PET food-packaging thermoformer Direct Pack Inc. has expanded its plant in Sun Valley, Calif., and opened a distribution center in Azusa, Calif., adding 20 jobs in the process.
Another 20-25 employees are expected to be added in Southern California by the end of 2011, according to officials.
Spokeswoman Laura Murphy said the Azusa-based company added four machines to the single thermoforming line it already had in the 70,000-square-foot plant. The facility also has an extrusion line.
The company invested about $2.6 million in new machinery, President Craig Snedden said in an Aug. 1 phone interview. The largest thermoformer is a Lyle machine. A large DPI customer in North America recently placed a large order, prompting the capacity addition, he said.
“I've been doing this since the early ‘90s,” Snedden said. “Thermoforming equipment and tooling for food packaging are changing at lightning speeds and price points more are crucial to our customers than ever.”
DPI employs 100 and operates factories in Sun Valley and Taipei, Taiwan. It has warehouses in Azusa; Sun Valley, Cincinnati, Bloomfield, N.J., and Asheboro, N.C.
Snedden said the new machinery brings the California plant up to the same level of manufacturing as the Taiwanese facility. Some of the tooling for Sun Valley came from the Taipei plant, he added.
“The larger we get, the more we feel we need to build on our capacity to meet our domestic customers' needs with domestic manufacturing,” he said.
DPI uses virgin and recycled PET, polypropylene, polylactic acid and plant fiber. Its products include its trademark BottleBox fresh-produce packaging made from post-consumer PET.
Privately held DPI does not release sales figures. The company is a subsidiary of PMC Global Inc., a Sun Valley-based consortium of businesses related to manufacturing, food, health and cosmetics.
PMC Global's plastics-related holdings also include Teflon coatings distributor General Plastics Group Inc. and coatings-application-device maker Polyurethane Machinery Corp., both of Bloomfield, N.J.; Calumet City, Ill.-based color and concentrates maker Plastics Color Corp. Inc.; and VCF Films Inc. in Howell, Mich.