Container blow molder Ring Container Technologies Corp. of Oakland, Tenn., is moving into a newly leased facility in Sidney, Ohio, where it has operated a plant for 12 years.
The $4 million renovation of a historical building that housed Monarch Machine & Tool operations began three months ago, said Gayle Wright, the site's general contractor under Don Wright Realty of Dayton, Ohio.
``We'll be finished in early August,'' Wright said in an April 24 telephone interview. ``The Monarch building is an old historic building in Sidney. It's a great historic value to the city. We're completely renovating it for [Ring]. It will be like new inside. It's going to be just beautiful. They're putting in silos. They're putting in office facilities. It's going to be state of the art.''
Monarch still occupies roughly 70,000 square feet of the 446,000-square-foot complex, Wright said. Ring will take 115,000 square feet, nearly doubling its current space in another Sidney location. Ring will vacate that leased site by year's end, officials said.
The new location is being prepped as part of Ring's pumped-up research and development efforts, where sustainability is the focus of development, said Jeffrey Ullrich, Ring's vice president of sales and marketing.
Ring will move into continuous extrusion blow molding at the site. Although it has similar equipment at 17 other facilities throughout the U.S., this is the first time the firm will have that capability in Sidney.
``It will be a gradual transition of equipment, some old, some new. Customer growth is driving the move,'' Ullrich said.
The company's existing plant in Sidney employs 40, which will remain steady in the new plant.
For Ring, the project is the latest of several changes it has instituted in the past year. In August, the company began operating a new facility in Little Rock, Ark., dedicated to new technology in PET known as TrimLite. That technology focuses on making lighter-weight PET bottles for use in products like condiments, sauces and other foods. The Little Rock plant is dedicated to one customer, Ullrich said.
In the TrimLite process, the thread finish is produced in the blow mold instead of the preform mold, according to Husky Injection Molding Systems Ltd. of Bolton, Ontario. The process involves trimming off the portion of the blown container that traditionally would be the injection molded thread, leaving behind a wide-mouth thread finish.
Also, Ring's bread-and-butter business - a bottle-in-box combination - is undergoing a change, which required retooling in all facilities.
``We are reintroducing that package early next year,'' Ullrich said. ``For 25 years, we've made it nearly identical. For the last two years, we've been in the process of evaluating the package and how we can make it better. We've been getting a better feel for how our package is used.''
Meanwhile, Ring is re-engineering a plant in Swanley, England.
``We're studying the way we do business over there,'' Ullrich said of the notoriously fragmented European market, which is characterized by small customers. ``It's a gradual process, but we plan to be done by fall.''
Ring operates plants in 18 U.S. locations. In addition to Little Rock and Sidney, its sites include Chester, S.C.; three plants in Illinois; two plants in California; and one in Belle Fourche, S.D., that was added in 2006.
Ring did an estimated $190 million in blow molding sales, according to Plastics News' 2006 ranking.