Matt Menges
Menges Roller Co.
Over 25 years with the company
(847) 487-8877


Randy Apperson  
Director of Sales and Marketing
Finzer Roller Inc.
15 years with the company
(847) 390-6200


Tom Duffy   
National Sales Manager
Badger Plug Company
Over 30 years with the company
(920) 757-7300


Greg Jehlik
Over 5 years with the company
(405) 755-1600


Q: What roll and roll-handling products does your company offer the flexible packaging market?

Menges: Menges Roller will be celebrating 50 years in business in 2016 and Menges has provided all the different types of rolls and roll coverings during the past 50 years. We cover all the way up to 50 inches in diameter and 32 feet long. We specialize in roll profiling, which is parabolic crowning and grooving, our highest specialty for which we received technology of the year includes the Menges heat transfer roll and Menges chill roller used in the most technical operations of the flexible packaging manufacture and printing processes. We manufacture idler and standard roll cores as well. We provide precision dynamic roll balance and offer chrome plating and other hard coat finishes. We also offer protective roll covers that protect rolls during storage and installation into equipment.

Duffy: Badger Plug does not make rollers for converting machinery, but protective packaging solutions for shipping roll products produced by converters. Our roll protection products include a wide variety of wood, metal and plastic plugs that help prevent core damage. Special double plugs are ideal for stacking and unitizing pallets of slit rolls. Our roll suspension products include the industry’s widest variety of plastic pad plugs and endboard systems for protecting medium to large rolls in single or multi-roll configurations.

Jehlik: Maxcess offers a wide range of products for roll handling, as well as precision rolls of all types. With a global presence and more than 240 years of experience, our products are used in many markets, including the flexible packaging space. Tidland offers a wide variety of standard and differential core shafts, core chucks, safety chucks and roll savers/roll restorers. Webex manufactures a variety of rollers used in web handling, including vacuum rollers, heat transfer rollers, bowed rollers, spreader rollers, steel and aluminum idler rollers and carbon fiber idler rollers. Valley Roller provides high-end rubber coverings on rollers that provide custom solutions to improve our customers’ operations.


Q: What new products are you coming out with in 2016?

Duffy: While Badger Plug has hundreds of stock roll protection products, some converters need custom solutions. We engineer and produce proprietary packaging systems that can properly protect their roll products during transit and storage. Our products can also help speed roll handling/packaging, minimize packaging waste and reduce labor costs.

Jehlik: Maxcess continually strives to bring new products and solutions to market that meet and exceed our customers’ needs, enabling them to expand their business. We ensure industry-leading innovation at Webex, Fife, Tidland, MAGPOWR and Valley Roller through the support of a fully staffed research and development group that consistently produces new products, product upgrades and improvements. We currently have a broad range of web handling solutions that are moving through our development process across all of our brands, including Tidland, Webex and Valley Roller.

Menges: Menges Roller is constantly innovating with the chill roller and rubber coverings. For 2016, the hybrid chill roller with the Elastomeric internal design is getting a new thermally conductive inner covering that will increase the thermal properties of the roll. Also, we continue to innovate with our silicone rubber coverings used throughout the flexible packaging world. The latest is our experimentation with high-strength silicone covers. This greatly extends the life of these expensive coverings, saving costly downtime for changing rolls and by extending the life of the coverings.


Q: Why is roll protection important today?

Apperson: When it comes to rollers that have an engineered covering such as rubber, polyurethane, chrome, ceramic, etc., the product you put out is only as good as the roller. The surface of the roller and its ability to run absolutely true directly impacts the outcome of your product. Any defects or damage to the roller surface or any damage to the journals, keyways, bearings, etc. could transfer to your substrate, create bad product and downtime. Even though a roller surface may feel hard to the touch, it is still fragile and care needs to be taken when handling.

Menges: Roll protection has always been important, but it’s even more important today. Rolls are all made to high-precision tolerances, and those need to be maintained until the roll is installed into the equipment that it is used. All rolls should be, and we require shipping in sturdy wooden or steel containers, rolls are suspended on journals inside the container. We also sell an impact-resistant protective roll jacket that we custom make for all high-precision rolls, especially mirror-finished chrome rolls.

