KlÃ¶ckner Pentaplast Group has made several strategic moves, including the addition of what it calls significant shrink-label film capacity globally, added film capacity in Europe, and the acquisition in the United States of a company that makes water-based coatings for card and print film.
KlÃ¶ckner said April 7 that it has added capacity for 33 million pounds of shrink-label film globally with the recent startup of new tentering lines at its Rural Retreat, Va., and Rayong, Thailand, plants. The $37 million investment includes PVC production machinery for the Rayong plant, and ancillary equipment for glycol-modified PET and PVC shrink-label films at Rural Retreat.
The new capacity is largely for transverse-direction oriented shrink-label films used mainly for full- or partial-body shrink-sleeve applications, the company said.
In Europe, KlÃ¶ckner is adding 100 million pounds of capacity, mostly for rigid PET film, at plants in Montabaur Germany, and Santo Tirso, Portugal. The investment will allow the firm to close three smaller plants in Europe by the end of the summer.
KlÃ¶ckner also said it had acquired, for undisclosed terms, Waytek Corp., a maker of high-performance water-based coatings and high-quality coated overlay films in Franklin, Ohio, that employs 40.
The firm expanded shrink-label film in Rural Retreat and Rayong because of growing global demand for high-quality packaging films, especially in the U.S., said Michael Tubridy, president and chief operating officer of KlÃ¶ckner Pentaplast/Americas, in a company statement.
In an email response, the firm said those investments also will enable them to reduce overall waste and use less energy.
The use of shrink-label films by consumer product companies has steadily grown over the last decade, the company said, adding that it is committed to staying ahead of market demand.
KlÃ¶ckner declined to disclose its capacity for shrink-label film.
Its 280,000-square-foot plant in Rural Retreat makes polyester and PVC films for pharmaceutical, medical-device, food, thermoforming, card, and shrink-sleeve markets. It employs more than 270, including 16 added in the current expansion.
In Europe, KlÃ¶ckner said that it had invested $54 million at plants in Montabaur and Santo Tirso, and added four polyester extruders and one embossing line.
The new equipment allows us to further improve our production capabilities and the quality of our films in the European market, the company said.
The company also added ancillary equipment at those plants, and upgraded a PVC calender for adhesive tape production. It has also made investments at its plant in Gendorf, Germany. Overall, KlÃ¶ckner has increased its workforce in Europe by 130.
The new investments, however, will result in the closings, by the end of the summer, of plants in Kempten and Graben-Neudorf, Germany, and Muri, Switzerland, the company said.
That is the consequence of this strategy, the firm said via email. The installation of new capacity will allow us to streamline our operations by consolidating individual production steps.
The company chose to make the investments in Montbaur and Santo Tirso for operational reasons, existing infrastructure, and the ability to expand the facilities as needed.
Our primary goals are to efficiently employ our best technology and to optimize logistics between distant plants in order to streamline production steps and time, KlÃ¶ckner said, adding that reduced internal logistics will improve efficiency and flexibility.
The Waytek acquisition announced March 31 moves KlÃ¶ckner into a film coating area that is complementary to existing business. By offering water-based coatings in addition to our current solvent-based coatings, KP is expanding its range of product offerings to the card and print markets, the company said.
Waytek is a coating and converting firm specializing in coated overlay films for the card market.
KlÃ¶ckner has about $1.3 billion in sales.