UK-based Rexam, one of the world's leading consumer packaging manufacturers, has extended its presence in the central and eastern European region with the opening of a production facility for home and personal care packaging in Poland.
The plant, which will is a Greenfield site located in Lodz, west of Warsaw, is the company's first production facility dedicated to home and personal care packaging to be established in the region.
Originally the site was initiated by plastics manufacturer Precise Technology, but the company was bought up by the Rexam Group in December 2005 for £147m (€215m), giving Rexam the opportunity to develop the site according to the group's needs.
The site went into full production in mid-April and now Rexam has taken the decision to adapt it according to it home and personal care needs.
According to Rexam the 4,000-square-metre facility will house 14 molding machines with high-speed robotics and assembly, which will include activities such as plastic injection moulding, manual and automated assembly, ultrasonic welding and labelling.
Rexam says that the facility will also be run according to its Lean Manufacturing and Six Sigma programmes, to ensure high production and efficiency standards as well as emission requirements.
Mike Farrell, managing director of the company's Home & Personal Care division, says that the new facility will help as part of the company's focus to become a global leader in the consumer packaging sector.
"The Lodz facility fits in with the company's strategic plans to serve its global customers better and increase its global presence in this growth region," said Farrell. "Rexam will now be able to offer new and existing clients in the home and personal care markets fast and reliable deliveries of plastic parts to all destinations in Europe."
Rexam's move follows a distinct move by beauty packaging businesses to shift their operations to central and eastern Europe in an effort to take advantage of lower production and employee costs as well as the opportunity to tap in to fast-growing economies.
Other big beauty packaging players to take advantage of these circumstances recently have included Polimoon, RPC and Crown Ridson.
Poland has proved to be a particularly attractive option because of its highly educated workforce, strong GDP growth and the fact that in 2004 it joined the European Union, unlocking crucial EU money to invest further in its infrastructure.
Rexam's Lodz facility is based in a city with one of the largest labour markets in the country, a strong infrastructure, and business-friendly local authorities.
Likewise, the company says that the plastic packaging market in Poland and in Europe at large is rapidly expanding, and major Fast Moving Consumer Goods corporations have recently launched new export-oriented manufacturing projects in the region, creating additional opportunities for plastic packaging players.
Currently Rexam has two facilities in Poland, in Gostyn and Wyszkow, which are part of the Glass Sector.