Colormasters LLC continues to invest in new film and converting capacity to keep up with demand for its flexible packaging products.
“We're growing like crazy,” said Colormasters co-owner Gus King in a phone interview from the company's Albertville, Ala., head office.
The company is in the midst of starting up its eighth multi-layer blown film line in a new plant it opened in late 2012. King estimated his firm has invested some $25 million in the film operation so far, and that figure will rise by early 2016 when two more film lines are scheduled for installation.
Colormasters also started up a new converting plant in early 2013 and it now runs two Windmoeller & Hoelscher flexographic printing presses in the facility with another, larger W&H printing machine due to be ordered later this year, King explained. Colormasters has already spent up to $10 million on the new converting plant, not including the building. The company dubbed its printing press technology Master Tone to denote high quality.
Colormasters now runs four facilities in Albertville. In addition to the new plants, it operates its original converting plant and a distribution center.
Colormasters' film plant makes the company an integrated packaging producer that no longer needs to buy polyethylene film. The film lines not only meet the company's internal needs for converting but they churn out enough to also allow film sales to its packaging customers. King estimated film production capacity will reach 75 million pounds per year in May when the eighth, three-layer W&H blown film line is up and running. When two more lines come on stream by early 2016, film production capacity will shoot up to about 110 million pounds annually.
Colormasters' investments not only add new capacity, but also help the company to lower costs.
“We want to be the low-cost producer,” King noted. “It's a never-ending story.”
Food packaging is by far Colormasters' main market. It supplies a wide range of bags, pouches and films. It offers re-closable features in film roll stock through its Inno-Lok process. It can do laminating with solvent-less adhesives to include PET, polypropylene, nylon, EVOH and other resins in its constructions. The company uses laser technologies for scoring packaging to make it easy to tear, and for micro-perforation to tailor gas transmission and moisture release. Multiple slitting/rewinding machines are designed to run at up to 2,000 feet per minutes to make rollstock.
Colormasters was established in 1976 and has grown to a business employing about 325. King did not disclose sales figures but an official estimated in 2012 that annual sales that year would be about $50 million and growing rapidly. Dennis Hicks is the other co-owner.