Leading Industry Inc., doing business as Pinnacle Plastic Containers, has added two thermoforming machines with in-line match metal trim stations, and one sheet extruder, since a major relocation.
The Oxnard, Calif., business moved two miles in mid-2005 after investing about $22 million for land, facility construction and infrastructure improvements.
Now, the firm operates three extruders. The company thermoforms amorphous PET and recycled PET on 12 in-line steel-rule cutting machines and five in-line match metal machines, said President Sam Hong.
Hong said development work is under way with an allotment of polylactide resin from the Blair, Neb., plant of Cargill Inc.'s NatureWorks LLC.
``We have been working with PLA for a couple years,'' Hong said, but the firm has not made any commercial sales of PLA products.
Leading Industry has full toolmaking capability and customizes, as needed, in producing bakery, fast-food, dessert, produce, condiment and confectionary packaging, including clamshells, blisters, trays and containers. The firm uses APET for most products and recycled PET for vented packaging for washable fruits and vegetables.
Sam Hong and his brother, Dale Hong, founded the company as a contract-packaging firm in the San Fernando Valley in 1981, and moved to a larger building in Oxnard's cooler climate in 1991.
Ongoing growth in its markets resulted in Leading Industry experiencing some inefficiency with multiple buildings.
In March 2004, the firm committed to a lease agreement with a development firm on a business park site in Oxnard. Construction ensued, and, starting in June 2005, Leading Industry over three months gradually moved operations to avoid disrupting production.
An option with Triliad Development Inc. of Thousand Oaks, Calif., gave Leading an opportunity to purchase the site and two newly built structures one year after relocation. Leading Industry exercised the option in July 2006, buying 10 acres and two adjacent buildings with a total of 201,000 square feet. Also, Leading Industry acquired 7 adjacent acres for future growth.
One 107,000-square-foot plant houses thermoforming operations, toolmaking, design systems and administrative offices; and the other, 94,000-square-foot facility is used for raw materials, extrusion operations and warehousing.
In February 2006, Leading Industry sold two previous buildings, totaling 90,000 square feet, for about $8 million.
The firm employs 200, including 12 toolmakers and has managed annual sales increases of about 30 percent over several years, Hong said. He declined to disclose figures.