American Packaging Corp. of Rochester, N.Y., has broken ground for a $16.5 million expansion project at its flexographic printing and laminating plant in Story City, Iowa.
This is the third major expansion at APC in the past four years. Previously, the firm spent $12 million to upgrade its extrusion facility in Rochester and $13 million at its rotogravure printing and laminating division in Columbus, Wis.
The 35,000-square-foot addition to APC's 215,000-square-foot plant in Story City will include a new flexographic press, according to spokesman Paul Fricano.
The expanded facility is expected to be ready by year's end, Fricano said in a Feb. 12 telephone interview.
The plant manufactures pre-formed bags and pouches with extrusion laminations, adhesive laminations and coated structures using both rotogravure and flexographic printing.
We tend to sell our lines out before we actually complete them, Fricano said. Once we're up and running, we feel confident that we can fill the capacity fairly easily, because we've broken that ground early on. It has its own set of issues on the other end, because you're in a mad rush at the end, to produce the product, to satisfy the customer. So it's a balancing act.
Excellent banking relationships help APC maintain that balance, he said: We don't do a lot of high-risk maneuvers where we're going to buy three new lines and hope we can fill them.
It's more of an educated guess that we've got a good portion of each line sold, and can sell the remaining capacity of that line when it's installed.
Privately held APC makes flexible packaging and seals for markets including agricultural, food, pharmaceuticals and specialty chemicals. The firm employs 570, with about 150 workers in Story City. It does not release sales figures.
Fricano said APC sales are growing between 7 and 10 percent a year.
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