OAKLAND, CA, Nov. 30, 2018 (PPI Pulp & Paper Week) -Liberty Diversified International's (LDI) Omaha Box Company plans to run a 98-in corrugator at a new plant in the Omaha, NE, area, with the 335,000 ft2operation to open in the second half of 2019. The cost for the facility is $45 million.
Construction has begun in the Omaha suburb of Papillion, which is about 20 miles from Omaha Box's facility in east Omaha. The east Omaha plant will operate right up until the new plant starts making corrugated, company leaders said.
LDI VP of Packaging North business Greg Theis toldPPI Pulp & Paper Weekthat the larger plant will more than double the production capacity for Omaha Box, and will include "state-of-the-art" equipment and a "really efficient layout." The firm's east Omaha plant is in a building that is more than 100 years old, has been added on to several times, and includes an 86-in Langston corrugator, three flexo folder gluers, and two rotary die-cutters. Theis said the Papillion plant will still run three flexo folders gluers, but they will be new, high-speed, and with fast changeover capability that is to "significantly increase capacity."
"The 98-in corrugator is the absolute optimum size we need related to the business we run. We are high-service, high-SKU, and with variability," said Theis, noting that the plant's business is active in food and protein, heavy industrial, and with CPGs.
Omaha Box Company general mgr Ron Kenkel, in a release, said Papillion was selected because it has the "right combination of freeway access, room for expansion, and the ability to keep valued employees."
'Growth agenda.'Theis said LDI leaders are focused with a "growth agenda." One company goal is to reach $1 billion in sales in five years. LDI sales are now at about $675 million, according to a company release this week.
"We are building a powerful engine to serve customers in the nation's heartland with our Liberty Carton Company operations in Minnesota, our Miller Container Company operations in the Quad Cities, and this expansion of Omaha Box Company," Theis said.
LDI acquired Omaha Box in 2016. Omaha Box is a 128-year-old company that designs, makes, and sells custom corrugated cartons and displays.
Further, in April in the US West, LDI acquired Preferred Packaging and Crating of Phoenix, and its 175,000 ft2manufacturing facility.
And in May, Matt Homan became pres/CEO of LDI. His previous experience was with General Mills and as pres of the Off Road Vehicle Division of Polaris.
LDI, founded in 1918, is headquartered in Minneapolis suburb New Hope, MN, and operates 20 facilities throughout the US and Mexico.