Extrusion blow molder Schoeneck Containers Inc. is having a busy year, welcoming a new owner and meeting burgeoning demand generated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Schoeneck (pronounced SHEH-nek), which also goes by SCI, was acquired in May by private equity firm Mason Wells Inc. of Milwaukee. Members of the SCI management team, including President and CEO Tom Frank, also are investors.
In recent weeks, SCI bought a Kautex large-platform continuous extrusion machine, bringing its stable of blow molding machines to 36, and an Engel 1,200-ton all-electric injection molding machine, its second press.
Frank said there's "another asset coming on next year," but he wouldn't reveal details.
The New Berlin, Wis.-based company is housing the new equipment in its 250,000-square-foot plant in Delavan, Wis., which opened in May 2019 and employs about 40 of the firm's 250 workers.
"We still have open room" at the site, Frank said, calling the facility as "close to lights-out [operation] as you can get with blow molding." It features a state-of-the-art, climate-controlled white room, he said Oct. 28 by phone.
Like many companies in this year's Plastics News blow molders ranking, SCI — at No. 26 with estimated annual sales of $85 million — is experiencing a pandemic-related boom in orders for its consumer product containers, particularly those for disinfectant wipes and related products.
SCI also makes rigid packaging for the food and beverage, pet care products and nutraceuticals industries. The containers range in size from 5 ounces to 2.5 gallons. The company also does labeling and entered injection molding about three years ago to makes lids "to deliver the full package to customers," Frank said.
The company processes high density polyethylene, polypropylene and some PVC. "We're looking to enter the PET market as well by the end of next year," Frank added.
He also emphasized the company's flexibility in product development and design, noting SCI wants to become more involved in providing mid-volume custom packaging options.
SCI also is working on sustainability initiatives and seeking chemical recycling resources.
"We're lightweighting and using PCR [post-consumer resin] in our processing," Frank said.
SCI plans to expand organically "with a future eye on possible expansion throughout North America, which could come through acquisitions" and other options, he said. "We haven't been very visible in the industry, but I think that will change. We have a good story to tell; we just need to share it."