Even in a recession, people need to eat.
As a result, Inline Plastics Corp., a maker of clamshells and other food containers, later this year will open a 158,000 square-foot manufacturing plant in McDonough, Ga., about 35 miles southeast of Atlanta.
The plant will employ between 100 and 120 and will serve supermarket, food service, distribution and processing customers throughout the Southeast, officials with Shelton, Conn.-based Inline said in a July 28 news release.
The new plant will allow for shorter lead times, increased flexibility on special orders and increased production capacity, officials added.
In spite of being located in the Northeast, Inline has historically enjoyed steady growth in the Southeastern states, Inline President Tom Orkisz said in the release. Now, we are demonstrating our commitment to the region.
This is part of our expansion/ relocation strategy, Orkisz added via telephone July 29. One product in particular SafeT-Fresh has been growing like gangbusters in that part of the country. Fortunately, the food market is somewhat recession-resilient.
Safe-T-Fresh is a line of clear PET containers for cut fruit and vegetables and deli items that was launched in 2005. Inline's product mix also includes containers for baked goods, salads and a variety of grab-and-go foods.
The new plant which also will be used as a distribution center represents an investment of about $3.5 million, Orkisz said. It's located in part of a massive 600,000-square-foot building previously used as a Ford Motor Co. assembly plant. The plant will feature a mix of new thermoforming equipment and equipment moved from Shelton.
Opening the McDonough plant will result in about 30 jobs being cut from the Shelton site, although Orkisz said about 10 employees are expected to transfer from Shelton to the new location.
Orkisz who is Inline's sole owner added that distribution from McDonough should begin in August, with production set to start in September. Inline was founded by Orkisz's father and uncle in 1968.
The expansion is Inline's first since opening a plant and distribution center in Salt Lake City in 2004. The firm ranked as North America's 30th-largest thermoformer in a recent Plastics News ranking, with related sales estimated at $65 million.
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