Western Plastics is investing $6.5 million for land, construction and infrastructure for a new Temecula, Calif., facility to rewind, convert and print film.
The firm plans in April to begin moving equipment 1.5 miles to the custom-built 65,000-square-foot plant on 5 acres and be operational and ``fully ensconced by the end of May,'' Patrick Cunningham, vice president of sales and marketing, said in a telephone interview.
``We looked at moving the plant out of state, into Mexico or overseas, but we came down on the side of investing in California,'' Cunningham said, noting improvement in the state's workers' compensation rates. ``Our rates have gone down twice. The tide may be turning'' on doing business in California.
The firm will retain its current, 30,000-square-foot Temecula manufacturing facility for storage. It will vacate a separate, 15,000-square-foot warehouse that it leases.
The Temecula site employs 34, and the firm could add 10 employees at the new plant within the first year, Cunningham said.
The Temecula operation uses 10 automatic machines to rewind linear low density polyethylene and PVC wrap that food-service packaging distributors sell to institutional users. Also, the site has four four-color flexographic printing presses.
Recently, Western Plastics added a Litewrapper-brand pre-stretched film line and dispenser that ``stretches the film 15 percent as you apply it,'' Cunningham said. Pre-stretching improves yields, he said.
In early 2005, Western Plastics expanded its pre-stretched film capacity in Temecula and at a plant in Calhoun, Ga.
The Calhoun facility bought film rewinding equipment from Rotomac srl of Bollate, Italy.
Separately, the Georgia facility invested $2 million for four Rotomac stamping presses to make aluminum foil containers, baking trays and pans for the food-service market. The company adopted the niche in 2004, said brother and company President Thomas Cunningham, who is based in Calhoun.
The Calhoun plant added 50,000 square feet in mid-2004, bringing its total space to more than 150,000 square feet under a long-term lease.
Western Plastics, which has other plants in Mississauga, Ontario, and in Dublin and Galway, Ireland, had 2004 sales of $61.5 million and aims for 12 percent growth this year.
Western Plastics sells to packaging distributors in the industrial and food-service markets. Its leading LLDPE lines include Pallet-Tite machine grade films and hand wraps and metallocene-enhanced Eco-Max micron hand wrap.