Safety Seal Plastics Inc. will expand its plastic shrink sleeve operations through an acquisition and a move to a new facility.
Safety Seal has agreed to buy the shrink sleeve business of Jones Packaging Inc. of London, Ontario, and plans to move it to Guelph, Ontario, where Safety Seal recently bought a building more suited to its growth plans.
The 50,000-square-foot Guelph facility has room to accommodate the former Jones business as well as additional equipment purchases and is all on one level, allowing Safety Seal to improve production efficiencies, the firm's president and CEO Michael Bedrosian explained in a Sept. 17 phone interview. The current Safety Seal operation in Hamilton, Ontario, is on four levels and only 18,000 square feet in area. Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Inc. had owned the Guelph facility and installed stringent climate and cleanliness controls.
“We have hired experts who are working on the production flow in the new plant,” Bedrosian said. “It will allow us to maximize quality and reduce inefficiencies.”
Safety Seal operates eight printing presses, as well as seaming machines, cutting machines and slitters to make shrink sleeves for customers in food and beverage, pharmaceutical, consumer goods and other industries. It buys film and sheet from outside suppliers and converts them to shrink sleeves. Bedrosian said the major resins involved are PETG, oriented polystyrene, biaxially oriented polypropylene and PVC.
“The acquisition of the shrink sleeve business from Jones is a key element of Safety Seal Plastics' growth strategy,” Bedrosian added.
He said his firm will move the relevant Jones assets to Guelph by mid-October with the relocation of the assets in Hamilton scheduled by the end of the year. Bedrosian estimated employment at Guelph will soon hit 100, more than double the current staff level in Hamilton.
Safety Seal was established in 1989 to supply PVC tamper-evident bands to pharmaceutical and food industries. The company now claims to be one of the major North American producers of shrink sleeves. Several years ago Safety Seal reached a new quality level when it installed an eight-color Chromas LXflexo printing press. The firm's capabilities include gravure-quality printing and opaque-white and foil finishes. Quality is monitored on several inspecting machines and is aided by in-line cameras and computerized tension monitoring of the web.
Bedrosian said he bought Safety Seal four-and-a-half years ago, and under his leadership the company quadrupled sales, although he would not disclose an actual sales figure. He is a 30-year veteran of printing and packaging businesses, including time at Lawson Mardon Group Ltd.
Jones judged its shrink sleeve business as non-core compared to its printed packaging, contract packaging and healthcare operations. Bedrosian said he has known the Jones family for more than 30 years.