Amcor PET Packaging of Ann Arbor, Mich., will expand its plant in Franklin, Ind., adding 78,000 square feet to its 300,000-square-foot footprint.
The expansion, to begin in December, will accommodate increased orders from Gatorade, Amcor officials said. Franklin will add 14 positions to its base of 176 full-time workers.
Amcor picked up the operation in 2002 when it acquired Schmalbach-Lubeca AG. Amcor requested two 10-year tax abatements from the the city of Franklin, said Cheryl Morphew, executive director of the Johnson County Development Corp. in Franklin.
One was a 10-year real property tax abatement; the other, a 10-year personal property tax abatement.
``It still needs to go through the council for approval,'' Morphew said in a July 13 telephone interview. ``It will be finalized in the next couple weeks.''
Amcor communications director Shelley Steele said the firm will boost capacity for both blow molding and injection molding at the site, but she would not disclose how much equipment will be added or its cost.
At the recent NPE 2006 in Chicago, Husky Injection Molding Systems Ltd. exhibited a 216-cavity PET preform mold that was headed to one of Amcor PET's U.S. plants, though Husky would not disclose the plant's location. Husky and Amcor developed the mold together.
In addition to the expansion in Indiana, Amcor broke ground this spring on a 700,000-square-foot facility in Wytheville, Va. Steele said that plant will be blow molding bottles by March, and that operations will include injection molding.
Despite the expansions, Amcor has had its share of plant closings in North America. A customer contract for 800 million containers ended in January, and as a result, the firm closed three PET packaging plants in Vancouver, Montreal and Calgary.