Flexible Packaging asked Joe Heinemann of Rayven to give his opinions on both the slitting and coating markets, and explain his company’s place within the industry.
Q: How does Rayven set
itself apart from the rest of the market?
Variety: We do it
all. Some of our competitors are limited to one or two processes. Rayven is
vertically integrated. We can develop coating formulas in our lab. We can
cook the coatings in our mixing area. We can coat using a wide variety of
coating methods. We can slit or sheet the coated web. We can package the
converted sheets or rolls for industrial or retail markets.
We have 4 coating lines. Most of our lines have
multiple coating heads giving us the versatility to coat many different
types and thicknesses of coatings. We can coat using direct gravure, offset
gravure, meyer rod, and slot die. We can also flexographic print on three
of our lines.
• Size: Our
coating lines range from 54- through 72-inches in width.
• Sitting: We
have seven slitters. Our newest slitter is one of the most technically
advanced models in the industry.
Q: What has been the secret to Rayven’s
• History: we have been in the business for 55 years and during
that time you develop techniques ands systems to coat a broad variety of
substrates and coatings.
• Attitude: We
have a “can do” attitude. We are not afraid to try things and
we are not afraid to be innovative. We adapt as needed, and try to say
“no” as little as possible.
• Experienced Technical and Production Staff: Rayven is well grounded both chemically and
mechanically. We have engineers and chemists on staff that can develop new
processes and/or modify existing processes in order to develop a solution
for a customer. We are not limited to off the shelf coating formulas.
Often, our technical staff works closely with our customers technical
people. This collaboration leads to increased understanding by both parties
and a strong knowledge of product expectations.
• Versatile Equipment: We are able to deliver the complete solution to our
customers; not just a few aspects of the coating and converting process.
Some coating companies just do one thing, we do it all and our customers
like the convenience of placing an order for the completed product and
letting us handle the details.
• Loyal Customers: The
long term loyalty of our customers and suppliers has allowed us to grow and
expand with them. This loyalty and trust has lead to numerous referrals for
new customers and business
Q: What challenges are you currently facing as a
slitter, and how do you overcome those challenges?
Many of the film release liners that we slit are
considered by many to be “difficult to slit.” The reasons for
• Very thin films
(commonly 1-mil and 1/2-mil films)
• Narrow slit
widths (3/4- and 1-inch are common sizes for Rayven)
gauge - we see this more prevalently in blown films (HDPE and LDPE)
• Slippery coatings
– silicone on one side can be challenging for narrow widths, silicone
on two sides can be even more complicated.
• Large diameter
rolls (often 30 inches or larger) of narrow slippery film.
To overcome the challenges of slitting the difficult
thin release films Rayven has had to constantly upgrade our slitting
technology. We used surface and minimum gap winding technology for many
years, but as the roll diameter requirements increased we knew that we
needed to find a better solution. We purchased a new Deacro slitter last
year to move our capabilities up to the next level. This machine offered us
the latest slitting technology and is giving us everything to meet our
Q: What current innovations are having the most
impact on the industry?
On the release liner front, we use the latest 100
percent solids chemistries that allow for rapid curing and have no solvent
Our latest C800A duplex slitter from Deacro
Industries is based on closed loop tension control and has a servo driven
lay on system. The lay-on system features up to 83 individual air loaded
lay-on arms. The capabilities of this machine are awesome. The precise
tension control allows us to slit very thin release films down to 3/4-inch
wide. The Deacro will product 83 – 3/4-inch wide rolls per set. It
runs the 3/4-inch material at 1,200 fpm out to 30 inches in diameter. In
our experience; this is amazing productivity when you consider the
difficult to slit nature of the siliconized release film.
Q: What will be the next technological or innovative
With all honesty, not much has drastically changed
with coating and converting technology over the past 10 years. The industry
keeps refining and improving, but I can not recall any breakthrough
technology. I see a trend of continued evolutionary improvement in both
chemistry and equipment.
New UV cured coatings, adhesives and inks are getting
a lot of attention. I feel that this is one area that will continue to
advance at a rapid pace.
Slit the Difference
February 14, 2008
ONLINE POLL RESULTSFlexible Packaging asks our readers for insight into the state of the industry on various issues. Here are the results of some recent polls posted on www.flexpackmag.com
What will be the most important issue to you in 2008?
Materials cost: 50%
Foreign markets: 4%
What is the most significant way that converters add value to films and flexible packaging?
High Quality Printing: 47%
Adding Barrier Properties: 26%
Reclosable Features: 26%
How many industry trade shows will you attend this year?
5 or more: 7%
The deadline to enter data into the Wal-Mart Packaging Scorecard is Feb. 1, 2008. How ready are you?
Not at all – We have not logged on nor entered any data: 42%
Far from ready – We have logged on but not yet entered data: 28%
Done – All of our data is entered: 14%
Not ready – Some of our data has been entered: 14%