Q and A with Martin Automatic
Posted: August 02, 2010
Q. What trends have an impact on the future of your markets in flexible packaging?
A. The trend toward short-run printing in flexible packaging has made narrower web widths more attractive. Another trend is toward offset and combination inline printing, for a broad range of materials, including film, laminates, paper and board. Martin continues to design and enhance our non-stop unwind and rewind platforms to accommodate these developments. In addition we have seen remarkable growth in the international markets over the past decade. In 2010, our international installations exceeded those of North America. Today we are positioned to grow and service our customers on a global scale.
Q. What do you view as the most significant advances in your markets in recent years, and why?
A. With advances in drying and curing technology, along with improvements in drives and controls, presses can now run webs at much faster speeds. At the same time, the increasingly lighter and thinner structures only run successfully at lower web tension levels. These opposing trends of lower tensions and higher speeds present real challenges for splicing and web handling. Not that long ago, 1500 fpm was considered fast. Early last year, on a CI press, we installed a zero-speed splicer (with our MDR Magnetically Driven Roller technology) and automatic rewinder capable of non-stop transfers at 3000 fpm.
Q. What improvements are today's customers seeking, and how are vendors (especially your company) answering this call?
A. Seeking higher profits remains a constant with our customers. Generally they seek process improvements that improve their quality, shorten their lead times, and reduce their waste and operating costs. Martin has been helping customers meet those objectives for over 40 years: not stopping for roll changes means jobs are finished sooner; a non-stop process with excellent tension control means higher quality printing, curing and laminating; efficient production means better utilization of resources and less waste.
Q. To what degree does the current interest in sustainability play in your markets? A. No question that sustainability and green processes are capturing a lot of attention. While renew, recycle and reuse are important, we believe the discussion should start with preventing as much waste as possible. For example, the Waste Reduction System on our splicer allows the converter to use the maximum amount of substrate possible-reducing the quantity of core waste that goes to the landfill or the recycler. Utilizing the maximum amount of raw material on a roll results in higher profitability and greater sustainability.
Q. Can you cite a recent customer's benefits of using one of your systems?
A. Product variety and speed to market are key success factors among consumer product companies. The ability to run a broad range of substrates and to quickly change from one substrate to another is vital to maintaining market share and profitability. Recently, we provided a butt splicer and rewind to run 25 micron BOPP up to 19 point paperboard for a customer who ventured from label converting into flexible packaging and folding carton. Easy change-over among the extremes of materials and consistency of butt splice quality allow this and other customers to make the bold move into the multi-substrate environment.
As seen in Flexible Packaging Magazine, Aug 2, 2010.