Over 300 people had a chance to see inside Printpack’s new facility in Rhinelander. The packaging company held public tours and a grand opening event Monday.
Printpack prints cellophane wrappers for things like candy and granola bars. And its new 200-thousand square foot location in Rhinelander will be churning out more than twice as many wrappers as before.
Plant manager Pat Marquart says the biggest challenge in relocating has been training employees on high-tech equipment that’s brand new to them.
“Totally different. The old plant is all manual process, so a lot of hands-on. Where the new plant, with the new technology is all computerized, so a lot of things are more push-button than they are a manual process.”
The new state of the art equipment includes three giant printers, each the size of a house; two laminators to apply adhesive and bind layers of material together; and two large robotic arms that help transport heavy rolls of packaging material.
Governor Scott Walker attended the ribbon-cutting, touting Printpack’s $80 million investment as a sign that Wisconsin’s business climate is improving.
Printpack CEO Dennis Love says a large part of the decision to stay in Rhinelander was a high-quality employee base.
“We’ve been here a long time, there’s a lot of experience with the associates here. They’ve got great work ethic, and they want to make this thing a success.”
Printpack has added about 45 new jobs thanks to the expansion. Workers are currently staffing both the old and new facilities, with production set to transition completely into the new location by the end of the year.