Leading US custom poly bag and film manufacturer, A-PAC, has installed two Vetaphone corona treaters at its production facility in Grand Rapids, Michigan to improve surface treatment quality – they replace American-made treaters on two of its three blown-film extrusion lines. Established in 1988 and built on a firm base of high-level customer service where no quantity is too small and custom sizes are handled with ease, A-PAC prides itself on being a single source supplier from extrusion of the film substrate to production and delivery of the finished item.
The company manufactures an extensive range of poly bags including flat, wicketed, gusseted, side-weld, bottom-seal, staple-pack, and custom print as well as poly bags on the roll. Other products include drum, barrel, gaylord, tote and box liners as well as pallet covers. It also offers three types of plastic film and tubing.
It was the switch from solvent-based to water-based production that first saw the need for surface treatment at A-PAC. Plant Manager Tim Takken explained: “We installed our first corona treater in 2018 and the second in 2020. We’ve always had a good working relationship with Dean Grosel, who is Vetaphone’s local sales representative, so although it was an unknown brand to us, we trusted his recommendation and have been well pleased with the result.”
The Vetaphone treaters installed at A-PAC are both C Models, designed to provide a high dyne level on any extruded material thanks to their special design and use of ultra-efficient generators that deliver precise and consistent power requirements. The advanced electrode design eliminates fluctuations in dyne levels across the web width and guarantees no undesirable treatment to the reverse side. They feature a unique Quick-Change system that allows the operator to carry out segment set-up and maintenance in minutes.
Like all Vetaphone corona systems the fully computerised iCorona generator is at the heart of the process, offering a wide regulation band that combines high efficiency with minimal energy loss. Controlled power is essential in surface treatment, so the generators’ ability to proportion the output power to the line speed in a smooth and uniform manner removes the risk of pinholes in the substrate. Power regulation uses the ultra-fast Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) technique. Built with a unique resonant feedback system, iCorona generators automatically match the electrical power to the material, ensuring optimal surface treatment and efficiency.
A-PAC treats only part of the web – 8” diameter on one line and 4” on the other, and Takken says they often go down as small as 2”. “We’re in a niche market so flexibility and control are vital, especially as we supply both the medical and food sectors where we are obliged to conform to ISO 2001:2015, FSSC 22000, USDA and FDA standards. FSSC is recognised by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) and is based on existing ISO standards, so as an FSSC 2000 certified manufacturer, our customers can feel confident using us as their supplier for food-safe poly bags and plastic products.”
Currently the 33,000 sq/ft facility, which employs 50, generates annual sales of around $12m, working triple shift Monday through Friday (24/5), but Takken is looking to restore 24/7 operation as soon as possible and boost turnover. “We service around 1000 customers, mostly in the US, but also export to amongst other countries, China!” he said adding that the company typically runs off orders for 50,000 to 500,000 bags, but “no quantity is too small or too large,” he stated.
The main substrate extruded is LDPE with some medium and high-density film produced if required. Recent times has seen a market shift from 80:20 individually cut to inline bags to more of a 50:50 situation, which pleases Takken as it keeps more work in-house. We’ve invested in new technology for improved efficiency and the better quality it offers and the Vetaphone corona treaters are certainly part of this,” he concluded.