Portola Packaging, which has facilities throughout the country, recently announced it plans to spend $12 million on a capital expenditure project to better prepare some of its operations for higher demand for its services, Area Development reports.
According to the news source, the company’s Kingsport, Tennessee and Tolleson, Arizona facilities will need to better meet the growing demand for hot-fill and aseptic beverage closures. One of the improvement projects has already begun, and is on pace to be finished by the end of the third quarter of 2013. Some of the most important maintenance being done includes a new high-speed compression and injection molding system and a number of other improvements to the company’s assembly line. In addition to new equipment, the firm said it will need to bring on an additional 30 workers to reach the facility’s top manufacturing capacity.
The maintenance is being performed shortly after another project the company undertook, which also involved revamping the high-speed compression and injection molding equipment, however this project took place over the course of three years at a separate facility.
“Our focus on lean manufacturing, reliability-centered maintenance, and product rationalization has allowed us to increase unit throughput per employee by 43 percent over the past four years,” said Kevin Kwilinski, president and CEO of Portola. “After the additional capacity is fully operational, we expect to exceed a 75 percent improvement for the same metric.”
Both projects are a part of the company’s plan to drive up efficiency and lower facility costs, all while making a positive impact on the environment. By focusing on such initiatives, the company has grown the amount of beverage closures it produces by double digits for the last several years.
According to LeanMap, introducing lean operations to any manufacturing facility can significantly help drive down operational costs. In addition, it can improve asset uptime, further keeping firms from having to spend funds on equipment repairs or maintenance that may not be needed just yet.
“Our new and improved U.S. manufacturing footprint will effectively enable us to service our existing customer base while providing a footprint for growth over the coming years,” Kwilinski concluded.
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