Duffy: Rolls tend to be larger and heavier than in years past, mostly due to various production economies. Without the right plug, cores can become deformed or crushed rendering the roll unchuckable and useless by the time it reaches the customer. More sophisticated and expensive web materials are also being produced today. Protecting these valuable rolls is becoming more and more critical to maintaining customer loyalty, brand integrity and market share. In most all cases, the greatest risk to cores and rolls takes place during transit to the customer. Rolls that arrive damaged can cause a customer production delays and lost revenue. Damaged rolls due to poor or inadequate roll packaging can also hurt the producer’s reputation and, ultimately, their credibility.


Q: Does your company offer a repair or replacement program for rolls and/or rollers?

Jehlik: Maxcess offers comprehensive repair and replacement support for all of our product lines. Tidland offers inspection, testing, analysis and repair of a wide variety of core shafts. Replacement of rollers and/or core shafts, when necessary, is fully supported by our experienced engineering, design and manufacturing personnel. For roller repairs, Webex and Valley Roller provide a full range of services and capabilities including complete incoming inspection, specific feature inspection, failure analysis and non-destructive testing at multiple locations in North America.

Menges: Menges Roller only replaces or repairs rolls and roll coverings for customers, many customers have rolls that are always in our facility as spares that we repair or recover. We then ship it back and when they receive it they replace the warn roller in their process and then ship it back to us for repair or recovering. This is a continual process, we work close with our customers’ maintenance personnel to track roll life and duration to be sure the customer is maximizing their expense of roller replacement.

Apperson: Yes. Finzer Roller has nine U.S. manufacturing locations that can regrind, recover, repair, make new rollers, rotary brushes and pin perforating rollers used in the flexible packaging manufacturing processes. We offer a wide variety of rubber and polyurethane roller coverings, as well as chrome, tungsten, ceramic and high release coatings


Q: What solid troubleshooting tips can you offer to readers?

Apperson: To avoid roller performance issues, how you handle and store your rollers is critical.

Roller handling:

  • Release pressure on roller while machine is at idle.
  • Clean roller on a regular basis.
  • Know what chemicals are suitable to clean your roller surface.
  • Inspect roll bearings:  Bearings play an important part of roller management. Inspect for contamination and signs of heat issues that may cause failure.
  • Regrind (if machine has adjustment capability): Regrind roller on a regular basis to ensure best performance.
  • Regularly monitor roller surface temperature for changes.
  • Regularly monitor roller durometer (hardness) for changes.
  • Always bring roller up to room temperature before actual use.
  • Avoid lifting roller with strapping on roll face.
  • Rollers should always be shipped to and from roller supplier in a closed box with roller face suspended as not to come in contact with any part of the container. Suspending by the metal journals, and ensuring the roller cannot slide side to side inside the crate is always recommended.

Roller storage:

  • Cool dry storage (temperature range of 50° F – 70°F are preferred).
  • Best to keep roller stored in closed box with roller face not touching any part of the box.
  • Keep away from sunlight or fluorescent lighting.
  • Avoid storage near any heat source.
  • Always keep roller properly wrapped in protective paper or blanket.
  • Avoid any stress on roller surface. 
  • Keep surface free from any tension or deformation.
  • Always use journals or metal surfaces of roller to support roller.
  • Rotate elastomeric covered roller 180 degrees on a regular basis while being stored for a prolonged period of time.

Menges: Rollers are of high precision and are the heart of the customer’s process. Without the roll, the product doesn’t get manufactured. So customers should be sure to replace bearings and lubricate per manufacturers requirements, store rollers in sturdy shipping containers in a clean area away from heavy electrical switches and electric panels and be sure that their cleaning solvents or fluids are compatible with the roll covering as cleaning solvents can damage rolls permanently. Roll journals and bearing surfaces should be handled and inspected carefully, this area is what the roll face will run on during operation and should be precise and concentric to the required runout of the operation the roll is running in. Certain rolls require much tighter tolerances then others and these should not be interchanged.

Rolls should be checked prior to running for nip impression with our Menges proof nip or other nip impression paper, which shows a carbon footprint of the nip area so you can be sure rolls are manufactured and installed properly. Ask your roll supplier to come in and review handling and proper storage with your maintenance personnel.