Two film makers are expanding to meet market needs.
At Next Generation Films Inc., officials are moving the company out of commodity films into areas like barrier. The firm recently introduced its nylon/polyethylene barrier bag for food packaging, which expands the firm's modified-atmosphere packaging mix.
``If we get beat by anybody, it will be because we're not efficient,'' Chief Executive Officer David Frecka said in a recent interview at Next Generation's Lexington campus.
The firm is installing its second WindmÃ¶ller & HÃ¶lscher three-layer Varex blown film extrusion line, which will be operational by August.
``I'm trying to establish a world-class facility here,'' Frecka said. ``We're investing in the highest output lines that money can buy. Being entrepreneurial is a good thing today. We're focused on technology and how to use substitution in raw materials.''
That's the fundamental goal as foreign competition increasingly affects the market, forcing companies to become low-cost producers.
Frecka also restructured management. Dana Boyd becomes vice president of technology, Brian Plew is director of quality, Troy Carns is technical director and Jamie Keller is shift supervisor.
``We don't have a lot of people, so that the people we do have need to be good,'' he said.
At extruder Packaging Personified Inc., in Carol Stream, Ill., officials are adding a Kirion three-layer blown film system from Kiefel Inc. The machine will be ready by September.
The company added these systems to its monolayer films production to keep up with customer demands, according to Dan Imburgia, Packaging Personified's general manager of sales and administration.
``We're trying to provide our customers with a whole solution,'' Imburgia said in a recent telephone interview. ``We want the scope of products to supply them from the front end to the back end. We consciously said, `We're not going to be all things to everyone.' But if we can expand organically in our business, that's where we want to go.''
The line will be equipped with automatic gauge profiling and internal bubble cooling, and the company also is retrofitting other pieces of extrusion equipment with auto profiling and cooling.
At its location in Sparta, Mich., Packaging Personified is modernizing half of the 100,000-square-foot building by putting in higher ceilings and reorganizing the plant layout for better flow. It will install an eight-color gearless printing press, equipped with automotive defect detection.