Alco High-Tech Plastics is a family-owned and managed company in Corozal on the island of Puerto Rico. Founded in 1991 by Maria Nieves and now employing 90 staff, it is one of only two extruders on the island, and a leading manufacturer of high-quality flexible packaging produced under the guidance of the FDA’s ‘Good Manufacturing Practices’. Product sales now total $12m to more than 300 customers in the pharmaceutical, food and beverage, and general packaging markets.
Using the material extruded onsite, the company manufactures a range of printed and laminated bags, films, stand-up pouches, zip-lock products, and flexo printed labels. The majority of output is for local consumption, but a growing export business sees Alco products as far away as Spain and India as well as more locally in the USA.
As the largest extruder on the island, with seven lines in operation, Alco needs reliability from its ancillary suppliers’ equipment. In the past it had always specified US manufactured Corona surface treatment technology but had not received the best of after-sales service. With the proposed installation of a new extruder, the company used the opportunity to see what else the market had to offer.
Previous Manufacturing Practice
Alco had always based its investment strategy on what had gone before without really evaluating whether this remained the best option. But, when the time came to place the order for the new extrusion line, a marked lack of interest from its previous Corona supplier led it to contact Vetaphone.
An invitation to quote for the new business prompted an immediate response from Vetaphone’s American ASM and days later, following a personal visit, the order was placed for a two-sided 1.4m wide VE2B-A Corona system. So smoothly was the installation handled by The Works Corporation, Vetaphone’s service and support team in America that a second Vetaphone unit, this time a 2.2m wide VE2B-A with 4kW power to run at 60m/min, was ordered and commissioned three months later.
Alco High-Tech Plastics has established a close working partnership with Vetaphone, which was especially important with the installation of the second Corona system in a very cramped location, and highlights the flexibility and tailored design service that the company offers its customers.