Orbis breaks ground on new plant in Ohio

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by Emily Atkins

Reusable packaging manufacturer Orbis Corporation has broken ground on an expansion of its manufacturing facility in Urbana, Ohio.

This new facility will add 30 percent more space for the manufacture of totes, bulk containers and pallets. It will add more presses and tools to increase capacity and shorten lead times.

“This is a very exciting expansion for Orbis as it will not only provide more manufacturing flexibility to improve throughput and reduce lead times for our customers, but it will also bring new learning opportunities and technology to our current and future Urbana plant associates,” said Bill Ash, president at Orbis Corporation.

“For decades, we have been part of the Urbana business community and we look forward to this new chapter, with enhanced capabilities and state-of the-art equipment.”

Orbis, part of Menasha Corporation with headquarters in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, operates 13 manufacturing plants in the United States, Canada and Mexico.

Employing more than 300 employees at the current Urbana plant, Orbis plans to add an additional 40-50 jobs over the next three years. These additions will bring Orbis’ overall head count to more than 3,150 throughout North America and Europe. 

“This expansion would not be possible without the support of our employees, the Teamsters union and the Urbana community,” said Todd Mathes, EVP of manufacturing at Orbis.

“We look forward to enhancing our Urbana operations, including building upgrades and training programs for our employees as well as new and expanding technologies for the Orbis business.” 

This expansion will increase the company’s overall molding capacity by 10 percent and is expected to be completed in Q2 of 2023. Reusable packaging products produced at the plant are used in many industries, including automotive, food, beverage and consumer packaged goods.

With reusable packaging at the core of its business, this larger plant also will deliver other environmental benefits, including water neutrality, increased energy efficiency and superior processing ability for recycled materials. 

Local leaders said the expansion project will support Orbis’s continued decades-long growth in Urbana.

Most construction activities are being provided by local Ohio contractors. Orbis also is partnering with a local developer to construct an all-new off-site warehouse in Urbana, in conjunction with this plant expansion.