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H.B. Fuller expands with million-dollar packaging hub

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H.B. Fuller, headquartered in Vadnais Heights, will officially open a $1 million Packaging Center of Excellence there next month.

The Star Tribune reports the new hub is devoted to improving packaging for its customers, serving as both a testing center and a lab. H.B. Fuller, which recently reached $2 billion in sales for the first time, formulates and produces glues that are used commercially to hold together boxes, books, magazines, diapers, sanitary products, snack bags and electronics.

While the new center won’t do packaging production, it will generate solutions geared at helping commercial clients save money by improving their packaging. A spokeswoman said the center's focus is expected to help the company retain customers and attract new business.

“Packaging is a growth market,” said Peter Petrulo, H.B. Fuller’s director of North American packaging. “We see it as a phenomenal market for us to expand in North America.”

The packaging center could generate $500,000 a year in new glue and service sales by helping customers become more efficient.

The new center falls in line with Fuller's “centers of excellence” concept. The Minnesota-based company has opened such centers in China, Germany and Vadnais Heights that have focused on improving glues.

Last month, the industry journal Rubber News reported that H.B. Fuller is spending an estimated $60 million on a multi-year project to update its information and technology platform, with the transition to be wrapped up by the end of fiscal year 2016.

H.B. Fuller expects the switch will lead to savings in the areas of procurement, processing of transactions and support of its information technology infrastructure. It said the system also will allow the firm to manage inventory more efficiently. Rollout will begin in the U.S. and Canada adhesives operating segment before the end of June.

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