ProAmpac, which celebrated its fifth anniversary last month, ranks as the second largest North American packaging company based on flexible packaging revenue and is number one in flexible packaging innovation, number one for its broad offering of flexible materials, and number one in sustainable packaging options, according to CEO Greg Tucker.
“Innovation is the key factor in making flexible packaging the fastest growing segment of the expanding global packaging industry, which is forecast to exceed $1 trillion by the end of next year,” Tucker added.
At today’s gathering, Tucker expressed gratitude for development assistance from the Town of Ogden, Monroe County, Greater Rochester Enterprise, Rochester Gas & Electric, the New York Power Authority, and New York’s Empire State Development Group and its Excelsior Jobs Program, which is providing a capital grant of up to $1.35 million and a $1 million tax credit over 10 years.
When the CIC opens in the spring of 2021, it will be a center for development, prototyping, and rapid evaluation of new packaging, as well as training and state-of-the-art collaboration space to host customer ideation sessions. “The benefit of having all of our application testing, prototyping and short run pouch production under one roof is that a customer can arrive with a packaging design issue and leave with printed, prototype samples,” added Tucker. “Our new facility will compress the design timeline significantly.”
The nearly $8-million center will create 40 new jobs and add 25,000 square feet to the company’s manufacturing facility at 2605 Manitou Road in the Town of Ogden, N.Y. near Rochester. The existing pouch manufacturing facility has both ISO class 4 and ISO class 7 clean-room certifications and serves the agricultural chemical, personal care, medical and pharmaceutical markets offering low to medium volume production of flexible packaging, including Child Resistant Reclosable Easy Open (CRREO) pouches.
More than Jobs
“Beyond adding jobs to the regional economy, our commitment is significant for two additional reasons,” CEO Tucker said.
“First the Collaboration & Innovation Center will accelerate fresh ideas in product development. In fact, ProAmpac leads the flexible packaging industry in development of sustainable packaging providing what today’s consumers want and the properties brand leaders need.
“Second, with printing, design, and advanced materials being fundamental to flexible-packaging innovation, ProAmpac’s CIC is well aligned with the rich industrial heritage of the Rochester area in photography, imaging and technology,” Tucker said.
“We’re delighted ProAmpac, a leading manufacturer of flexible packaging, chose to establish an innovation center in the Greater Rochester, N.Y. region, leveraging our community’s extensive packaging expertise and world-class R&D resources,” said Matt Hurlbutt, president and CEO, Greater Rochester Enterprise, the region’s economic development organization.
Innovation and Sustainability
Comprised of bags, pouches, plastic film, paper, and combinations of non-rigid materials for both consumer and industrial customers, flexible packaging has become the fastest growing segment of the booming global packaging industry. Often requiring complex materials-technology solutions to provide barrier protection, endurance, shelf life and sustainability, innovation has rapidly become a key growth driver in flexible packaging.
At ProAmpac, innovation ranges from everyday tweaks to make a pouch run better on a customer’s equipment to development of a multi-layer radical new flexible package structure that replaces rigid containers with improved functionality and sustainable materials. “We can turn around any pouch within 24 hours, in any shape, any form and fitment, so customers touch it and experience it,” Tucker added.
Through Collaborative Innovation — a unique process for accelerating the development of new packaging — ProAmpac pairs its own product-development teams with a customer’s group, and then builds prototypes at its Design and Sample Lab (DASL). DASL will be headquartered in the new CIC, said Chief Commercial Officer Adam Grose.
“ProAmpac has become recognized as the go-to source for sustainable packaging solutions,” Grose said. Virtually every consumer products brand owner has made sustainability a top priority. Through what it calls ProActive Sustainability®, ProAmpac has become “their top resource for sustainable flexible packaging,” continued Grose.
Empire State Development Acting Commissioner and President & CEO-designate Eric Gertler, "ProAmpac’s continued commitment to expanding its operations in Monroe County will serve to boost the local manufacturing sector, provide jobs and strengthen the regional economy by helping to create a more sustainable community for generations to come."
Grose thanked Rochester Gas & Electric for providing 96 kW of hydro-generated power for both the existing facility and the new CIC. “This amounts to 50 percent of estimated usage, a savings of some $12,000 a year, with the green energy supporting accomplishment of our ProActive Sustainability operating goals,” said Grose.
“Rochester Gas & Electric is committed to a strong and healthy upstate New York economy,” said Carl A. Taylor, president and chief executive officer. “As a part of AVANGRID, Inc., our support of ProAmpac’s new CIC places us in partnership with one of the outstanding players in the fast-growing packaging sector. We’re even more pleased to be collaborating with a manufacturing company that shares our deep commitment to sustainability in energy efficiency, waste reduction and products,” Taylor added.
A One-Stop-Innovation Center
The New CIC will become a kind of one-stop shopping center for both sustainable materials and creative flexible-packaging structures, said Grose. As the centralized location for application testing, the CIC will be fitted with horizontal and vertical filling equipment, enabling in-production, high-speed filling validation. Other new equipment will simulate the stresses of transportation, as well as water, vapor, and oxygen transmission by a new package.
The CIC will also be ProAmpac’s center for collaboration, training, and customer meetings. It will become the permanent home for LEAD ProAmpac Academy, offering customers and employees twice-a-year training in extrusion, lamination, printing, sustainability, and other flexible-packaging technologies.