Blow molder KLW Plastics Inc. has opened a second plant to manufacture tight-head polyethylene containers from 3.5 to 7 gallons.
KLW of Monroe, Ohio, shipped its first truckload from the new Houston operation in March and now is running at about 50 percent capacity, said KLW President Mike Legeza in a telephone interview. The firm is leasing a 52,000-square-foot building, much of it warehouse space to accommodate its quick delivery schedules.
``Houston allows KLW to serve a broader reach of customers, delivering superior quality and logistics reliability to new customers previously disadvantaged by high freight costs and excessive transit time,'' Legeza said in a news release.
KLW has started in Houston with one blow molding machine, a dual-head Uniloy Milacron with an 8-pound shot size. Legeza expects to order another machine within three months, as orders have come in faster than he had forecast.
Although Houston's markets are diverse, two key areas are oilfield drilling fluids and catalysts for resin production. KLW now is beginning to plan third and fourth production plants in the Southeast and Northeast.
KLW sticks with identical Uniloy Milacron and accessory equipment to keep engineering simple, Legeza said. In Monroe, it runs three dual-head Uniloy Milacrons.
KLW says it has developed an environmentally friendly blow molding technology using the Thickness Compensation System from Uniloy Milacron. The system leads to as much as a 12 percent reduction in resin usage while maintaining strength and other properties demanded by industry standards and regulations. KLW's equipment uses more than 300 control points to tailor container production by ensuring the right amount of resin in the right location. The firm claims to be the only U.S. tight-head container manufacturer using the Thickness Control System.
Legeza said maintaining container properties is vital because his company sells 95 percent of its products for packaging regulated substances such as chemicals. The Department of Transportation has regulations that are in tune with United Nations regulations. Legeza said the new containers also satisfy California's Rigid Plastic Packaging Container Law because they reduce weight.
Legeza said the new containers are opening up new sales opportunities. Customers are keen on using their environmental advantages to get into new markets, he said.