Plastics News senior reporter Joseph Pryweller wrote the following items from the East Pack show, held June 13-15 in New York.
Schutz Container increases recycling
Schutz Container Systems Inc., a global player in plastic shipping containers, is stepping up its recycling work in the United States and adding a plant in China.
The Selters, Germany-based firm has four U.S. container plants and owns 51 percent of a recycling operation in Lexington, N.C., with Cardinal Container Services Inc. The venture will add recycling at Schutz sites during the next several years to regrind high density polyethylene and other materials, said regional sales manager John Millard, who is based at Schutz's U.S. headquarters in North Branch, N.J.
``Through our own factories, we can regrind material for replacing pallets for bulk shipping containers,'' he said. ``We do a lot of that in Germany and elsewhere in Europe, and we'd like to add more locations in the United States.''
Schutz will start that process by setting up a recycling operation at its Pasadena, Texas, plant by the second quarter of 2006, Millard said. The site will accommodate HDPE recycling, some coming from used pallets and some from regrind. The material can be used for the base of new pallets.
Schutz is considering more recycling locations, in the Midwest and Southwest. It could open its own recycling facilities or form ventures similar to the one with Cardinal, Millard said. Besides North Branch, Schutz has industrial-container plants in Georgia and Ohio.
In May, Schutz launched a 120,000-square-foot injection molding plant in Shanghai, China, said regional sales manager Kevin Leddy. Schutz will ship industrial containers to major chemical facilities in China, he said. As with other Schutz plants, the Shanghai site uses Schutz-built machines.
The firm's recycling efforts also extend to new products. At East Pack, Schutz introduced the Ecobulk MX industrial bulk shipping container, which features a reinforced bottom plate that includes regrind material. The container's steel cage can be reused.
Custom Pack Inc. to increase capacity
Custom Pack Inc. is adding a new facility adjacent to its headquarters plant in Exton, Pa., to expand in medical packaging and its propriety product lines.
CPI will launch the 36,000-square-foot facility by March 31, President Frank Menichini said. It will spend $3 million to $4 million on the building and equipment.
CPI thermoforms clamshells and blister packaging and performs foam conversion. It has developed a proprietary line of specimen bags that can ship blood or urine for medical diagnostics.
The additional building will allow CPI to increase its volume of flexible packaging for the medical market and add capacity for thermoforming and foam conversion. The new building will contain a foam recycling facility and several pieces of equipment that still must be identified.
CPI spun off some of its manufacturing operations in 2001 to focus on the health-care and pharmaceutical markets. Since then, the 33-year-old firm has grown its medical business and has seen a corresponding increase in its consumer packaging operations.
Custom Pack's current facility is 22,000 square feet.
Clearpak relocates to a larger factory
Clearpak Inc., a maker of plastic folding cartons and sleeves, has moved to a new facility and is adding equipment.
Clearpak moved in December to a 65,000-square-foot building in Grimsby, Ontario, near its former plant, said President Joe Brunski.
``We're investing significantly in new capacity,'' Brunski said. ``We're in our 13th year and we thought it was time to add capacity and occupy a larger plant.''
The firm forms plastic boxes with a soft-crease method in which twin sheets are die-cut, shaped, glued and folded. It also uses decorative processes and thermoforms some containers. The cartons are made from materials including PVC, PET and polypropylene.
Clearpak just added two die-cutting machines and two gluing stations and may add staff.