Issue Nov Dec 17
Phoenix Closures has a more than 125-year history of introducing new and revolutionary products to the market.
“From the introduction of the modern continuous thread cap in 1922, to the creation of the pulp and glassine liner system in the 1930’s that is still used on instant coffee today, to the development of the AccuSeal sealing system in 2001, we have a long history of introducing innovative products into the market,” the Naperville, Ill.-based manufacturer says.
The company produces caps and closures used in the food and beverage, pharmaceutical and nutraceutical industries. Its products include child-resistant caps, shallow skirted closures, smooth top and ribbed side closures, medium and deep-skirted closures, buttress-style closures, dosing and dispensing closures, and spice caps and fitments. Phoenix Closures’ products are available in a variety of sizes and colors.
Phoenix Closures’ development staff works with customers to determine their packaging goals. “We believe innovation is a process, not an event,” the company says. “We evaluate custom designs and standard applications to ascertain their cost effectiveness, and formulate closure solutions to get the customer’s product to market quickly, creatively and within budget.”
The company has in recent years been awarded a number of patents for its products including the AccuSeal system, an all-plastic alternative for products that have traditionally been packaged in composite cans, cartons and cans. “These achievements have resulted in substantial recognition and product successes for our customers through revolutionary closure designs,” it adds.
Other recent Phoenix Closures developments include dispensing closures used for non-dairy creamer packages and custom closure used in single-serve milk cartons.
“Many companies can introduce new products. We take the concept of innovation one step further by working closely with our customers to determine the most cost-effective way to develop a unique closure solution,” the company says. “We also understand that speed to market is many times one of the deciding factors in a new product’s success. Our in-house design engineers work directly with customers’ project engineers and marketing staff to quickly create 3-dimensional design concepts or stereo lithographic models for management review.”
Phoenix Closures’ development engineers have extensive experience in closure and mold design. “Just because a design is creative doesn’t mean it will work,” the company adds. “Our development engineers’ insights enable critical design decisions to be made before costly mistakes are created.”
In addition to closure design, the company’s technical services group also helps customers maximize their capping line operations. The group provides on-site assistance to identify problems and recommend solutions. Its services include failure analysis, packaging line analysis, heat induction set-up and seal analysis, capper adjustment, package compatibility studies, leakage testing and torque retention analysis, it says.
Phoenix Closures operates four facilities. The Naperville facility, its corporate headquarters since 1965, has been expanded four times to meet its customers’ growing needs.
The company’s second plant in Davenport, Iowa, opened in May 2000 and focuses mainly on producing proprietary and custom closures. Phoenix Closures’ third plant in Newport, Tenn., opened in October 2005. The plant’s location just off of Interstate 40, a major East-West highway, gives it ideal positioning to serve the eastern and southeastern United States.
Phoenix Closures’ fourth plant opened in July 2012 in Greencastle, Ind. The facility gives the company greater efficiency to produce stock closures, it says.
In addition to its production facilities, the company in July 2009 opened a distribution center in Ontario, Calif., that allows it to better serve the western part of the country.
The company maintains more than 350,000 square feet of warehouse space and stocks more than 700 different items. “We use a radio frequency (RF) inventory management system to provide real-time information to customer service and warehouse staff,” it says. “With more than 200 million closures in inventory, we are able to ship most orders within 48 hours.”
Phoenix Closures in August 2017 opened a multimillion-dollar expansion to its Newport, Tenn., facility. The expansion adds more than 71,000 square feet of space for a variety of operations. The location, which processes the largest volume of plastic used by the company, provides closures for nuts, peanut butter, mayonnaise and coffee.
“This allows us to streamline materials flow and add capacity for production, shipping and warehousing,” Co-President H. Giles Miller said in a statement. “We always want to be ahead of what it takes to accommodate our customers.”
The expansion of the site from 206,068 to 277,607 square feet provides room for 14 new pieces of equipment and 18 additional personnel. The new machinery includes injection molding, closure lining, automation, and auxiliary equipment.
The new space also eliminates the need for off-site warehousing, which will improve the company’s on-time delivery rate, it says.
The company believes in protecting the environment as well as its employees. “We are committed to environmental leadership in all of our business activities,” Phoenix Closures says. “We provide a safe, healthful workplace; protect the environment, and conserve energy and natural resources.”
Phoenix Closures’ sustainability policies include:
* “Providing a safe and healthful workplace and ensuring that personnel are properly trained with the appropriate safety and emergency equipment;
* Being an environmentally responsible neighbor in the community where we operate and correct incidents or conditions that endanger health, safety, or the environment;
* Conserving natural resources by adopting pollution prevention practices such as extending the life of equipment through preventive maintenance scheduling and, purchasing and reworking used equipment;
* Developing and improving operations and technologies to minimize waste and other pollution, minimize health and safety risks, and dispose of waste safely and responsibly;
* Ensuring the responsible use of energy throughout our business, including conserving energy improving energy efficiency, and giving preference to renewable over non-renewable energy when feasible;
* Participating in efforts to improve environmental protection and understanding and sharing appropriate pollution prevention technology, knowledge and methods with other firms;
* Meeting and exceeding all applicable federal and state requirements set and adhere to stringent requirements no matter where we do business;
* Periodically reviewing environmental compliance with all laws and Environmental Protection Agency regulations;
* Establishing procedures to ensure all that employees are knowledgeable of, understand and comply with all applicable environmental laws and regulations; and
* Promptly correcting any practice or condition not in compliance with policy,” the company says.
Phoenix Closures dates its history to 1890, when John S. Giles, a Civil War veteran and lawyer, founded Safe Glass Co. in Bowling Green, Ohio. The company manufactured handmade glass jars for fruit packers and patented a number of designs.
The glass jars were, however, difficult to seal. The most common closure at the time, a cork stopper, was insufficient for processed food packers. Safe Glass Co. would soon begin marketing the “band cap,” a closure shown during the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair. The wide acceptance of the cap led the company to become a cap manufacturer, it notes.
Safe Glass Co. in 1905 merged with the J.A. Landsberger Co., a San Francisco-based metal cap manufacturer, to form the Hermetic Closure Co. Soon afterward, it discontinued glass making and moved operations to Chicago.
Hermetic Closure Co. merged with the Phoenix Cap Co. of New York in 1911, forming the Phoenix-Hermetic Co. Phoenix-Hermetic was a pioneer in closure design, capping machinery, cap sealing, metal forming and lithography. The company Innovations included the development of the modern continuous thread (CT) cap in 1922. In an effort to better describe the business, the company changed its name in 1932 to The Phoenix Metal Cap Company.
The company produced its first plastic caps in 1939, however, production of the compression-molded caps was limited because of resin costs and wartime resin restrictions. In 1959, the company purchased its first injection molding machine. Demand for thermoplastic caps was so great that the company opened a dedicated injection molding facility in Naperville, a Chicago suburb, in 1965.
The following year, the company changed its name to Phoenix Closures to reflect its new focus on thermoplastics. The fifth addition to the facility was completed in 1986.
The company today is in its sixth generation of family management and ownership. “We continue to strive to provide our customers with innovative and cost-effective products to guarantee market penetration,” it says.
Mission and Values
Values: “Phoenix Closures, Inc. will recruit and develop employees who are committed to engineering, manufacturing and supplying products that create the best value for our customers, employees, vendors and stockholders. We will empower individuals to achieve continuous improvement in all aspects of our business, emphasizing quality, cost, delivery, safety and the environment.”
Vision: “To be a growing, world class, well managed, privately held packaging provider.
Mission: “To delight our customers and provide value to our stakeholders.”