Essel Propack has purchased a new $6 million tubing machine

Essel Propack has purchased a new $6 million tubing machine that will produce more than three times that of the plant’s other equipment in Danville.

Known as the SHOT (super high output tubing) line, the machine will be up and running by mid-November, said Sydney Owen, marketing coordinator at Essel Propack.

The SHOT line will produce about 500 tubes a minute for products — including tubes for oral care products — from Proctor & Gamble, Owen said. Essel Propack’s dozen other tubing machines make about 150 tubes per minute, she said.

The machine was made in Switzerland and is one of just three to leave that country. It’s the only one of its kind in the United States, Owen said.

“ This machine was very special because the amount of output we can create from this tubing line is extraordinary,” Owen said.

Members of the company’s production team traveled to Switzerland to learn to operate the machine, Owen said. The $6 million investment — in partnership with Proctor & Gamble — resulted in the hiring of four new employees at Essel Propack.

The company, located at 187 Cane Creek Blvd., makes tube packaging and caps for oral care products, beauty and cosmetics, home items, food items and pharmaceuticals. Essel Propack — started in India in 1984 — began operating in Danville in 2002 and today has about 300 employees.

It is a division of Essel Group, a $2 billion conglomerate in India that brings in about $450 million in revenue. Essel Propack has 25 sites in 12 countries and five continents.

The company makes its laminate in China and India and delivers it to the Danville plant for production.

Producing about 6 billion tubes per year, Essel Propack is the largest global laminate tube manufacturer in the world. The new machine in Danville will increase the 200,000-square-foot plant’s production capacity to a billion tubes per year, Sojourner said.

Company officials ran the SHOT line for its customers for the first time Friday morning, Owen said.

“ This is another milestone in our journey of success,” Owen said.

Essel Propack officials announced the investment and held an open house and tour Friday afternoon at the plant.

“ Our future is bright,” Ted Sojourner, vice president for the Americas Region with Essel Propack, told attendees at the announcement.

Essel Propack’s business will grow by about 20 percent with the new equipment, he said.

Its customers include CVS, Walgreen’s, Wal-Mart, Johnson & Johnson, Blistex, Unilever and other companies.

Danville Mayor John Gilstrap called the $6 million investment a “signal of the company’s commitment to Danville,” which he said was a “great place to do business.”

The investment positions the company for a brighter future, Gilstrap said.

Ashok Goel, vice chairman and managing director for Essel Propack, said he was glad the company chose to locate in Danville. Essel Propack appreciates the support it has received in the state and the community, Goel added.

Crane reports for the Danville Register & Bee.

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