EarthShell Corporation, the US provider of environmentally friendly food service packaging, has announced that its manufacturing partners will receive equipment performance guarantees from certified equipment vendors, which will enable rapid expansion of production capacity for foam laminate plates, bowls, hinged-lid containers and cups.
Four leading equipment manufacturers have submitted bids to build EarthShell production lines, and each has agreed to provide guaranteed performance levels. One of the equipment vendors, Detroit Tool and Engineering, Missouri, is the first to be under contract to build five turnkey manufacturing lines with guaranteed equipment performance. This is an important step in transitioning production of EarthShell foam laminate products to manufacturing partners, including Sweetheart Cup Company, Green Earth Packaging, and Huhtamaki - each with protected market areas.
"Detroit Tool and Engineering is a certified builder, currently building fully automated and integrated manufacturing systems for the production of EarthShell foam laminate products," said Ken Cook, vice president, sales and marketing, Detroit Tool and Engineering. "DTE will work directly with EarthShell manufacturing partners and guarantee high levels of equipment performance."
The combined capacity of the four equipment vendors that have submitted proposals, if approved by the manufacturing partner, would be approximately 100 lines per year, with each line capable of generating $5-6 million of EarthShell foam laminate product sales annually. EarthShell Corporation royalties are based on the output from each operating manufacturing line. The first six production lines are under construction and scheduled for delivery by the end of the next quarter.
Last week, EarthShell Corporation signed a letter of intent with Sweetheart Cup Company providing the basis for Sweetheart to be the primary supplier of EarthShell foam laminate products in North America, with a target of $500 million (€543mn), or approximately five percent of the $10 billion US food service disposables market. Concurrent with this activity, the Huhtamaki/EarthShell joint venture in Europe is assuming full responsibility for EarthShell manufacturing operations in Germany, while Green Earth Packaging, will be responsible for manufacturing operations in Utah and Malaysia.
"Guaranteed equipment performance has been one of our primary objectives as part of transferring operations to our manufacturing partners which will expand production capacity for EarthShell products," said Simon Hodson, chief executive officer of EarthShell Corporation.
EarthShell Corporation is engaged in the licensing and commercialisation of proprietary composite material technology for the manufacture of foodservice disposable packaging, including cups, plates, bowls, hinged-lid containers and sandwich wraps.