By Contributing Editor
New Era Converting Machinery (Hawthorne, NJ) has won the 2020 Assn. of International Metallizers, Coaters and Laminators (AIMCAL) Technology of the Year Award for its new patent-pending LLS (lap-less splice) unwind. The broad-based converting-machinery maker was recognized April 16 during a special Virtual Awards presentation. The AIMCAL Awards Webinar replaced the traditional Awards Ceremony, planned for the trade group’s Executive Leadership Conference in March, which was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The LLS unwind features a specially designed splicer roll on a turret unwind that forms a lap- and tail-free splice on the fly so there’s no need to stop the ends of the webs to form a butt splice. The LLS unwind also negates the need for a web-accumulation (festooning) device and forms the splice without exposing any adhesive that could cause problems as the web moves through the process or blocking in wound rolls. Operating in excess of 1,000 fpm, the result is higher productivity, improved quality, and reduced waste because there is no need to jump lap splices, and damage from wound-in lap splices is eliminated.
The judging panel appreciated the importance of the “on-the-fly” nature of the splicing process, its potential impact on the marketplace, and the elimination of awkward lap splices. “If it runs reliably at full speed, that would be a lot of uptime and film saved,” commented one judge. “It could enjoy widespread use,” noted another panelist.
The judging teleconference was moderated by AIMCAL Executive Director Chris Kerscher. The panel consisted of well-known experts in the converting field: Dr. Charles A. Bishop of C.A. Bishop Consulting Ltd. (Loughborough, UK); Dr. Edward D. Cohen of Edward D. Cohen Consulting, Inc. (Fountain Hills, AZ); and Dr. Eldridge M. Mount of EMMOUNT Technologies, LLC (Canandaigua, NY).
The AIMCAL Technology of the Year is part of the annual AIMCAL Awards program, which also includes Product of the Year and Sustainability Award competitions and the new AIMCAL Hall of Honor. Scroll to the bottom to watch the 2020 AIMCAL Awards presentation video.
More info: www.neweraconverting.com, www.aimcal.org
Technical Excellence Awards
Judges also recognized four entries with Technical Excellence Awards. Two went to Flex Films (USA), Inc. (Elizabethtown, KY), a subsidiary of Uflex Limited’s Films Business (Noida, India), one to Advanced Energy Industries (Denver, CO), and one to Dow Chemical Co. (Lake Jackson, TX).
The judges noted that it’s difficult to achieve sufficient barrier properties in a structure that recycles in the PE waste stream. As a result, they believe this recyclable material has the potential for substantial growth. “Everyone has been working on recyclable PE barrier materials,” said one judge. “This is an especially important development for India where foil laminations have been outlawed,” reported another panel member.
More info: www.flexfilm.com, www.uflexltd.com
The judges liked the convenience and appearance of the 4D bags and the potential for using different materials for different panels. “The handle and zipper add value,” said one judge. “There’s a lot of innovation, and it’s quite a nice engineering feat,” observed another panel member.
Judging panelists characterized the DRP 2.5 system as a significant advancement and a boost to efficiency and equipment longevity. “Time is saved when you can put down a thicker coating without exceeding temperature,” commented one judge.
More info: www.advancedenergy.com
More info: www.dow.com/en-us/industries/packaging