An Israeli plastics firm has decided on a “made-in-USA” strategy for the market in the United States.
Bram Industries Ltd., a producer of housewares and industrial containers, will invest at least $3 million in a manufacturing operation in Savannah, Ga., its first facility in the United States. The plant is due to come on stream in the third quarter.
Bram announced it will start the Savannah plant with 33 employees and it will boost the staff level to 60 by the operation's third year. Initial production will rely on six to eight injection presses with clamping forces from 550 to 1,400 tons.
Bram has been importing into the U.S. market for a decade.
“Our customers emphasized that by having a production site in the U.S., they will be able to significantly grow the business with us, and that their budget for ‘made in USA' products is much bigger [than for imported products],” Bram explained in a presentation to the Savannah Economic Development Authority.
Its U.S. customer list includes major retailers Wal-Mart, Target, Home Depot, Amazon and Dollar Tree.
Bram cited President Barack Obama's recent jobs pronouncement as one of its reasons to set up in Savannah.
“We can create a million new manufacturing jobs in the next four years, because we're selling goods around the world stamped with three proud words: Made in the USA,” Obama said recently.
Bram's subsidiaries run about 55 injection molding machines around the clock at its production sites in Israel and France. Bram did not disclose its sales but it did break out figures for its sales in various countries. France is its largest single market with 24 percent of sales. Other major markets are Japan and the Netherlands (13 percent each), the United States (8 percent), Germany (7 percent), the United Kingdom (6 percent) and Israel (5 percent).
Bram, based in Sderot, Israel, is traded on the Tel Aviv stock exchange. It was established in 2005 although a predecessor firm, Hai Plastic, was founded in 1981. Bramli, another predecessor, was created in 1999. In 2006 Bram established Life Plastic and in 2011 it founded Preform. In 2013 it established supply arrangements with the top five retailers in the world.
Bramli USA Inc. will occupy 133,100 square feet in the Savannah facility, but it has room and intentions to expand in the 300,000-square-foot facility. The Savannah factory has a 32-foot minimum clearance, 22 loading dock doors and nine roll-up doors. Floor strength of 4,000 pounds per square inch will be able to handle large injection presses. Injection molds for the Savannah operation are now being tested in Israel.
Bram also plans to set up a production site on the U.S. West Coast.
Bram's product lines are diverse. The Hai Plastic business molds industrial packaging such as totes and bins for food and other markets. The Bramli subsidiary makes plastic kitchenware and housewares that Bram claims are trend-setting yet affordable. Bram's product lines also include disposable tableware and packaging for catering companies and restaurant take-out uses, and packaging for the beverage industry. Bram stated it also is exploring ways to recycle plastics.
Bram has shunned publicity. An Internet search turned up very little in the way of news articles about the company. Its website is written in Hebrew.
Bram owns 50 percent of Preform, a producer of food industry packaging established in 2011. Bram wholly owns Hai Plastic, which in turn owns 100 percent of Life Plastic, 50 percent of K&F Plastics Ltd. and 51 percent of real estate company S. Keter Properties.
Life Plastic was formed in 2006 to thermoform disposable tableware. The business was formerly known as Isap Euronord. Life Plastic exited thermoforming in 2010 in favor of injection molded tableware disposables. The Life Story brand was launched in 2012 and in 2013 Life became an official supplier to international retailer Tesco.
The Bramli subsidiary is wholly owned by Bram and its business includes distributor SHS Trade 2011 GmbH.
Bram notes the Savannah location will boast several environmentally friendly aspects. An associated railway line generates less greenhouse gases than traditional trucks. Electric injection presses are efficient and use less energy than hydraulic presses. Corrugated paper boxes for packaging will be made locally, cutting greenhouse gases related to transporting the packaging. The main power source in the Savannah area is nuclear energy, another way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Bram's $3 million investment will be spread over three years. Officials in the Israel headquarters did not respond to requests for more information.
Eli Bramli, Bram's majority owner, founder and CEO, lauded support for its U.S. project from Savannah's development authority, the city of Savannah and the state of Georgia.