Sellersburg, Ind.-based Owings Patterns Inc. plans to invest $445,000 into a new thermoforming machine for larger-format thin-gauge applications, such as packaging and shipping container parts.
Twelve jobs also will be created in the next five years, according to officials of the company that offers thermoforming, tooling and design services for heavy- and thin-gauge thermoformed and vacuum-formed plastic parts.
The Sellersburg Town Council approved a five-year tax abatement for the capacity expansion with a SencorpWhite 2500 series machine. The Indiana Economic Development Corp. has offered up to $100,000 in conditional tax credits. The credits can be claimed after Indiana residents are hired for the new positions, which the company says will pay 17 percent more than the county average hourly wage.
Owings Patterns currently has 22 employees handling processing, tooling and engineering for customers in a wide range of markets, including agriculture, appliance, automotive, food and beverage, heavy truck equipment, mass transit, medical products and power sports.
The new thermoformer "opens up avenues" to produce larger thin-gauge products in an efficient method, according to Johnny Pace, a technical sales representative who pointed to packaging and shipping container parts.
"We've always been capable of large blank size projects but had to produce them in a single station machine, which doesn't carry the time and process efficiencies that in-line machines possess," Pace said in an email. "Adding a large-format machine allows us to now produce parts up to blank sizes of 30 [by] 30 with much more speed and precision, as well as the opportunity to produce more cavitation in tooling for smaller products, which increases efficiency to drive down cost for our customer."
The new machine is versatile and can process any thermoformable part between .015 and .080 material thickness, Pace said, noting the major industries using thin-gauge thermoformed parts are technology, food and beverage packaging, and retail store packaging, such as clamshells, blisters and inserts.