ROCKINGHAM — For anyone driving down Airport Road on Thursday, it was hard to miss the activity at Direct Pack.
The plastic packaging plant, with the help of Superior Cranes, installed several silos “for more efficient movement of raw material,” according to Laura Murphy, the company’s marketing manager.
Direct Pack currently brings in resin in sacks — like the ones that caught fire in December — but after the silos are operational, the material will be brought in by trucks and pumped into the silos and then into the system, Murphy said.
Mike Drozek, vice president of manufacturing, said each silo will be able to hold 250,000 pounds of ground raw and recycled material, allowing Direct Pack to “be more cost effective in our purchases.”
The California-based company announced in August 2016 that it was expanding its operations, bringing more than 90 jobs to its Richmond County facility over the next five years, with plans to invest more than $12 million.
A subsidiary of PMC Global, Direct Pack specializes in thermoformed packaging for agriculture, food service, supermarket chains and food processors. Its products “span from functional berry containers to innovative salad bowls, all kinds of bakery and deli containers and image-building entrée take-out solutions,” according to Direct Pack’s website.
The Richmond County plant opened last December and makes products for IHOP and Chick-fil-A.
Direct Pack was recently honored with the 2018 IHOP Vendor Partner of the Year award for creating the restaurant’s new take-out packaging.
The Rockingham plant currently employs 55 workers and Drozek said the company plans to hire 15 more.
Gavin Stone contributed to this story. Reach William R. Toler at 910-817-2675.