Keeping two steps ahead
Consolidated Packaging Group in Ridgefield Park, N.J., specializes in high-quality laminated rollstock and many pouch formats for the frozen food, confectionary, textile, medical, and pet supplies markets. Formed from the remains of Brooklyn-based Manhattan Polybag Co. in 2004, the company has since grown to $26 million in annual sales and 100 employees. While Consolidated executive vice president Gary Kaufman attributes much of this success to a business plan that combines vertical integration and state-of-the-art technology, he also believes that strong partnerships with suppliers support the converter’s ongoing success.
“Suppliers have to show a passion for what they do the same way we’re passionate about what we do,” says Kaufman. “If I have an issue, it has to become their issue, the same way my customers’ issues become mine.” Kaufman points out that Consolidated’s key suppliers include Fine Line Graphics, which does its color separations and printing plates; Allied Extruders, which provides various films; and finally Henkel Corp., which provides flexible laminating adhesives and technical service.
Learning the lamination ropesWhen Manhattan Polybag Company became Consolidated six years ago, laminating was a new process for the company and one that Kaufman needed to learn quickly. He chose Henkel as his supplier because of its reputation in the laminating and converting industries.
“There’s no sense in throwing with the number two guy when you can throw with the number one guy,” says Kaufman. "Henkel came in and explained the theory behind lamination, the difficulties, the pitfalls and what features we should have when we purchased our laminators.”
Kaufman also explains that Henkel helped Consolidated set up its quality control lab, an area of Consolidated’s plant that’s deeply rooted in the converter’s mission for top quality and customer service.
“We have a great lab because of their guidance,” says Kaufman. “They taught us the ropes and were there with us every step of the way.”
Today, Henkel supplies Consolidated with a two-component solventless polyurethane adhesive that is odorless, optically clear, and elastic. The “Smart Cure” adhesive, produced under the Henkel Liofol® portfolio of products, achieves an FDA-compliant cure within two to three days instead of a 10- to 15-day cure typical of conventional laminating adhesives. This ensures the quick turnaround that is critical to Consolidated’s efficiency.
The adhesive is composed of 50% renewable resource-based materials and contains no volatile organic compounds (VOCs), ensuring a safe environment for employees and food-safe packages for downstream customers and eventually consumers.
Serious About SustainabilityLike its commitment to customers, Consolidated’s commitment to sustainability is a serious and integral part of its business plan.
“We’re constantly recycling, reclaiming solvents that we use in manufacturing, looking at ways to improve product reengineering and make a better looking package, a more cost-effective package, without compromising on quality,” says Kaufman.
To that end, Consolidated’s use of Liofol adhesives in its lamination process supports its commitment to environmentally sound practices. Because it is applied at a coating weight approximately 40% lighter than traditional laminating adhesives and cures without the need for ovens or VOC-recovery equipment, the adhesive reduces energy consumption and waste, helping the company meet its employee safety and sustainability goals.
Whether using films made from post-consumer resin, biodegradable polyethylene, photodegradable polyethylene, and recycled polyethylene, or laminating these products with quick-curing sustainable adhesives, Consolidated is clearly on the same path to success that it enjoyed during its first six years of operation.
Consolidated Packaging Group
Fine Line Graphics