The proprietary new wash line is expected to be operational by the end of 2015.

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Phoenix Technologies (Bowling Green, OH, USA) is undertaking an $18 million expansion to enable upstream production integration. The company will add a proprietary new wash line, expected to be operational by the end of 2015, so that it can self-manufacture clean flake. Phoenix uses clean flake as feed material to create rPET, which is used to create packaging for applications such as beverages, food, personal care and household cleaners.

Prior to this, Phoenix has either purchased clean flake directly or sourced baled bottles, which have been reclaimed from curbside collection, and then tolled through a third-party wash operation to create clean flake.

To prepare for the upstream integration, Phoenix has worked over the past two years to diversify and strengthen its supplier relationships. The objective has been to source enough bales and dirty flake to feed a wash line with projected output of 50 million pounds of clean flake per year. 

“Combining the total supply chain, from bale to final pellet, and its processes, will allow us to optimize both the wash and flake processing components in ways that we could not when clean flake was coming from external sources,” said Bob Deardurff, president of Phoenix. “The new wash line also will enable Phoenix to fine-tune critical manufacturing variables so that we can better deliver processing and performance attributes of value to our customers.”

The new line will be housed in a leased 66,000-square-foot facility located in close proximity to Phoenix’ existing 90,000-square-foot manufacturing plant. When the operation is in full production, the new facility is expected to employ approximately 30 people. This is in addition to the 53 employed at the main plant.

Using patented technology, Phoenix is able to pelletize and crystallize recycled, post-consumer PET for reuse back into consumer packaging applications.