Winpak’s rigid packaging and flexible lidding materials division, Winpak Portion Packaging, began the construction of a 348,000ft² expansion to its existing facility at the LogistiCenter in Sauk Village in Illinois, US, in April 2016.

The expansion project was completed in the third quarter of 2017, adding more than 100 jobs to the plant.

The expansion renovated the packaging facility, which was originally opened in 2012 as part of a major expansion, in addition to doubling its manufacturing, office and warehouse space.

Chicago Southland Economic Development Corporation (CSEDC) supported the project.

Location of Winpak’s packaging facility expansion

Winpak chose Sauk village’s LogistiCenter for its expansion due to its proximity to the company’s South Chicago Heights facility.

The business park is surrounded by highway 394 to the east, Cottage Grove Avenue to the west, Sauk Trail to the south and the Canadian National Railway (CN) to the north, making it a strategic location for the investment.

Furthermore, the plant is located within the heavy industrial Calument Expressway corridor with immediate access to the IL 394 highway.

It is also situated within six miles of I-80 / I-94 highway, making the location ideal for serving the three states of Illinois, Indiana and Michigan.

Other reasons for the site’s selection included the operational history of the company, along with the local employee base and various local incentives.

Winpak’s Illionois packaging plant expansion details

The expansion added 197,000ft² of warehouse space and 137,950ft² of production area.

The remaining expansion involved the construction of an amenity area, maintenance storage, washrooms, a mechanical utility room, break room, shipping office, trucker’s room and a plant grinding room.

A new, second rail spur was installed outside the manufacturing facility under the initiative.

The expansion also saw the establishment of 12 storage silos, 150 parking spaces, 25 trailer stalls, 20 truck dock loading doors, two new 4,000A electrical services, an exterior drive-in door and a number of one-hour-rated openings between the old and new plants.

Furthermore, the project included renovations to the existing facility such as the development of approximately 15,000ft² of new office space on the second floor.

The main lobby area was also refurbished to feature new stairs and an elevator to the second floor.

The site’s production facilities were expanded to create more space for locker rooms and training areas, while its shop offices and tool storage rooms also underwent refurbishment as part of the development.

Contractors involved with the expansion

Winpak contracted the same companies that provided construction and architectural services during the construction of the existing facility in 2011 for the expansion project.

The project manager was Principle Construction, a leading design / build general contracting company based in Illinois, US, while Harris Architects was the architectural services provider for the development.

“It was constructed with an investment of $30m.”

Details of Winpak’s existing manufacturing facility at Sauk Village

The existing plastics manufacturing facility is a 32ft clear building situated on a 28-acre site.

It features a production area, warehouse, offices, a maintenance area, grinding room, chemical storage room, utilities room and printing area.

The plant was constructed via an investment of $30m, including $1.6m that was provided by the state of Illinois.

The production area of the plant features a 700t air-conditioning (AC) unit interlocked with speciality exhaust systems, compressed air systems, and silo raw material storage and pneumatic delivery systems.

It is supported by 8,000A electrical service and distribution system.

The facility’s roof has a high load-carrying capacity to support the packaging process equipment loads.

A number of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) components such as T5 lighting, energy monitoring systems and energy-efficient heating, ventilation and air-conditiong (HVAC) units were installed at the facility to make it energy-efficient.

Other amenities outside the plant include 15 exterior docks, two exterior drive-in doors, 25 trailer parking stalls and a rail siding for product delivery.

The facility is equipped with thermoforming capabilities, which enablele it to produce rigid containers.