Vav Plastics Inc., a Valencia, California-based blow molding machine for PET containers, opened a second manufacturing facility in Charlotte, NC earlier this year.
The company’s business shifted rapidly in 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic created heavy demand for hand sanitizer containers. Now it’s shifting back to water bottles, owner Hovik Pashyan said in a recent phone interview.
“We serve local and national customers and specialize in large, narrow-necked containers,” said Pashyan. Most Vav containers are 2 liters and larger.
“We started in a very small space in Burbank in 2007,” he said. The current factory at the headquarters in Valencia is ten times larger than the original area, he said. The company has always produced only PET containers, mainly for beverage customers.
Because shipping large containers is expensive, Vav opened a location on the east coast in Charlotte in February.
“Logistics is the big factor, especially with large containers,” said Pashyan. “Business is going well, it’s growing in baby steps.”
The company has two-stage injection blow molding systems from the Italian SMI Group. The Valencia plant also has two injection molding presses that are used to produce preforms. One operates a 16-cavity mold, the other an 8-cavity mold, he said.
Around 20 people are currently employed in both plants. The Valencia plant runs around the clock, while Charlotte is currently on a shift.
“Our goals are to start a second shift in Charlotte and gain more customers in Valencia. We have free capacities here. We grow organically, ”he said.
Pashyan said Vav experienced a downturn at the beginning of the pandemic but was then busy making containers for water and hand sanitizer, both of which were in short supply.
“With many companies experiencing the effects of COVID-19 over the past year, we know how painful it was for many to survive this threat,” he said.
The company also had to solve a problem last year where it received defective preforms from an outside vendor.
“So far, the supplier has not taken any responsibility. However, Vav Plastics is working on these issues and is proving to be a strong manufacturer in the PET packaging market by working hard, working overtime and expanding the manufacturing operation to meet the needs of our customers that are needed today more than ever, ”he said .