Flexible packaging producer Colormasters LLC will become integrated in polyethylene film by constructing and starting up a new blown film extrusion plant across the street from its existing plant in Albertville, Ala.
The company also will set up another printing and converting plant in Albertville to complement its existing operation and to allow for expansion. That plant will be located in a former Berry Plastics Corp. duct tape plant that Berry closed at the end of 2010. The ex-Berry facility was reported to have 318,000 square feet of space and had employed about 100.
Colormasters said the new film plant will supply the majority of its film needs. It initially will employ about 30 and boost the payroll to about 60 over the next few years. It is due to begin running by the end of the year.
The new blown film plant and equipment will be an $8 million initial investment, Colormasters General Manager Ben Fryer said in a telephone interview. Colormasters will start with two Windmoeller & Hoelscher film lines and expects to add three more next year.
“We felt to ensure quality and lead times, it was necessary to vertically integrate,” Fryer said. Making PE film in-house takes costs out of the films, he added.
Fryer said his firm still will buy other types of films, such as PET, polypropylene and ethylene vinyl alcohol and multilayer films to make its constructions.
Colormasters is spending about $5 million to buy, renovate and equip its second conversion plant, the former Berry facility.
The company's main markets are in consumer retails, such as food, beverage and pet products.
Company owners Dennis Hicks and Gus King started the business 26 years ago. Fryer estimates 2012 sales will be about $50 million; officials expect to double that in the next few years.
Colormasters' second printing and conversion plant will feature the latest in equipment, according to the company. About 25 employees will launch the operation Oct. 1, with staff expanding to more than 200 in the next couple of years, the company said.
A story in Albertville's Sand Mountain Reporter said that Colormasters has been sourcing PE film from out of state.
“Gus King and Dennis Hicks chose to start their operations in Albertville 26 years ago and it has proved to be a fantastic place to operate our business,” Fryer said in the release.
Colormasters performs high-definition flexographic printing, makes reclosable features on roll stock, converts film to bags and pouches, does slitting and uses laser scoring to make easy-open and breathable packaging.
The company did not provide cost or equipment details.