Madison, Wis.-based thermoformer Placon Corp. is adding machines and space to meet demand for medical packaging at its Elkhart, Ind., plant.
Placon had been targeting growth in medical and health care markets well before the COVID-19 pandemic in 2016 with acquisitions of Barger Packaging Inc. in 2011 and Brookdale Plastics Inc. in 2016. The company also added an additional clean room and thermoforming machines in 2018 to the Elkhart site to meet demand.
The project is currently in design and initial planning phase, but Placon plans to break ground on the expansion in the fall and to be operational in June 2021, Derek Skogen, senior project manager, said.
The new addition will double thermoforming capacity at the current 48,000-square-foot Elkhart facility. The site, which has 81 employees, produces custom plastic packaging such as thermoformed trays, clamshells and its branded BargerGard protective packaging made from thermoplastic urethane.
"I am confident the investment in our medical capabilities will allow us to provide improved customer service to our partner accounts and bring their products to market faster," said Dan Mohs, Placon chairman and CEO, in a June 9 news release.
The expansion will hold four thermoforming presses and provide additional clean room manufacturing, warehouse and office space.
With the expansion, the facility will become Placon's flagship medical packaging facility, including an innovative design center to reduce product development time and increasing customer to design engineer collaboration.
"The design center will allow my team to showcase our medical market expertise and reinforce confidence with our customers that Placon is the preferred custom thermoforming medical packaging company to work with," said John MacDougall, medical sales manager.
Placon is No. 20 on the most recent Plastics News ranking of North American thermoformers, with sales of $154 million.
Placon recently made a quick transition in three facilities to produce face shield components to help battle the coronavirus pandemic.