Founded in 1969, Clear Lam Packaging is a leading manufacturer of rigid and flexible packaging materials for thousands of food, industrial goods and personal healthcare products. Vertically integrated from design to manufacturing, Clear Lam specializes in printed films, rigid rollstock and specialized packaging systems. Clear Lam operates three manufacturing plants in the US and China and employs over 500 people. A full-service polymer lab provides a wide range of services.
Each day of the Open House event began at the Holiday Inn Elk Grove where Todd Blumsack, vice president – business unit webfed, Bobst North America welcomed the guests before inviting Frank Passarelli, product manager – printing, coating and laminating to introduce the Bobst range of high performance laminating machines. The overview was followed by a detailed explanation of the features of the CL 1000D that are key in determining the efficiency of the equipment. In particular, there was focus on the drying tunnel with dual technology nozzles, the flexo coating trolley, and the in-register cold seal system. These distinctive technical features were complemented by calculation of the significant waste and operating cost savings they generate.
Guest speaker Larry Jopko, technical service and development at Dow Chemical, addressed the technological progress of adhesives and the development of the latest formulations to date. Representing another giant of the adhesive industry, Guenther Hering, vice president, flexible packaging, Henkel Corporation, presented its global capabilities for adhesives, highlighting their newest adhesive formulations with a high solid content.
Bobst’s services were presented in two separate sessions. Massimo Ardito, national service manager at Bobst North America illustrated the support organization, from the teams of skilled in the field technicians to the large local inventory of parts for immediate shipment. Prompt and timely response for support by a person (no voice mails), and a host of equipment and services dedicated to maintain and improve the performance of installed equipment were highlighted.
The features and functions of eServices were presented on alternate days by Mathieu Robyr and Reuben Petty, two of Bobst North America’s eServices product managers. Their presentation detailed the clear advantages of using analytics in terms of plant planning, production monitoring and improvement, as well as relative prototype costing for new contracted products. Bobst remote monitoring services enable a real time overview of the shop floor to locate critical issues, track any downtime and receive automatic notifications by eMail or text via dedicated apps. All eServices are aimed at achieving the best possible productivity levels of installed equipment.
After lunch the action moved to the Clear Lam Packaging plant in Elk Grove Village, one of the company’s two facilities near Chicago where Tom Jacques, business development manager, Bobst North America, led guests through every stage of the two demonstrations that were run on the Bobst CL 1000 duplex laminator.
For the first job the CL 1000D was equipped with the flexo trolley, which provides the highest performance and quality in coating solvent-based adhesives directly on thin alu-foil. The alu-foil was laminated to a PET film at a speed of 1,470 feet a minute (450 metres a minute).
The second job saw the solvent-based lamination of two clear films – PET and LDPE – at 450 metres a minute, again using the flexo coating system. This kind of application is especially critical because of the difficulty in achieving a total transparency of the laminated web. This was an actual production run of a laminated material that Clear Lam provides their customers for packaging of fresh produce, such as vegetables or meat. This type of packaging has no printing on it in order to enable full visibility of the packaged item. At the end of the run, guests were able to check the laminated material taken from the machine to determine the quality of the flawless output.
The CL 1000D used for the demonstration, is one of two CL 1000D machines in the Clear Lam production facility. As the second machine was completing the startup procedure before entering production, it was possible for visitors to view it up close in between the two demonstrations, as well as the interchangeable trolleys it is equipped with – gravure, solventless and flexo – to carry out different packaging applications.
“We thank everyone who attended for spending the day with us and we thank Clear Lam Packaging for graciously opening their doors to us and their industry colleagues. We enjoyed having the opportunity to share the technical capabilities of the Bobst CL 1000D and we invite those who did not get the opportunity to see this machine in live demonstration to contact us to find out more about this machine and other Bobst webfed solutions,” stated Todd Blumsack, vice president – business unit webfed of Bobst North America.
Packaging South Asia is the cooperating media partner for drupa 2016 which is scheduled to be held from 31 May to 10 June at Dusseldorf, Germany.