Flexible Packaging

Nine-layer coextrusion enables for high-barrier performance to meet any need Accredo Packaging, located in Sugar Land, TX has placed a large order for flexographic printing and film extrusion equipment from Windmoeller & Hoelscher.

Commercialized in 2009, Accredo specializes in the manufacture of coextruded barrier films, towel & tissue overwrap film, shrink-bundling film, laminated, printed and unprinted roll stock, pouches and wicketed bags. “We’re expanding in all the segments we identified as our target markets and need to add significant capacity to keep up with growth,” states Rex Varn, executive vice president of Accredo.

Installation of a new Miraflex CM 10 press with a print width of 41” and speeds of up to 1,600 ft/min was recently completed and the press is now up and running. The company has just placed an order for a second Vistaflex CL 10, with a print width of 67” and speeds of up to 2,600 ft/min. W&H designed the Vistaflex to run at extremely high speeds while at the same time being easy to use. Four print jobs can be set up and stored while the press is running and changeovers are made automatically at the push of a button. The Sugar Land plant houses W&H 10 color Novoflex CL presses as well.

In addition, Accredo has also ordered two 5-layer Varex-blown film lines. Both lines are equipped with the high-output Opticool air ring and are scheduled for 2013 installation. Accredo currently runs film on Varex 3-layer and 9-layer lines for both barrier films and internal consumption.

packagePrinting

W&H VistaFlex CL and NovoFlex Presses

Accredo Packaging placed an order for a second VISTAFLEX CL 10 from Windmoeller & Hoelscher.

Accredo Packaging, located in Sugar Land, TX has placed a large order for flexographic printing and film extrusion equipment from Windmoeller & Hoelscher.

Commercialized in 2009, Accredo specializes in the manufacture of coextruded barrier films, towel & tissue overwrap film, shrink-bundling film, laminated, printed and unprinted roll stock, pouches and wicketed bags. “We’re expanding in all the segments we identified as our target markets and need to add significant capacity to keep up with growth,” states Rex Varn, executive vice president of Accredo.

Installation of a new MIRAFLEX CM 10 press with a print width of 41˝ and speeds of up to 1,650 ft/min was recently completed and the press is now up and running. The company has just placed an order for a second VISTAFLEX CL 10, with a print width of 67˝ and speeds of up to 2,600 ft/min with the fastest changeovers. W&H designed the VISTAFLEX to run at extremely high speeds while at the same time being very easy to use. Four complete print jobs can be set up and stored while the press is running and changeovers are made automatically at the push of a button. The Sugar Land plant houses W&H 10-color NOVOFLEX CL presses as well.

In addition, Accredo has also ordered two five-layer VAREX blown film lines. Both lines are equipped with the high-output OPTICOOL air ring and are scheduled for 2013 installation. Accredo currently runs film on VAREX three-layer and nine-layer lines for both barrier films and internal consumption.

About Accredo
Accredo is a registered member of the EPA’s Green Power Partnership and the Organic Trade Association, and is a Certified Minority Business Enterprise.

About Windmoeller & Hoelscher
Windmoeller & Hoelscher is a leader in the design, manufacture and distribution of flexographic and gravure printing presses, blown and cast film extrusion systems, multiwall equipment, plastic sack and bag making machines, as well as form-fill-seal machinery for the converting and packaging industry.

Converting Quarterly
Sugar Land, TX-based converter Accredo Packaging has placed a large order for flexographic-printing and film-extrusion equipment from Windmoeller & Hoelscher Corp. (Lincoln, RI).

Nine-layer coextrusion enables for high-barrier performance to meet any needCommercialized in 2009, Accredo specializes in coextruded barrier films, towel & tissue overwrap film, shrink-bundling film, laminated, printed and unprinted roll stock, pouches and wicketed bags. “We’re expanding in all the segments we identified as our target markets and need to add significant capacity to keep up with growth,” says Rex Varn, exec vp of Accredo.

Installation of a new MIRAFLEX CM 10 press with a 41-in. print width and speeds of up to 1,650 fpm was recently completed, and the press is now up and running. The company has just placed an order for a second VISTAFLEX CL 10, with a print width of 67 in. and speeds of up to 2,600 fpm with the fastest changeovers. W&H designed the VISTAFLEX to run at extremely high speeds while at the same time being very easy to use. Four complete print jobs can be set up and stored while the press is running and changeovers are made automatically at the push of a button. The Sugar Land plant houses a W&H 10-color NOVOFLEX CL presses as well.

In addition, Accredo has also ordered two 5-layer VAREX blown-film lines. Both lines are equipped with the high-output OPTICOOL air ring and are scheduled for 2013 installation. Accredo currently runs film on VAREX 3-layer and 9-layer lines for both barrier films and internal consumption.

Accredo is a registered member of the EPA’s Green Power Partnership and the Organic Trade Association, and is a Certified Minority Business Enterprise.

PLASTICS NEWS

Nine-layer coextrusion enables for high-barrier performance to meet any need

SUGAR LAND, TEXAS (July 31, 12:30 p.m. ET) — Accredo Packaging Inc. is increasing capacity at its Sugar Land plant with the addition of several new machines.

“We’re expanding in all the segments we identified as our target markets and need to add significant capacity to keep up with growth,” said Rex Varn, executive vice president, in a news release.

The flexible packaging converter recently installed a 41-inch-wide Windmoeller & Hoelscher flexographic printing press —a Miraflex CM 10 — and placed an order for another W&H press, a second 67-inch Vistaflex CL 10, according to a news release from W&H.

