UPM Raflatac, a global producer of pressure sensitive labelstock, officially opened its newest manufacturing facility in early April: a 220,000 square foot plant in Dixon, IL, USA, about 100 miles west of Chicago. The facility, representing an investment of US$109 million (€70 million), will offer UPM Raflatac's full range of paper and film label products.
"Our mission is to continuously develop our product offerings and service concepts and provide substantial value to our label printer customers,” said Heikki Pikkarainen, president of the company. “The Dixon factory is one of the key strategic investments we have made to increase our capabilities and build capacity in North America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region. With the new facility we're further enhancing our service capabilities to remain our partners' number one choice in the important North American market.” Pikkarainen said that UPM Raflatac screened 92 sites in the Midwest before choosing the Dixon location.
At a grand opening ceremony April 3, Dan O’Connell, president of US operations, called the new plant “the most modern pressure sensitive facility in the world.” More than 200 people attended the event.
The choice of Dixon – birthplace of Ronald Reagan, the 40th president of the United States – is a coup for the small city of 16,000, which was represented at the opening event by its mayor, Jim Burke. Pikkarainen said that in addition to being logistically advantageous, Dixon offers what UPM Raflatac appreciates: “a down-to-earth culture.”
The Dixon factory features end-to-end automation, and many of the company’s latest proprietary technologies. When it becomes fully operational it will employ slightly more than 100 people.
“We’re excited to bring our new processes, new technology and new people to the Midwest market,” says Jouko Lähepelto, senior vice president, Americas. “The new Dixon factory will significantly enhance our capabilities to serve this marketplace and to further develop our business here.”
UPM Raflatac has been present in North America since the company began sales and slitting operations in Fletcher, NC, USA, in 1985. In 2001 the company began production operations at its first North American manufacturing facility in Fletcher. It opened slitting and distribution terminals in Ontario, CA, USA, in 2001, and in Wilkes-Barre, PA, USA, in 2004. In 2005, UPM Raflatac opened its first US facility for production of RFID tags and inlays in Fletcher.