Beverage and disposable goods supplier Lollicup USA, Inc. says its new Rockwall, Texas, manufacturing plant could be up and running later this year.

Some work was done on the plant in 2017, but it is projected to be operational in 2018 and will allow the company to produce an expanded product line. Lollicup’s current offerings include the Karat® and Karat EarthTM lines of cups and lids for food service clients.

“We are moving towards becoming the food service industry’s one-stop shop,” says Lollicup founder and chief executive officer Alan Yu. “We have plans to continue automating our manufacturing process and increasing our energy efficiency.”

Relatedly, Lollicup’s Reifenhauser extruder, which produces plastics sheets from resin, became operational in 2017. The machine was added to cut energy use by 20 percent and improve production by 40 percent, allowing more products to be produced domestically, the company says.

“The extruder is capable of making thicker, higher-quality sheets of plastic,” says production supervisor Ron Gonzales. “These sheets are used to form Karat® cups and lids.”