Film and bag maker All American Poly Corp. is adding capacity this year with two new lines expected to be operating by the end of May.
Joe Friedman, sales and marketing director, said in a conference call that the privately owned polyethylene film extruder has been updating and expanding its offerings to take advantage of opportunities in the shrink-film market.
The company also is turning to new markets offered by shrink- and stretch-hood films.
``We broke into the shrink-hood market with 40-inch rolls, mostly for European-manufactured equipment,'' Bobby MacDougal, vice president of manufacturing, said by telephone.
He said the company spent about $5 million on new equipment last year and may spend as much this year. MacDougal said this year's plans include a new line for its Lawrenceville, Ga., plant that will be ready by mid-February. He said another line for its plant in Little Rock, Ark., is expected to be ready in May.
The Piscataway, N.J.-based company has adopted a more aggressive spending program since majority owner Jack Klein took over in late 2003, according to Friedman. He said the company consolidated some operations in Piscataway, but the firm now is expanding to handle more work.
MacDougal said the investment in new equipment has made a difference. The company had run as many as 44 film lines but has consolidated to 33.
MacDougal and Friedman pointed to automation as well the use of a few 6-inch extruders to boost efficiency. MacDougal said the larger lines produce much more film at a quicker rate.
The company reported sales of $95 million in the 2005 Plastics News ranking of film and sheet makers.
At least one longtime customer has noticed the changeover. Ronnie Wilhite is purchasing director for Benchcraft LLC, which makes upholstered furniture in Blue Mountain, Miss.
He said Benchcraft has been packaging furniture using shrink bags from All American since 1993. In that time, he said, the film has changed and he's able to use 4- or 5-millimeter bags where he used to use 8mm bags. He said tensile strength has increased while cost has decreased.
``More and more companies are looking at it as a viable alternative to a lot of paper products,'' Friedman said.