ISO Poly Films Inc. has upped the ante on its announced expansion, adding another $20 million investment to install more blown film lines.
Next year, the Gray Court, S.C.-based firm will open a 30,000-square-foot addition that will more than double the company's capacity to make blown film, said Chief Executive Officer Jon McClure. The new facility is part of a $25 million upgrade to the company's operations in Gray Court.
The addition will include automated materials handling, film rolls and finished goods and built-in cranes to move products easily, McClure said. The air-conditioned building will be 70 feet high.
Eventually the addition will house eight multilayer extrusion lines capable of producing three- to nine-layer polyethylene film. The $20 million investment includes the first two or three lines, which will be installed next year. Right now the company has six blown film lines, including one that is currently being installed.
``We're finding that the guys who focus on high quality and better operations are doing well in this market,'' he said. ``The [companies] that are stuck with older assets or that haven't invested in the industry are not doing as well. We want to continue our growth and our commitment to film extrusion.''
This new expansion comes just a few months after another major project at ISO Poly. In March, the company announced it is adding a Windmoeller & Hoelscher Corp. blown film line and its first two cast-film lines, both with seven layers and devoted to specialty food and medical packaging.
All told, the film extruder will have 130,000 square feet of space in Gray Court and 50 additional employees when all the expansion projects are finished, he said.
The company has more room to expand, with land for another 100,000 square feet graded and ready for construction when the time is right, McClure said.
With the expansion, ISO Poly plans to make inroads into film for medical products, an area that now represents a small part of ISO's business, McClure said. Specialty film for food, mainly film that can easily be printed or converted, also will be expanded.
The company hopes the expansion will make it a much larger player in film extrusion. McClure founded ISO in 1998, funding the business with $1,200 cash and $10,000 in credit-card debt. After finding an investor and other banks to help, the company has grown quickly. Sales this year are expected to be close to $40 million.
ISO is receiving property-tax incentives from city and state sources in South Carolina to assist in the expansion, McClure said.
ISO also is working on a research project with Clemson University in Clemson, S.C. The school's engineering school is exploring technology to reduce the cost and weight of film and improve properties, McClure said.