Plastic pallet supplier Schoeller Arca Systems is setting up a production plant in Goodyear, Ariz., to supply a major customer active on the West Coast.
We outgrew our capacity, Schoeller Arca Americas President Robert Engle said in a telephone interview. We have a long-term contract with a long-term customer.
Schoeller Arca has been relying on contract manufacturers to injection mold its products in North America. Engle said the new contract is business to be fulfilled from Goodyear and it should not affect contract manufacturers' workloads.
The new plant will back out imports from Schoeller Arca affiliates in Europe. Engle said officials are pondering the long-term fate of Schoeller Arca Americas' current head office in Skokie, Ill.
Schoeller Arca will make reusable plastic crates for Ifco Systems, an international logistics provider of material-handling products. Engle said the containers are used in agricultural and food applications. Ifco of Houston claims to be the leader in container management in the United States, with a pool of more than 116 million reusable plastic containers. SAS may also produce plastic pallets for iGPS Co. LLC.
The container and pallet supplier expects to have its Goodyear plant up and running by the end of May. It is installing 14 precision high-speed injection presses with clamping forces of 1,000 tons.
The Goodyear facility is 137,000 square feet of a former Rubbermaid operation, according to a news release from Schoeller. The facility will employ more than 45, and produce up to 40,000 hand-held crates daily. Some machines will be new while others will be relocated from other production locations. Schoeller Arca mainly molds polypropylene and high density polyethylene.
Schoeller Arca Systems has international sales of about $600 million per year. Its headquarters is in Zwolle, the Netherlands. It is a joint venture between One Equity Partners of New York, Schoeller Holding GmbH of Pullach, Germany, and management.
Ifco Systems of Houston is a subsidiary of Ifco Systems NV of Amsterdam, which had global sales of $785.4 million last year. Pallet producer Brambles Ltd., of Sydney, recently acquired Ifco Systems from Apax Partners of London.
Schoeller Arca also looked at Reno, Nev., as a possible production site but Arizona has a more pro-business attitude, officials said in an email.
Also, the Goodyear building was designed for injection molding when it was a Rubbermaid facility.