Display Pack Inc. has established a Riverside, Calif., facility with capabilities for thermoforming packaging. The plant initially will target retail and medical markets.
``The Riverside facility will be primarily for West Coast manufacturing and support,'' said Victor Hansen, Display Pack president. ``Most administrative functions will remain in Michigan,'' where the firm employs about 350 in Grand Rapids in four buildings and its headquarters.
In Riverside, ``we are in our building and fully approved for production,'' Hansen said. Initial shipments to local customers began in early November.
The leased Riverside location operates two thermoforming machines relocated from Grand Rapids. Production molds come from the firm's Michigan site. Display Pack has a ``right of first refusal'' on an adjacent space in Riverside, Hansen said.
Early demand prompted the ordering of a new thermoforming machine, which is scheduled to be delivered in January. Riverside will add capability next year to make prototype molds.
``Display Pack's design team will have a major influence on key portions of the package designs,'' Hansen said.
As part of the geographic expansion, Display Pack formed a partnership with Global Packaging Solutions LLC of Aliso Viejo, Calif. That partnership focuses on sales, marketing, logistics and quick-turnaround-fulfillment changes when a customer needs to modify an order at the last moment. Principals of Display Pack and GPS began discussing a relationship in March and reached an agreement in October.
Riverside's city-owned utility provides an advantage. With two machines, ``we projected initial operations would have [annual] savings of $50,000 in Riverside,'' compared with industrial rates elsewhere from an investor-owned utility, Hansen said in a telephone interview.
Display Pack had 2007 sales of about $76 million, of which thermoforming accounted for $66 million. For 2008, Hansen said he seeks ``steady growth in packaging,'' although automotive-related volumes are down.
Using pressure forming or thin-gauge processes, privately held Display Pack can thermoform high- impact polystyrene trays, electrostatic-dissipation materials, high-tolerance automotive masking materials and ABS in-mold decorations.
The president's father, Roger Hansen, started Display Pack in 1967 in a one-stall garage. He retired as president in 2004 and continues as chairman.