Airlite's expansion under way in Omaha
OMAHA, NEB. — Packaging injection molder Airlite Plastics Co. has begun a $57.8 million expansion in Omaha.
A local news report said Airlite will add 43,000 square feet to its 500,000-square-foot operation in Omaha by summer. The investment includes 20 additional production lines, The Omaha World-Herald reported Dec. 17.
The article said Omaha-based Airlite makes 1.5 billion molded containers per year for dairy, salad and margarine packaging and uses 60 million pounds of resin annually. The company also decorates containers and makes expanded polystyrene foam.
The report said the expansion will occur in a high-unemployment area of Omaha and that 117 jobs will be added over several years.
The Omaha Planning Board approved $1.6 million in tax-increment financing but the plan still needs Omaha City Council approval, according to the article.
Planning board members declined to provide information to Plastics News and Airlite officials could not be reached for comment.
In April, Airlite expanded into Nazareth, Pa., when it bought S&L Plastics Inc., a stock and custom injection molder and tubing and profile extruder. At the time, Airlite President and CEO Brad Crosby said Airlite ran 70 injection presses in Omaha and had 800 employees there. S&L had 13 injection presses and 45 employees.
Plastics News estimates Airlite's injection molding sales were about $100 million in 2011.
Kautex Textron opens China fuel-tank plant
BONN, GERMANY — Kautex Textron GmbH has opened a plant in Chongqing, China — its fourth facility in that country — to produce plastic fuel tanks for automakers.
The facility will start with one production line and 28 employees, with plans to grow to four lines and 150 employees.
The company also has opened its first validation center, in Guangzhou, to test plastic fuel tanks for Chinese and Asian automakers. The test facility, which is part of a larger Kautex plant, employs 10 people.
Kautex, a subsidiary of Textron Inc., makes fuel tanks, blow molded ducts, fluid reservoirs and other components. It has 5,400 employees in 15 countries and is headquartered in Bonn.
Imperial to construct third Minnesota site
LAKEVILLE, MINN. — Custom injection molder Imperial Plastics Inc. plans to set up a third plant in Minnesota.
The Mankato Planning Commission has voted to rezone a parcel of land so that a 69,120-square-foot plant can be built in an industrial park there. Mankato City Council will vote on the proposal Jan. 14.
“We see an opportunity to solve problems and an opportunity to grow our business out of our geographic base through new technologies,” Norman Oberto, Imperial president, said in a telephone interview. “We are developing technologies to attract customers outside the Midwest.”
Using closer-tolerance molding and multimaterial molding are among the strategies planned by Imperial, based in nearby Lakeville, where it runs two molding plants.
Appro Development Inc. of Lakeville is the building contractor for Imperial's Mankato project.
The construction plan also accommodates enough area to double the new plant's space.
Imperial would like to start construction in spring and finish it by fall. The facility would employ about 125.
Imperial runs 121 injection presses with clamping forces of 42-950 tons in Lakeville, as well as three structural foam machines and one blow molding machine. It also does automated assembly.
Major markets include consumer, industrial, medical, recreational, auto and plumbing.
The company was established in 1968 and employs about 525 in Lakeville. Oberto became its owner 16 years ago.
RPP adds space for shipping, warehouse
CINCINNATI — RPP Containers has added 25,000 square feet to its distribution center to help house inventory and improve delivery.
RPP, formerly known as Reusable Packaging Products, molds and recycles plastic bulk containers. The additional 25,000 square feet will let the company store more products on-site and ship them quickly, the firm said in a Dec. 11 news release.
Cincinnati-based RPP reusable containers are used by the auto industry and other manufacturers. The company had 45,000 square feet of space at its distribution center prior to the expansion.