Deerfield, Ill.-based Pregis LLC is adding two sites in Wisconsin to keep up with growing demand for plastic bagging from online retailers.
The company opened a film converting facility in Elkhorn and is ramping up a machinery assembly facility in Germantown.
The goal is to produce bags that perform seamlessly on Pregis's Sharp brand packaging systems and can handle in-line printing of barcodes, graphics and alphanumeric fonts, according to a news release.
Pregis moved film bag production from a nearby plant in East Troy to Elkhorn, where it doubled the number of converting lines, the release says.
The Elkhorn facility takes multilayer coextruded polyethylene film that was blown at a plant in Sussex, Wis., and converts it into pre-opened bags, which are supplied on a roll or in a box.
The bags are used with Sharp equipment at fulfillment centers to package and ship a variety of soft goods, pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals and other non-fragile products.
To support the increased demand for packaging equipment, Pregis also is moving its assembly operations from the Sussex facility to a new site in Germantown in the second quarter. This move will also double production space and give Pregis a more efficient assembly layout for current and future growth.
Pregis says Sharp equipment is popular, in part, because it offers high output with a small number of operators, which allows packers to socially distance.
At the Sussex plant, Pregis will use the vacated space to expand poly converting capacity, according to Mike Menz, division president.
"The shift to e-commerce from traditional retail outlets has been significantly amplified by the Covid-19 pandemic," Menz said in the release. "To help meet demand from companies who use bagging equipment for their products, we have doubled the facility's converting capability by installing additional lines."
Pregis says its converting equipment is built to meet requirements for output, sealing and puncture resistance.
The company takes a three-level approach to quality control, Menz said.
"This offers fulfillment operations using our equipment the most reliable approach to trouble-free bagging," he said.
In addition to e-commerce, Pregis serves a variety of consumer and industrial market segments including food, pharmaceutical, health care, medical devices, agricultural, retail, automotive, transportation, furniture, electronics, building, construction and military/aerospace.
With estimated film and sheet sales of $605 million, Pregis ranks 12th among North American film and sheet producers by Plastics News.