Inteplast Group is doubling up on its expansion plans for stretch film in its Charlotte, N.C., and Phoenix, operations.
The company is adding a new cast extrusion line at each location, both to start up in the first quarter of 2017. They follow expansions last year that saw each location install a new cast film line to bolster Inteplast's capacity in polyethylene stretch film. Most of the firm's cast stretch film has a five-layer construction.
“We believe the new capacity in PE in North America will make stretch film competitive globally,” said Homer Hsieh, president of Inteplast's AmTopp division, in an email correspondence. “We are looking to move into Mexico, Central and South America — potentially Asia with down-gauged, high-end, engineered films.”
The expansions at Charlotte and Phoenix will hike AmTopp's overall U.S. stretch film production capacity to 385 million pounds annually. The capital investment for the two phases of expansion in Charlotte is about $18 million while similar work in Phoenix will come to about $20 million. Those figures are on top of more than $25 million Inteplast had already spent on real estate at the two locations.
Charlotte will have five extrusion lines when its latest line is up and running. Phoenix will have two extrusion lines to complement equipment for pre-stretching film to give it higher strength. The Phoenix operation recently moved within the city from its original address on Buckeye Road to Madison Street.
Employment in Charlotte will rise to about 100 while Phoenix's staff will grow to about 55 when the second expansion phase is done. The second-phase projects are adding about 40 to Inteplast's payroll following the 34 new hires in the first phase. In total, Livingston, N.J.-based Inteplast employs more than 7,300 at more than 50 facilities, including its flagship manufacturing complex in Lolita, Texas.
Inteplast pointed out it is creating new jobs in North Carolina and Arizona, both of which have unemployment rates of about 5 percent, vs. the current U.S. average unemployment rate of 4.6 percent.
Inteplast stated in a news release that Charlotte and Phoenix total more than 525,000 square feet of operational space.
“In addition to strengthening the manufacturing communities in both Phoenix and Charlotte, we believe strongly in continuously making investments to provide more first-rate stretch film solutions to better serve our customers,” Hsieh noted. He stated the latest expansions are “an example of the Inteplast Group commitment to the U.S. manufacturing sector.”