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Article | December 31, 2001
Detergent tabs 'heat' up packaging
In Britain, premeasured tablets are the fastest-growing way to use laundry detergents, and Robert McBride, plc, Cumbria, England, is packing them 70% faster with an economical film from UCB Films (Smyrna, GA).
Propafilm FFA employs a unique low-seal-temperature heat-seal coating that allows McBride to wrap two tablets in film at speeds of up to 93 meters/min (more than 280’/min). The average is 89 m/min.
Previously McBride could package the fragile tablets in polypropylene only at speeds in the 50 meter/min range. When the plant installed a new high-speed flow wrapper from SIG Pack (Raleigh NC) the company thought it would have to shift to a film with a pattern-applied cold-seal coating. “Cold seal makes the film appear to be ‘frosty’” says David Bartlett packaging coordinator at McBride “and we want the package to be totally clear.” Plus he says shelf life can be an issue with cold-seal lacquer.
Along with the new film SIG engineered a dual-lane wrapper infeed for the fragile products. “Now we can’t sustain the feeding of tablets so the film isn’t the bottleneck which it was previously” Bartlett explains. Finally the new film is more economical. With the starts and stops of the wrapper the new film has cut the number of rejected packs to four instead of the six to 12 previously. And says Bartlett cold-seal film would have cost 10 to 15% more. (AO)
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