Procter & Gamble Co. (PG) builds new company from packaging innovations

iMFLUX Inc. has patents for injection molding

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CINCINNATI - Procter & Gamble Co. was awarded state tax credits Monday for a new manufacturing subsidiary that aims to be a “technology and innovation leader in plastics processing.”

P&G is tight-lipped about the new company, iMFLUX Inc., which was incorporated in August and will be based in West Chester Township. A press release from Ohio Gov. John Kasich said the company will employ 221 people with an average salary of $79,000.

It was one of 12 tax credit awards announced by the Ohio Tax Credit Authority Monday. Four of the awards involve Southwest Ohio projects expected to create more than 600 jobs. Minth North America also received tax credits to encourage a Lebanon project that would create 418 jobs. Little detail was given on the P&G project, except that it involved "innovative technology in plastics processing." The company was awarded a 60 percent tax credit for eight years.

“The majority of employees will be manufacturing employees,” said P&G spokesman Jeff LeRoy, who referred additional inquiries about iMFLUX to an outside public relations agency.

“There aren’t a lot of details to release right now because … they’re still securing patents,” said Anna Hogan, an account supervisor at Gyro, a business to business advertising agency.

Materials on the web site for iMFLUX Inc. indicate it has been under development for nearly three years within P&G’s New Business Creation unit. The CEO of new subsidiary is Nathan Estruth, a 22-year P&G veteran who previously led the P&G’s franchise companies, Mr. Clean Car Wash and Tide Dry Cleaning.

The company’s vice president of research and development, Gene Altonen, has more than 40 granted patents and at least 25 patents pending, according to his bio. His most recent patent applications involve a “high productivity injection molding method” that produces “a mold formed of easily machineable material that is less costly and faster to manufacture than typical injection molds,” according to the web site, www.patentbuddy.com.

Job postings on the iMFLUX site and on Linked In indicate the company will work on proprietary new technology involving polymers and injection molding machines.

“Designers will incorporate state-of-the-art mold making technology, metallurgy, and innovative new mold design strategies,” said one job description.

Another described iMFLUX as “a highly agile, innovative company working to transform the industry by delivering new to the world technology, software, and process engineering.”

P&G has been experimenting with packaging innovations for years, with the goal of saving money and reducing the environmental impact of its products. Examples of prior innovations include a Pantene shampoo bottle made of plastic derived from sugar cane instead of oil. In May, P&G won two DuPont Awards for Packaging Innovation, one for an Olay and Venus razor package made from recycled materials, the other for a Tide powder package that used less material to make and decreased carbon dioxide emissions by 22 percent.

The new jobs in West Chester will offset a reduction in P&G's non-manufacturing work force, caused by a $10 billion restructuring program that eliminated 7,000 jobs globally. P&G has said its local employment has remained relatively constant at 12,000 despite the early retirement of hundreds of Cincinnati-based executives.

While P&G has and will continue to reduce non-manufacturing enrollment as part of our overall growth and productivity plan, we continue to hire to meet the needs of the business," spokesman Jeff LeRoy said.

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