Flexible Packagingsits down with Badger Plug to discuss trends in roll handling, how roll protection products answer operating challenges and the relationship between sustainability and roll handling.

Tom Duffy, vice president of sales, Badger Plug

Q: How do roll handling and protection products fit in with the “green” trend and how do they specifically answer environmental and sustainability challenges?

A: Good roll handling products significantly reduce roll damage, thus reducing waste and the amount of roll goods that end up in a landfill. If roll goods are packaged properly, product damage is eliminated, or at the least, significantly reduced. Damaged product is usually rejected for rework or disposal. Both results would add to our environmental problems. Plus, many Badger Plug products used to protect these rolls are generally readily recycled for reuse and/or remanufacturing.

Q: How do your products help your customers safely and quickly perform roll changeovers?

A: With properly packaged, damage-free roll goods, subsequent production processes can be easily performed. Improper packaging results in added labor costs. This can also lead to significant safety problems. Faulty packaging leaves these roll products in a precarious state that could result in catastrophic consequences.

Q: What trends is your company seeing in roll handling, protection and suspension?

A: Everyone knows that product damage from transportation is very real and costly.

Consequently, the markets continue to grow in roll handling and protection-whether it is in a suspension type package or another form of package protection. Roll products today tend to be more expensive due to the roll size and the substrate complexity and quality. These expensive rolls are all susceptible to damage. Damage protection can take many forms. Core plugs and roll suspension products are some of the most practical solutions.

Q: Which films or flexible packaging processes present specific challenges to roll handling and how do your products provide solutions to these problems?

A: I don’t think any one process or product presents a specific challenge. The basics are that the roll product needs to be damage-free and easy to convert. There are a number of options to attain those goals. Advancement in roll sizes and materials accentuates the need for advancements in roll protection such as can be found at Badger Plug.

In smaller roll suspension, a variety of products are used for in-carton suspension. We also offer products for jumbo rolls that can be used for pallet suspension. Some suspension systems can be extremely heavy-duty for very large rolls and/or tough shipping requirements.

We also offer many core plug type solutions for non-suspension packaging. These can be used to stop core crushing, secure protective roll coverings, properly secure and locate rolls and reduce center diameters for further converting or final use.

Q: What improvements have been made or are in development for improving the durability and sustainability of roll handling products?

A:Roll packaging materials are constantly being evaluated for cost versus performance. The materials we use are generally commodity-based products so the raw material cost is low. Along with that, sustainability plays a huge factor in material choices. Virtually all of the materials we use are sustainable and can be recycled for reuse or remanufacturing.

One of Badger’s main lines of work is solely centered around recycling package components. We collect our customers’ package components and refurbish for resale as used products. What cannot be reused is generally recycled for remanufacturing. This area continues to grow, bringing added value to our customers and adding sustainability to our roll handling products.