Saturday, August 24, 2019
Ruben Lopez is one of the extrusion operators at BioPlastic Solutions in Ellendale.

BioPlastic Solutions finds a new home

BioPlastic Solutions has found a new home.

The industry leader in bioplastic engineering and the manufacturing of proprietary bio-based poly resins and products, has moved from Blooming Prairie to just outside Ellendale.

"We are really encouraged about the opportunities afforded us in the new building that totals 64,120 square feet," remarked Gary Noble, president and CEO of the company.

BioPlastic Solutions employs 24 people and operates 24 hours a day Mondays through Thursdays and until 3 p.m. on Fridays. No weekends are worked with the exception of necessary overtime.

BioPlastic Solutions was based in Blooming Prairie for more than 15 years. It's bio-based innovations are designed to provide alternative solutions for governments, organizations and businesses that are committed to publicly utilizing environmentally sensitive products and processes, Noble explained.

"We've enjoyed our stay in Blooming Prairie but believe the new facility will provide for better efficiencies and will open the doors for further expansion," Noble said.

Business partner Ron Langlie was responsible for targeting these buildings as the new home for Bioplastic Solutions.

Langlie, vice president of operations, designed and built the buildings when he was part of North Central Plastics, manufacturer of fencing insulators and electrical control boxes. The company, founded by his father Howard Langlie and Albert Berg, was later sold and owned by Woodstream Products until it shut down in late 2017.

"When we heard Woodstream was ceasing business, Ron wanted us to see it and buy it," Noble informed.

Noble is an Awesome Blossom, graduating in 1977, and Langlie is an alumnus from Ellendale-Geneva. These schools were arch-rivals in sports.

The initial asking price "was too high" but eventually came down much further and proved to be a great opportunity for our operation," Noble pointed out.

The office and manufacturing building was built in 1979, another manufacturing structure was constructed in 1983 and the third building, a warehouse structure, was put up in 1993.

The additional space, compared to 20,000 square feet in Blooming Prairie has allowed the operation to have a better flow of materials and to also realize better efficiencies, Noble commented.

BioPlastic Solutions focuses on plastic extrusions for window and door components, architectural design components, industrial applications, building and trade materials, medical applications and many other custom requirements. Bio-Plastic Solutions has three patents on its bioprocess and products.

 

BPS counts more than 50 loyal customers nationwide including Canada, and Australia. BioPlastic Solutions is looking to expand the bio products into Europe. "We partner as deep as we can with our customers so they see us more as a partner than simply a supplier," Noble said.

"We partner as deep as we can with our customers so they will keep us as suppliers," Noble said.

BPS started in July of 2000 as a custom plastic profile extruder. The process  produces linear profile shapes, similar to how a playdo toy. The products come out of a die and are cooled then cut to a specified length, or are spooled, Noble explains.

The business has both proprietary items and custom products, Noble says. Many of its bio products are used for cabinets, work surfaces, and tables for the furniture and interior furnishings.

 Marketed under the BioBest trademark, BioBest biopolymer provides for a “green friendly” option for many applications. BioPlastic Solution’s primary BioBest products and services focus on BioEdge bio edgebanding and custom extrusion.

Recycled materials are utilized when possible by BioPlastic Solutions. Noble says 40% of the company's production jobs are run with recycled materials. BioPlastic Solutions' innovative concepts and patented materials offer a wide variety of product-ready and custom profiles.

Initial impressions are often lasting and that's what visitors find in the cleanliness dominant throughout the plastics plant. 

Now that BioPlastic Solutions has completed the move, it is looking to advance production equipment to the latest in technology. Noble said the plastic dies utilized in production range in price from $1,000 to $28,000. He estimates the company has about 150 dies.

An extremely popular product is InstaTrim manufactured by BioPlastic Solutions for Cornerflex, Inc. from Scandia, Minn. The product comes in strips and is a replacement for caulk sold through Amazon and QVC. It can be applied to surface corners very easily.

The new BioPlastic buildings allowed production to be placed in linear lines. "It saves a lot of product and pallet damage from excessive moving of completed product," Noble says.

Process flow efficiencies have gotten much better as has the handling of materials, Noble and Langlie attest.

Due to its design and construction, the buildings are extremely efficient when it comes to heating and cooling, Noble and Langlie said. The buildings are located on 12 acres of land. Some of the building utilizes a berm structure where one-half to two-thirds of the building walls are underground. "It's a pretty good bunker," Noble laughs.

Noble said the new facility has "plenty of electrical power" and the building feature 14-16 foot ceilings. There are six concrete pads available for silos to be added for resin storage. "We then could buy in bulk," Noble said. A rail spur is also available in Ellendale for the bulk rail deliveries if needed.

BioPlastic Solutions is a private company with 11 owners, all from Minnesota. Its company and owners are very supportive of its area communities. "It's called paying it forward," Noble said. The new facility provides for the opportunity to expand the company’s plastic extrusion products and services. Noble said the business will also sell warehouse services.

A public open house is planned for early summer.

See full story in this week’s print edition or subscribe online. Please subscribe here or current subscribers can login here.

Steele County Times & DCI

Steele County Times
507-583-4431
411 E. Main St.
P.O. Box 247
Blooming Prairie, MN 55917

Dodge County Independent
507-634-7503
121 West Main St.
Kasson, MN 55944

Dodge County Printing
507-634-2661
121 West Main St.
Kasson, MN 55944

 

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