational firms with overseas business - have asked the company to thermoform disposable packaging in the Far East, he said.
``We want to continue to do design and product-development work in the states, but start manufacturing products in China,'' Leach said.
The Asian hub for SCA is in Shanghai, and SCA Consumer Packaging will use that base.
The thermoforming operation is part of the larger SCA North America division that has been acquisitive and growing. Alloyd was acquired by SCA in November 2003 for $97 million. The SCA North America group also makes protective packaging systems, molds expandable polystyrene foam and performs a small amount of rotomolding for beverage shipping containers.
SCA North America expects to record sales of about $400 million this year, but hopes to boost that to $450 million in 2005, Leach said. The firm still is looking to grow, possibly through acquisition.
Leach said SCA Consumer Packaging also manufactures a line of automated blister packaging machines and introduced an ergonomically enhanced machine line at Pack Expo.
The Aergo line includes such ergonomic features as anti-fatigue mats, footrests, stools and overhead task lighting. The company showed four different Aergo machines at Pack Expo. SCA thermoforming equipment continues to carry the Alloyd brand name.