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P&G gains new on-site bottle supplier

In late June, Graham Packaging purchased from another bottle producer the assets of a PET container manufacturing operation located on-site at Procter & Gamble’s 110ꯠ-sq’ facility in Kansas City, KS.

“The advantage for us is that PET fits in Graham’s long-term vision more than it did with [the previous vendor]” says Jim Hodges P&G’s purchasing group manager whose responsibilities include North American blow-molding operations. “There’s cost supply chain and logistics benefits of having Graham take over that business. Graham’s position and focus in the PET bottle market made them a good candidate for assuming the supply of P&G’s PET needs at this facility” he says citing Graham’s 2004 purchase of Owens-Illinois’ plastic container operations in North America as a reason Graham “has a desire to grow that business.”

Like its predecessor at the plant Graham will produce clear PET bottles for household care products via injection/stretch-blow-molding equipment. Hodges says Graham will use “existing assets” to manufacture the bottles. He says that Graham will manage the machines so that they deliver advantages in changeover and throughput. “From a requirement standpoint” Hodges says Graham’s production volume will not change from the previous vendor though “Graham gives us the availability to have larger storage capacity with some of the improvements they plan on making.”

Hodges estimates that the plant produces 10 to 15 different bottle shapes and sizes with fill amounts between 200 mL and 1 L. Consumers won’t notice any differences in the containers he says as a result of the supplier change. Bottles are subsequently filled on lines at the Kansas City plant.

“When we made this switch we also considered bottle manufacturing options at near-site producers taking it off our property” he says “since it’s not linked to the filling lines where you couldn’t separate them. We primarily use near-site or close-site operations in North America. This is one of the few on-site bottle manufacturing plants we have. There are freight advantages by blowing bottles and filling them in the same plant.”—Jim Butschli

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