Lollicup USA Inc. has installed what is being described as a “huge” new extruder to produce PET sheeting for company's production of cups and lids.
The Chino, Calif.-based company needed several months to install the Reifenhäuser Group extruder and recently started full production on the machine.
“Primarily our PET right now,” spokeswoman Julia Gutierrez said about production on the extruder. “It was in the testing phase for several months. And this is going to be used to eventually replace the machines we currently have which are much smaller.”
Lollicup received the machine in 26 shipping containers over the course of several months, the spokeswoman said. “It's huge. It's a monster.”
The new extruder can produce about 4,400 pounds of sheeting an hour, up from the 1,322 pounds of capacity on the company's older, smaller machines.
The new extruder replaces three smaller machines, which have all been taken off line. Two of those machines already have been removed from the Lollicup facility, and the third is no longer in use, Gutierrez said.
Along with boosting production, the new extruder also will be more energy efficient to operate. Energy use will fall by about 20 percent, said Assistant Plant Manager Poli Chou in a statement.
Installation of the new equipment also allows Lollicup USA to cut down on the amount of sheeting the company has to buy on the market, the company said.
Lollicup USA thermoforms cups and lids from the extruded sheeting.