Jarden Plastic Solutions is embarking on a multimillion-dollar expansion that will add equipment to its plant in England, extend the firm's food-packaging capacity and bulk up its product-design operations.
The Greer, S.C., company also might have further opportunity to grow, said President and Chief Operating Officer Chuck Villa at the Plastics News Executive Forum, held Feb. 28 to March 2 in Litchfield Park.
Jarden Plastic's parent company, Jarden Corp. of Rye, N.Y., purchased American Household Inc. last fall. Now, Jarden is considering shifting the bulk of that company's work in-house, Villa said. That business includes a host of well-known appliance and outdoor products led by Sunbeam, Oster and Coleman.
Jarden Plastic has seven plants, including a thermoforming operation in Fort Smith, Ark., that could take on some Coleman work, Villa said.
Resin buying for all the Jarden properties already has shifted to Boca Raton, Fla., for better price leverage, Villa said. Jarden buys between 200 million and 300 million pounds of plastic annually.
Jarden Plastic, formerly known as Unimark Plastics, has been given the green light to broaden some product areas, Villa said. Some of that is taking place at its Christchurch, England, facility, purchased in 2003 from Plastic Injection Ltd.
Only about 30,000 square feet of that plant had been used, but now that amount will double as the company brings in 12 injection presses during the next two years, he said.
The Christchurch plant also will expand production of medical blood-filtration products and contact-lens carriers. Jarden Plastic makes about half of the contact-lens carriers used worldwide, Villa said.
The company is spending $1 million for a Class 10,000 clean room in England set to be finished in April. It then will invest another $2 million to $4 million to add the presses in stages, starting in June. The presses will have clamping forces of 300 tons and less.
At its Yorker Packaging unit, Jarden is broadening the product lineup. Yorker, an injection molder of high-end closures in Greenville, S.C., is starting to make lip-balm containers in Greenville, and will extend those products to Europe, Villa said.
The company also plans to invest close to $4 million in its U.S. food-packaging business. Products include thin-wall containers and lids, many of them for dairy products.
``That market has increased substantially for us,'' Villa said.
Jarden will add six new presses in phase one of the project, starting in the second quarter, Villa said. The presses will go to Jarden plants in Springfield, Mo., or Reedsville, Pa. Eventually the company will add six to eight more presses.
Design also is becoming a larger focus. Jarden will open a studio at an undetermined site in India during the 12 months, allowing around-the-clock design work, Villa said. Jarden Corp.'s design unit, recently renamed Jarden Design Associates, also has an operation in Hong Kong.
In the United States, the design studio will move from Jarden Plastic's Greer location to a freestanding studio nearby, Villa said. The company will lease a 20,000- to 30,000-square-foot facility in the next few months and add staff. The design operation has about 14 people.
Jarden Plastic recorded 2004 North American injection molding sales of $100 million.