According to Lebanon’s Lori Zimmerman, the bag is an alternative to multiwall paper sacks and conventional plastic bags. Better use of cube is a significant advantage the Lincube has over lay-flat bags, says Zimmerman. But most important is the bag’s ability to stand squarely on its flat bottom. As Lebanon’s trade literature puts it, “Our new, exclusive cube packaging stands up to create high-impact visibility. When it comes to the very latest in packaging, the competition just doesn’t stand up.”
This ability to stand comes from the most unique feature of the Lincube: its central “ring.” A 4-mil blend of linear low-density polyethylene and metallocene LLDPE, this material is heat-sealed to all four interior walls but not to the corners. It extends from the base about two-thirds of the way up the four bag sides, and it functions like a package within a package, giving the bag rigidity.
Lebanon fills premade bags at about 10 bags/min on a volumetric filler/band sealer designed by Linpac. Just before the bags are sealed, mechanical arms close in on the bag to push out as much air as possible. If the plastic bag were filled with air, the gusseted top section wouldn’t fold down to give the finished pack its tight, cube-like configuration on the pallet. Also enabling additional air to escape from individual packs once they’re on pallets is a one-way valve positioned on the top half of the front panel. It’s supplied by Plitek (Des Plaines, IL).
In filling the bag, product occupies not only the area within the ring, but also the four “pockets” in the corners outside the ring. This squares out the bag nicely and helps give each sidewall the appearance of having three slightly rounded columns, a feature that Linpac calls the Linlook™ Design.
Linpac makes its unusual bag at about 50/min on specialized equipment custom-built by Hudson-Sharp (Green Bay, WI). Fed into the machine are two rolls of film—one for the central ring and one for the bag material—and the one-way valves, which are mounted on a release liner like pressure-sensitive labels.
The colorful bag material, supplied to Linpac by Printpack (Atlanta, GA), is an adhesive lamination of 2 ?-mil LDPE and 1.5-mil LDPE. The thicker substrate is flexo-printed in seven colors; the other layer protects the surface printing on its mate. The Hudson-Sharp machine forms bags and attaches both the inner ring and the one-way valve. It also punches a tiny hole in the bag material just before the one-way valve is applied over the hole. That permits air trapped inside the bags to escape through the valve.
Lebanon sells 17 ?-lb Black Oil Sunflower seed for $5.95, 28-lb Economy Wild Bird Food for $5.95, and 26-lb Premium Wild Bird Food for $7.95. Zimmerman would not provide cost comparisons among the Lincube, multiwall paper sacks and lay-flat plastic bags. According to Linpac, however, the value-added Lincube carries an upcharge over paper but is competitive with other flexible film alternatives.
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