Nepco Industrial Co. Ltd. has opened a plant in Chino, Calif., to make high-end picture-frame moldings from recycled expanded polystyrene.
Previously the company had recycled EPS in the U.S. and turned it into pellets that were sent to the company's manufacturing facility in South Korea.
Paju City, South Korea-based Nepco also makes EPS recycling equipment.
I saw a niche and just had an idea that we should start making the finished products here, Chino operations director Tommy Kim said in a March 22 phone interview. I talked to a couple of frame manufacturers who said that there was a lot of damage from overseas shipments and that the time it takes for them to receive the moldings was too long. So I felt we could get more business that way and also create green jobs in the United States.
The company moved its U.S. offices and recycled EPS pelletizing plant, in Fullerton, Calif., to the 36,000-square-foot Chino site. The new plant's grand opening was two weeks ago but it has been operating since last fall, Kim said.
We didn't see too many companies closing the loop and making product here, Kim said. He said the moldings are priced higher than imports, but the firm has quick turnaround.
Our turnaround time on orders is less than two weeks for a truckload, and we are able to expedite the timing of all shipments for our customers to meet their demands, he said.
The plant currently has one recycling line and two manufacturing lines and employs 17. The firm reprocesses roughly 35,000 pounds of material a day, and manufactures roughly 10,000 feet of moldings. The plant operates around the clock. Kim said Nepco plans to add a second recycling line and more production lines soon.
We hope to get up to four to five production lines within two months. We are looking to expand and add more product lines, such as moldings for mirror frames.
In addition, the company plans to add joining capabilities in the next six months to make finished picture frames. Currently, Nepco sells the moldings to companies that assemble them.
Nepco's EPS comes from furniture distribution centers, PS cup manufacturers, foam fabricators and packaging companies, and it also has a drop-off collection center at the plant.
We want to increase business, create jobs and let the public and the government know that EPS is recyclable and that EPS is not bad that it is good for the economy, good for jobs and that you can create a good, quality product out of it when it is recycled, Kim said.
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