A flexible packaging company that looks to exploit technology to turn the market in its favor is expanding again, this time in the Chicago market.
The company, ePac Holdings LLC, has struck a deal to acquire Precision Pouches LLC, a toll converter located in Schiller Park, Ill., near O'Hare International Airport.
Precision Pouches will see existing operations augmented with additional equipment to create ePac Chicago, said Carl Joachim, chief marketing officer at ePac.
Joachim and ePac previously had scouted for sites in the Chicago area, repeatedly, with no success. So striking a deal with Precision Pouch allows the company to enter an attractive market for the company.
"When we first had the idea to create ePac, we thought we would put it in the Chicago area, actually. I probably took at least five or six trips in the Chicago area, probably more," he remembered. "I just couldn't find one that worked for us."
The company ended up establishing its first location in Middleton, Wis., a suburb of Madison.
"That's why our first location went into Madison. We just simply couldn't find a suitable location for us. Now, with Precision Pouches, the building we have there is a nice fit," he said.
Since opening that original site in Madison in 2016, the company also has established operations in Boulder, Colo., and will open sites in Miami, Houston and Los Angeles this year.
The firm's business model calls for regional operations around the country that cater to quick turnaround on small-to-medium orders. Central to the company's approach is the use of digital printing to quickly move from one job to another while providing high-quality graphics.
Precision Pouches has been a toll converter, which means it works with other packaging companies to produce orders they cannot or do not want handle.
"Since we opened in Madison less than two years ago, our plants have experienced strong market demand and rapid growth," ePac CEO Jack Knott said in a statement. "The addition of Precision Pouches to ePac Chicago will accelerate our growth in local and surrounding markets."
The Chicago-area location is a partnership between ePac Holdings and Norkol Inc., a paper products and flexible packaging company based in nearby Northlake, Ill.
Existing equipment at Precision Pouches will be augmented with two digital printers as well as laminating and slitting equipment. Joachim expects the ePac operation to be fully functional in a couple of months.