The plant also houses 10-color W&H Novoflex CL presses.

Accredo is also adding two W&H five-layer Varex blown film lines. The new lines, scheduled for installation in 2013, join the plant’s existing three- and nine-layer film lines, according to the release.

Accredo, part of the Advance Polybag Inc. family of companies, started operations in 2009 and will begin construction on a 175,000-square-foot expansion this month. That expansion is slated for completion in early 2013.

“We aim to be a major player in the U.S. flexible packaging market,” said Malcolm Cohn, sustainability director. The company makes coextruded barrier films; overwrap film; shrink bundling film; laminated, printed and unprinted rollstock; pouches; and wicketed bags.

It also emphasizes sustainability, operating out of a 200,000-square-foot, wind-powered facility that has earned Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design silver certification.

Using state-of-the-art equipment, like the new presses, makes the plant more efficient and helps limit greenhouse gas emissions, Cohn said.

Advance Polybag, also based in Sugar Land, had sales of $260 million in 2011, according to Plastics News’ most recent ranking of North American film and sheet makers.

PLASTICS NEWS
SUGAR LAND, TEXAS (Sept. 20, 11:40 a.m. ET) — Advance Polybag Inc.’s entry into flexible packaging, Accredo Packaging Inc., began production in 2009, running two nine-layer blown film lines at a 200,000-square-foot plant — and already, the company is building an addition in Sugar Land.

Officials broke ground late last year on a 175,000-square-foot expansion and it should be completed next year, said Rex Varn, executive vice president for Advance Polybag and Accredo Packaging.

Accredo makes blown film and does printing, laminating and conversion — with an emphasis on sustainable products and manufacturing.

Varn said expansion was in the plans from the beginning.

“We’re a full-service converting, fully integrated operation, and so the fact is that we aim to be a major key player in the flexible packaging converting industry,” Varn said. “So it was the plan that we would continue to build and grow our business. That building goes hand in hand with the vision of expansion in mind.”

Overall, Advance Polybag has sales of $260 million, according to Plastics News and industry estimates. That makes it No. 26 in the Plastics News ranking of film and sheet makers, published in this issue.

The company does not break out sales for Accredo, but the Sugar Land operation marks a major diversification for API, known for its T-shirt bags. Accredo focuses on barrier-layer packaging, standup pouches, roll stock, wicketed bags and bundling film for consumer products.

API is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. The family-owned company was founded by Hank Nguyen, who is chairman and CEO, and his brother Chinh Nguyen, the president and chief operating officer.

The first of five API factories was established in New Orleans in 1986. From that modest beginning, API has grown into the second-largest supplier of polyethylene T-shirt grocery bags.

“Throughout our 25 years of operation, we have developed strong relationships with our customers and embraced the loyalty and commitment of dedicated associates,” Hank Nguyen said.

For a flexible packaging startup, Accredo started out with a bang: two nine-layer Windmöller & Hölscher Varex blown film lines. Since then the company has added three-layer equipment. Officials are not releasing the total number of blown film lines at Sugar Land. “We’ve more than doubled our extrusion capacity,” Varn said.

All the blown film lines and flexographic printing presses are from W&H.

Malcolm Cohn, sustainability director, said the owners invested in state-of-the-art machinery. “They’re really reaching out to be a very major player in the United States in high-barrier flexible packaging. They want to give us the tools to compete at that level,” he said.

The plant employs about 150.

Green operations, printing expertise

Cohn said the Nguyen’s built sustainability into Accredo from the time API announced plans to build the plant in 2007.

“We support the initiatives of recover, reuse, reduce and recycle with our customers through a variety of programs,” Chinh Nguyen said.

Officials say Accredo is the first flexible packaging plant in the United States granted silver certification under the LEED rating system — Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. LEED promotes sustainable site development and material selection, water conservation, energy efficiency and indoor environmental quality.

Also, 100 percent of the energy the factory consumes comes from wind power, much of it from wind farms in west Texas. “The production processes are designed to eliminate waste, while minimizing carbon footprint,” Cohn said.

Accredo extends sustainability to printing — an area of specialty that uses a proprietary ink delivery system developed in-house. The firm has three 10-color W&H printing presses: two Novoflex lines and a new Vistaflex line, installed at the start of this year.

The company prints exclusively using expanded color gamut printing, never using “spot” color printing, which uses specific-color inks. Instead, Accredo uses only process inks to build the colors for each graphic image. Cohn said expanded color gamut printing allows for fast job changes, and reduces waste because the ink stations don’t have to be cleaned. That means there is less wasted ink and a major reduction of solvents, with enhanced color and quality accuracy.

“We feel that the market is changing in that direction. Someday, all flexible printing will be done this way,” Cohn said.

Accredo has made a major push into the fast-growing market for pouches, including developments in compostable pouches. Cohn said the company has applied for patents on compostable zipper pouches and pouches with spouts, where even the zipper and spout are compostable.

He said Accredo uses biofilms, but declined to disclose the material. The company partnered with other firms to develop the compostable zipper and spout.

Accredo has made a zippered, gusseted standup pouch that is made from certified compostable components, which the company believes is the first such package.

“As technology is improving and more products become available, we want to stay ahead of the curve,” Cohn said. “We do consider ourselves as one of the leaders in sustainable packaging, and so as new materials become available, we investigate them.”

Accredo uses Totani pouch-making machines.

Pouches offer makers of consumer products and foods several advantages, including eye-catching graphics that stand out on store shelves, he said.