Avery Dennison Corp. recently expanded its plant in Painesville, Ohio, adding capacity with a vinyl film casting line and creating a renovated space for customers.
Glendale, Calif.-based Avery Dennison makes graphics, labeling and packaging materials, and the Painesville plant is part of its largest business segment: label and graphic materials.
The label and packaging material's headquarters is in nearby Mentor, Ohio, and the company has a number of other plants in the region. The Painesville plant is in the graphics portion of the business and supplies vinyl for industries like automotive — where the vinyl may be used to apply graphics to a vehicle — or wide-format signage, said Bill Podojil, senior business director for graphic solutions North America. And the introduction of large-format digital printers has created a growing market, as customers can easily print on the vinyl Avery Dennison makes.
Podojil said there's high demand for graphic materials, as customers transition from older types of material to the digitally printed products. That shift in technology means it's easier for signmakers to enter the market with smaller teams.
Before the expansion, the plant had focused on adhesive coating, finishing and packaging, Podojil said. The vinyl the site had previously been working with was cast in Avery Dennison's Lowell, Ind., plant. But with this recent expansion, both are running casting lines to meet industry demand.
Podojil said the original idea was to put the new vinyl casting line in the Lowell plant. But he said Avery Dennison has invested quite a bit in "people and plant in Northeast Ohio." The company decided that as it was investing in the graphics business, it made sense to invest in the experience for customers, too, instead of just adding a new line. Podojil said the Lowell plant is relatively remote, while the company already has sizable infrastructure in northeast Ohio. It made sense to expand facilities for customers where the company already had a large footprint and where customers would have access to different plants, Podojil said.
The expansion in Painesville included the addition of new offices with training areas and conference rooms where customers could work on-site. The new offices are bright, modern and open. Podojil said the company wanted to make a "creative sandbox" that could inspire people.
In total, the company added about 70,000 square feet to the plant and renovated another 14,000 square feet. That's a significant expansion to a plant that was previously about 100,000 square feet.
The project went quickly, Podojil said. The groundbreaking was in April 2016; by January, construction and assembly of the new line were complete. Podojil said production on the new line began in April, after trials were completed.
Northeast Ohio's existing workforce also played a big role as the company decided where to located the new line, as there are a lot of people from the polymer and paint industries Avery Dennison can hire.
"We have a lot of really, really good talent in this area, and that certainly helped us," Podojil said.
The expansion created 19 jobs in Painesville. Currently, there are a total of 143 employees on site, including eight of the 19 new positions, Maria Kula, communications manager for label and graphic materials, said in an email. The company declined to share the total cost of the expansion.