Sigma Group has announced another specialty film investment in a matter of days, this time for barrier films.
Sigma said Sept 30 that it is acquiring Alliance Barrier Films LLC of Washington, Ind., and will integrate into its ISOFlex Packaging Division.
“It's a very strategic location with a lot of synergy with ISOFlex,” said Sigma President Alfred Teo in a phone interview. “We had been looking at Ohio or Indiana for a new plant for three years until this fell into our lap.”
Alliance will continue manufacturing at Washington and the firm's founder and CEO Tom Huff will continue as managing partner.
Teo said Alliance currently has 20 million pounds per year of specialty film production using ethylene vinyl alcohol and nylon layers for converter markets where hot-fill and barrier properties are required. Alliance's markets overlap those of ISOFlex but the purchased business does employ some technologies new to what ISOFlex now has.
Teo said capacity at the Washington plant will triple in the next few years as two new Windmoeller & Hoelscher blown film lines now on order are installed there. They will have five and seven layer capabilities. The Alliance facility has room for eight to 10 more extrusion lines. In addition to the Alliance acquisition, ISOFlex has major expansions underway, Teo added. The division has three new W&H blown film lines and two Alpine lines on order. ISOFlex's current capacity is more than 325 million pounds per year, he estimated.
“Tom has a long and successful history in specialty blown film manufacturing and has done an excellent job of building a specialty, high-barrier film business that will continue to grow under the ISOFlex banner,” Teo noted in a news release.
Huff founded Alliance three years ago with a $16 million investment aided by $300,000 in conditional funding from Indiana Development Corp. Huff previously owned United Films Group before it was bought by Huntsman Corp. in 1996. United was the first company in North America to use W&H high-barrier blown film technology, at its Bloomington, Ind., plant.
“Alfred provides positive energy and makes good things happen,” stated Huff in a news release. “Aligning ourselves with Sigma and ISOFlex enables us to accelerate our growth and success.