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Article | April 30, 1997
Chairman of the printed board (sidebar)
Corrugated imitates plywood
Connelly's new press not only blazes new trails in four-color graphics and larger board dimensions. It also will be used for triple-wall corrugated Connelly has developed that exhibits a 2# bursting strength. The key to this strength is the paper. According to company president Tom Connelly the highest weight of paper available today is in the 90# to 96# range. Like other makers of heavy-duty double- and triple-wall boxes management resented the premium that had to be paid for such paper because of its scarcity. So Connelly experimented with extrusion laminating two lighter and more readily available papers together. Trial and error led to a structure consisting of two 69# papers married by low-density polyethylene extrudate. Called Bala(TM) paper it's produced exclusively for Connelly by Fiber-Lam (Doswell VA). The 144# paper is used for inner and outer linerboard only since it's too heavy for use as the corrugated medium. It lets Connelly build a triple-wall board with a 2# bursting strength. The only problem is that most flexo/folder/gluer/stitchers would absolutely choke on a board that tough. That's where BGM came in. They were charged with engineering a finishing system capable of processing what may be the heaviest triple-wall corrugated ever produced. The 2# test board also means that the corrugating system has to undergo some adjustments particularly at the dry end. Due this spring are a new rotary shear and rotary slitter to be followed in July by a new cut-off knife. All three of these tools are basically designed for processing plywood. They're being supplied by Marquip (Phillips WI). Connelly also has applied for patents on a process of cleanly extracting at full speed a strip of material 7/16" wide from as many as four places on a corrugated sheet. Called the Bala(TM) Bend it permits bending of the flaps. Bala Paper plus the Bala Bend equal what Connelly is calling Bala(TM) Board. A patent on the entire process is pending and commercialization will begin as soon as the new tools from Marquip are installed and running smoothly. The target market for Connelly's Bala Board consists of customers who currently use bulk containers that achieve vertical top-load strength because the sidewalls are two double-wall corrugated boards laminated together. Such bins are typically made in three separate steps while Connelly's approach will take material in one smooth flow from corrugator to sheeting to the BGM press including four-color graphics if desired.
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