Wisconsin Film & Bag Inc. has sold the assets of its Hartland, Wis., specialty products plant to a film printer and converter in Kansas that plans to expand its existing operations and work closely with the Wisconsin company.
Plastic Packaging Technologies LLC of Kansas City bought the assets Nov. 1, and the company will begin to move the Hartland plant's film converting equipment and printing presses to Kansas City by the end of the year.
The Hartland plant, which employs 52, will close by Feb. 28, said Jack Riopelle, president of Wisconsin Film & Bag, based in Shawano, Wis. PPT has offered employment to an unspecified number of key skilled staff at the Hartland plant, who would relocate to Kansas City.
The Hartland facility converts and prints a variety of specialized polyethylene bags, including printed and unprinted flat bags, bags on a roll, zipper bags and other reclosable bags, Riopelle said. The plant also converts and prints a small volume of printed film, he said.
The specialty film operation in Hartland was a better fit for PPT, he said.
PPT President David Staker said the deal complements his company's niche in specialty converted bags. Those include tamper-evident bags for the security and health-care markets.
The Kansas company provides flexographic printing, laminating, converting and stand-up pouches for packaging applications, Staker said in a Nov. 24 telephone interview. PPT employs about 125 and runs a 100,000-square-foot plant that offers manufacturing, warehouse and distribution, he said.
The companies plan to work together, with Wisconsin Film & Bag providing extruded products that can be printed and converted at PPT, the company presidents said.
``Plastic Packaging Technologies will be able to provide [Wisconsin Film & Bag's] customers with greater resources and a broader product and service offering, including eight-color process printing, laminations and stand-up pouches,'' Staker said.
Wisconsin Film & Bag has opted to concentrate on its Custom Poly Division in Shawano, Riopelle said. That division extrudes custom PE bags and film for applications ranging in size from small bakery bags to large pallet covers. The Shawano plant is Wisconsin Film & Bag's only other facility.
The firm will add a new monolayer extrusion line at the Shawano facility by March 2005, Riopelle said. The equipment, from Battenfeld Gloucester Engineering Co. Inc. will add about 20 percent capacity to the plant, he said.
The company did not disclose capacity numbers in Shawano but its Web site states that annual capacity was at 33 million pounds after the addition of five extrusion lines since 1993. That plant also has expanded by 40,000 square feet in the past decade.
Wisconsin Film & Bag had purchased the Hartland plant in September 1998 from Rikart Manufacturing Inc.
PPT has been in business for more than 25 years. In 2002 the company was sold to Tech Investments LLC, an equity firm based in Lenexa, Kan., that specializes in manufacturing businesses.