Chicago — Work is under way on a 150,000-square-foot expansion of a Berry Plastics Group Inc. manufacturing site in New Jersey serving the health care market.
The project in Phillipsburg, expected to be completed in March, is aimed at not only providing more manufacturing and warehouse space but also additional manufacturing equipment and enhanced laboratory services.
“The main driver is to make that a prime facility for health care from a quality and service perspective,” said Michael Bogar, general manager of healthcare and personal care for the Evansville, Ind.-based company. “And when I say quality, I'm just not talking about any zero defects, which is the ultimate goal in health care.
“What we will be doing and are doing at all of our facilities is to get ahead of quality. Because we don't want to react to a quality issue. We want to be progressive and out front and understand the requirements from our customers, and ultimately from their customers, the consumer, of what they are looking for,” he said.
That means the company seeks to anticipate market demands in the health care container industry.
“It's not that the facility is behind the curve. It's just that the requirements of our customers have grown. The expectations of quality from our customers have gone up,” he said in an interview at Pack Expo in Chicago.
Improvements at the site include a new quality laboratory that Bogar calls “state-of-the-art.”
“The key thing is we want to be ahead from a quality perspective,” he said. “You have to be aggressive and proactive from a quality perspective.”
Berry Plastics has 14 facilities around the country that made different plastic packaging products for the health care industry, he said. The company decided to make improvements in Phillipsburg because of its strategic position relative to regional customers.
“Based on what our customers are looking for and where else we see ourselves going, it's a prime location for us to expand,” Bogar said.
With the population in the United States getting older on average, the company sees the health care market as an important segment for growth. Products made at the location include containers for both over-the-counter pharmaceuticals as well as nutraceuticals.
“The key thing is we want to be ahead from a quality perspective,” he said. “It's really how do we structure ourselves to align with the needs of our customers from a zero-defect perspective? Top line, that's what it's all about.”