Funding for the expansion comes from two facilities: a $7.5 million facility to expand and add manufacturing to its Ghent, Belgium site, and a $15 million facility to add additional production capacity and other capabilities to its Columbus, OH, manufacturing facilities.
Last October PSi announced the introduction of a new, patented, ultra-lightweight film, EarthFirst® UL made from sugar cane, corn, and tapioca roots. The company plans to add two new, high-speed production lines over the next 18 months. The new film replaces legacy petrochemical-based films used today in flexible packaging applications. It not only reduces the amount of film used in flexible packaging by as much as 40%, but it is also less expensive and has the lowest carbon footprint of any film available today.
“EarthFirst® UL is a big win for consumers, municipalities, retailers, brand owners, and packaging converters alike.” cites George Thomas, CEO of PSI. “It reduces packaging volume entering the waste stream, lowers packaging-to-product ratios, makes the entire supply chain more cost effective, and is compostable. We have a pipeline of new sustainable products that build on this technical platform. The capital will be used to expand our capabilities, enhance our quality and R&D processes, and meet the growing demand for innovative and sustainable packaging in the future.”
KeyBank will provide funding for the Columbus expansion projects in addition to PSi’s revolving credit facility. “Key Bank has earned our business and we are thrilled to have them as our banking partner,” cites PSi’s CFO, Michael DuFrayne. “They have been extremely creative in adapting these facilities to our specific needs.”
In addition to the new equipment, the company will invest over $750,000 for SQF certification by mid- year. SQF certification assures food retailers, brand owners, food processors, and packaging converters that food, including the materials used to make packaging, have been produced, processed and handled according to the highest standards. Chief Technical Officer, Francisco Cavalcanti noted, “Although not a requirement of film manufacturers, our new films are in direct contact with food and we see ourselves as an integral part of the final product. We feel it is critical that we elevate our manufacturing operations to the same food safety standards as the food processors.”