Silgan Plastics Corp. has licensed Kortec Inc.'s multilayer injection molding technology for three packaging markets: wet pet foods; fruit cups; and microwaveable cups, bowls and trays for ready-to-eat soups, stews and meals.
The agreement covers North America. Terms were not disclosed. Silgan has exclusive rights to those three market segments. Kortec will continue to work with new and existing customers to introduce this new technology in other markets, throughout the world, said Paul Swenson, Kortec vice president and CEO.
Swenson said the deal with Silgan shows their confidence in the market potential of Kortec's multilayer, thin-wall technology.
Silgan Plastics President Alan Koblin called food packaging a core market for the Chesterfield, Mo.-based company, which runs 22 plants in North America.
Kortec is based in Ipswich, Mass.
[Kortec's] breakthrough technology in thin-wall food packaging will allow us to provide emerging solutions to the food market, Koblin said.
All three markets Silgan has targeted for the Kortec process involve retort, barrier-layer packaging from injection molded polypropylene, according to Russell Bennett, Kortec's vice president of sales and marketing.
Bennett said wet pet foods currently are dominated by metal cans and some thermoformed packages. Individual-serving fruit cups are thermoformed. Microwaveable bowls are made by thermoforming and injection molding.
He also said injection molding makes more-uniform packaging, with less variation than thermoformed packages, so injection offers faster line-filling speeds at food plants.
For some markets, Bennett said, injection molded PP also creates a clearer see-through package.
Silgan Plastics' parent company, Silgan Holdings Inc., generated $3.1 billion sales from both metal and plastic packaging.
Silgan Plastics had 2009 sales of $541.5 million, a 17 percent decline from 2008. The company said the decline was mainly because of lower average selling prices from passing through lower raw material costs, a decline in unit volumes and unfavorable currency rates.
Silgan Plastics ranks as No. 8 on Plastics News' most recent survey of North American blow molders.
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