Blown film maker Hamilton Plastics Inc. of Chattanooga, Tenn., is celebrating its 20th year in business with a $14.5 million expansion that it will complete in two phases.
The company currently operates out of 200,000 square feet in Chattanooga, where it has 22 extrusion lines, 10 of which are for coextrusion. Its product focus is lamination films and food packaging.
The Chattanooga plant will add one Kiefel coextrusion line by year's end, 60,000 square feet by the end of February, and a mono line by March, according to Hamilton President Harshad Shah.
Phase 1 involves other equipment such as a new chiller, a compressor, two in-line bag machines and a silo. The company now operates with seven silos. In Phase 1, Hamilton will boost its 135-person workforce by 25 employees.
In Phase 2, the company expects to add 100,000 square feet, two coextrusion lines, two monolayer lines and 45 workers. That phase, which also includes a printing press and an in-line bag machine, is scheduled for completion by year-end 2007.
Hamilton started from scratch in July 1986, Shah said, initially focusing on high-molecular-weight high density polyethylene can liners.
``As it became more commoditized, we continued to change direction,'' he said in a Nov. 14 telephone interview. The firm entered coextrusion in 1990.
``The value-added products that are needed to be developed in the U.S. market, those that are not commodity, that is our focus,'' Shah said.
More recently Hamilton secured a $4 million contract with Foster Farms of Livingston, Calif., for poultry packaging. Although Shah won't disclose sales, he said Hamilton had 32 percent sales growth in 2005, largely due to growth in its poultry business. For 2006, he expects sales to grow 17 percent.