The past year has seen a push back into the North American market for executives at folding plastic-carton manufacturer and distributor HLP Klearfold.
The New York-based affiliate of Hong Kong's Hip Lik Packaging Products Fty. Ltd. in March 2010 acquired the Klearfold trademark from Mead Westvaco Corp. of Richmond, Va., and modified its former name slightly.
[MWV] exited that business. We approached them to see if we could purchase that trademark. We did, and we renamed the company HLP Klearfold. It's been very successful, Patrick McGee, HLP Klearfold's marketing director, said in a March 2 interview at the Package Design and Development Summit in St. Petersburg.
People didn't know what [the former] HLP Packaging did. They're pretty well-aware from the name Klearfold what HLP Klearfold does, said McGee, who was responsible for marketing the Klearfold brand for MWV for 10 years, before MWV discontinued Klearfold in 2009.
McGee brought amorphous PET samples to the Florida conference of the newest HLP Klearfold product the InSight visual package used by Procter & Gamble, Kao Brands and Johnson & Johnson for cosmetics.
InSight, which HLP Klearfold licensed in September, combines printed and scored plastic sleeves with injection molded end caps that HLP Klearfold procures from other suppliers.
The end caps and sleeves connect using a unique system of undercuts molded into the caps. Those undercuts engage die-cut tabs on the sleeve to securely join the components. End caps can be designed to permanently affix to the sleeve or to be removed with a quarter-twist.
Besides cat's-eye and pillow-pack profiles, Insight also is available in round, rectangular and other shapes.
HLP Klearfold also is marketing InSight Slider packaging, which produces similar multifaceted package shapes, but which are effective for smaller-volume applications.
HLP Klearfold specializes in radio-frequency creasing of plastics, and is marketing its experience in applying its E-Z Crease RF technology to APET and recycled PET, McGee said.
The company operates two plants in Shenzhen, China: one for folding and converting, and one for thermoformed packaging, he said.
The newer converting plant, built in 2008, is about 645,000 square feet in size, according to McGee. Both Shenzhen facilities employ about 1,000.
Hip Lik Group buys most of its resin from Taiwan and Japan, he said. Hip Lik's offerings include PVC, PET and PP, boxes tubes, sleeves and blister packaging. The company also has printing and stamping capabilities.
McGee wasn't the only MWV employee to move to HLP Klearfold along with the Klearfold name: The company's vice president, Steve Frazier, ran Klearfold's North American operations and was AGI/Klearfold general manager before MWV sold the business.
HLP Klearfold currently has customers in North America, Asia and Europe, and built its latest plant with the expectation of adding capacity to met bigger customer orders in the future, McGee said.
Privately held Hip Lik does not disclose its companies' sales.