100 million bottles per year, #1 in efficiency at Kankakee facility
When Oakland, Tennessee-based Ring Container came to Kankakee 20 years ago, the multinational packaging producer had two local customers, one being agribusiness and food giant Bunge, which has a plant in neighboring Bradley. While Bunge still represents a considerable percentage of its business, today Ring Kankakee’s customer base has grown to 34 in 16 states and Canada.
More good news: Steady growth has not impacted output. Currently, 100 million HDPE edible oil and dressing bottles are produced per year at Ring Kankakee, which ranks #1 in efficiency among the company’s 18 plants nationwide.
Some of the secrets to Ring Kankakee’s success?
“It’s all about our employees, the local workforce,” explains Production Manager Jack Varvel.
Plant manager Clarence Heber agrees, “Our corporate vision is a work environment where people are challenged but can have fun. At the same time, change is considered a positive and is welcomed as an opportunity to improve.
“Our employees here in Kankakee have that work ethic, and it’s paid dividends.”
Varvel adds that, “Good manufacturing practices and a focused plant philosophy contribute to high employee retention and our general success as well.”
And, Ring is only deepening its roots in Kankakee, completing a 65,000 sq. ft. expansion in 2012. An additional production line is slated to go online in late 2014.
“This community has been absolutely terrific for us,” says Heber. “We want to get the word out.”