IPL Inc. has invested C$2.04 million (US$1.63 million) to produce lighter weight, injection molded containers at its Edmundston, New Brunswick, operation.
Piere Hébert, plant manager for the Edmundston facility, said his firm has begun making containers that use 15 percent less plastic than competitors' products and than IPL's previous, comparable product line. As well, it is molding such containers about 20 percent faster than before. The firm also molds container closures at the site.
IPL installed new equipment for downgauging the containers and decreasing cycle times. It bought new molds and robots and installed them in March. The project encompasses molded polypropylene containers from eight to 48 ounces, mainly for food applications, Hebert said in a phone interview.
Government support helped spur the lightweighting project. IPL kicked in C$704,000 (US$563,000) while the New Brunswick provincial government contributed C$336,000 (US$269,000) and another C$1 million (US$800,000) repayable contribution was provided by the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency.
IPL claims its Edmundston plant is the only molder of food grade plastic containers in Atlantic Canada. Hebert said it pioneered in-mold container labeling in 1995. In 2012 the Edmundston plant began making plastic containers that can provide a two-year shelf life for food. The project received a C$3 million (US$2.4 million) contribution from ACOA.
IPL President Paul Richardson indicated in a news release that the company will continue seeking new technologies for the Edmundston operation. In addition to containers for consumer products, IPL injection molds totes and other large containers for agriculture, environmental applications and industry.
The St. Damien, Quebec-based company had estimated sales of $185 million in 2013, according to Plastics News' most recent survey of North American injection molders.