Company Creating New IPS(TM) Studio in Hartsville, S.C.
HARTSVILLE, S.C., April 16, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Sonoco (NYSE:SON), one of the largest diversified global packaging companies, announced it will invest $20 million to build a state-of-the-art, high-speed composite can production facility in near Kuala Lampur, Malaysia, which will produce packaging for snacks. In addition, the Company is spending more than $5 million to create the Sonoco Innovative Packaging Solutions™ (IPS™) Studio at its Hartsville, S. C., manufacturing and headquarters complex. Both projects were announced today to shareholders at the Company's annual meeting.
Jack Sanders, president and chief executive officer, told shareholders, "Continued growth for packaged snacks in Southeast Asia requires that we build our third composite can plant in Malaysia. The new facility will be located on our customer's new manufacturing complex and will more than triple our current can production capacity in Malaysia."
Sonoco will add three high-speed composite can lines along with two metal end presses. In addition, an extrusion laminator is expected to be installed at the Company's flexible packaging facility in Kajang, Selangor Darul Eshan, Malaysia, to produce can liners. The first can line is expected to be installed in the third quarter of 2014 and begin commercial production in the first quarter of 2015. All three lines, along with the metal end presses and the extrusion laminator are expected to be operational by the end of 2015. When in full production the new Sonoco operation should employ approximately 110 workers.
"In addition to producing all components for the finished composite cans, we will provide and run sophisticated depalletizing equipment at our customer's production facility," Sander said. "This is the first time that we have provided an extended supply chain solution for a composite can customer."
"Our goal is become a solutions company that just happens to offer packaging. Our unequalled range of packaging products and services combined with a broad spectrum of technical capabilities and a unique formalized process for innovation allows us to create a holistic solution for our customers such as the opportunity we have in Malaysia," Sanders continued.
IPS Studio Development
"Part of building a culture of innovation involves not only encouraging collaboration and knowledge sharing, but also building a physical environment that works as a catalyst for creativity, teamwork and imagination," he added. "That is why we are so excited about the potential impact of our new Innovative Packaging Solutions Studio in Hartsville."
Designs of the Sonoco IPS Studio are being finalized and about $5 million in renovations are planned to begin this summer to transform the Company's existing two-story Packaging Development Center into the IPS Studio by year-end. Built to an open space concept to create natural opportunities for brainstorming, the IPS Studio will contain some of the most up-to-date technology for consumer and market research, along with multiple small-scale environments that match where Sonoco products are sold and how consumers use them. In addition, new state-of-the-art package design and prototyping capabilities are being added along with a $1 million investment in pilot plant equipment that will allow for development of new consumer products.
For more information on Sonoco's IPS Studio as well as artist renderings of the new facility, go to the Company's website at www.sonoco.com.
Founded in 1899, Sonoco is a global provider of a variety of consumer packaging, industrial products, protective packaging and packaging supply chain services. With annualized net sales of approximately $4.9 billion, the Company has more than 19,900 employees working in 335 operations in 33 countries, serving many of the world's best-known brands in some 85 nations. Sonoco is a proud member of the 2013/2014 Dow Jones Sustainability World Index. For more information on the Company, visit our website at sonoco.com.
CONTACT: Roger Schrum
Sonoco Products Company