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Jean Bal Thermoformage invests 1 million euros in its production tool

Jean Bal (30 people, €5 million sales), a mold and plastics maker since 1988, designs and manufactures thermoformed packaging and packaging components. A key player for luxury goods manufacturers, the specialist's business has been driven over the past 3 years by new markets (industrial handling and consumer goods). To support its development and production capacity, Jean Bal has invested 1 million euros in its production facilities, building and machinery. After 6 months' work, the official inauguration will take place on Friday April 13, in the form of an open day.

Every year, some 30 million thermoformed packagings and trays leave the Jean Bal workshops, destined for French and international markets. To meet a production capacity increase of around 30 % in 3 years, the manufacturer has created 650 m2 additional floor space in the second half of 2018 (for a total of 3,000 m2 of buildings). At a cost of 510,000 euros, these works have enabled us to expand the production area with the integration of a new thermoforming machine, to obtain additional storage capacity and to create new offices.
These investments in equipment and human resources should enable Jean Bal to achieve sales of 6 million euros in the medium term.

A new dimension to serve new markets

The luxury industry (perfumes, cosmetics, spirits) currently represents 50 % of the company's business. This is a long-standing sector requiring a high level of expertise, and one for which Jean Bal develops innovative and original solutions.
Industry now accounts for 40 % of business. Jean Bal is particularly in demand for the design of recyclable trays for internal and external transport of industrial parts and components. A wide range of design principles are available (self-supporting trays, trays on parts, stackable trays, 180° turn-around trays, etc.), etc) with a wide choice of transparent and opaque materials, as well as ESD solutions for electronics.
Last but not least, the mass market players are new interlocutors for the manufacturer (10 % of sales). Blisters and food packaging are thermoformed in plastic, with a growing tendency to combine materials (wood or cardboard with eco-designed transparent plastic).

Investment in production facilities
Every year, Jean Bal designs some 350 aluminum molds in his design office. For several months now, prototypes have been modeled using a state-of-the-art 3D scanner. These molds, machined in-house using high-speed machining centers, are then identically duplicated using the same process and the same tooling. All this to guarantee perfect reproducibility of the parts to be put into production. To this end, a new high-speed machining center has also recently been delivered.

A new production line

A faster, more energy-efficient Illig RV74D thermoformer was installed in the first quarter of 2019. Investment: 410,000 euros. The thermoforming team now manages 9 optimized lines in various formats for thin and thick sheets.
Jean Bal mainly processes PS, flocked PS, coated or decorated PS, EPS PE, PVC, PET, recycled APET or RPET. Shapes, materials, colors, feel and functionality all depend on the desired finish and application.

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