Athea Laboratories recently purchased the building adjacent to its current headquarters in northern Milwaukee, WI. The additional 80,000 square feet will allow for continued growth and expansion into the industrial, institutional, and retail space in which Athea manufactures products.
With over 50 years of experience, Athea Laboratories is a leader in specialty wipes, liquid, and powder contract manufacturing and packaging. Its expertise and experience gives its customers an extensive variety of product formats to serve numerous end-user markets with their private labeled product. As an EPA and FDA facility, Athea’s manufacturing capabilities include custom wipe converting, custom formula development, blending services, on-site chemists, formula-substrate compatibility testing, graphics, and technical and regulatory support. Athea can offer customers a turnkey solution to their packaging needs at low minimums.
Aurora Specialty Textiles Group
For over 130 years, Aurora Specialty Textiles Group, Inc. (Aurora) has been a leading, world-class finisher of both woven and nonwoven fabrics. Utilizing state-of-the-art equipment and technologies, Aurora specializes in coating and finishing products for print media, home furnishings, and industrial belting, pressure sensitive tapes and medical and industrial products.
Recently, Aurora has opened a new state-of-the-art manufacturing operation in Yorkville, IL, which offers ultra wide width (134-inch) coating and finishing techniques. This enhanced capability secures its place in today’s changing global textile market as an innovative global provider of textile solutions. This move expands Aurora’s ability to provide product solutions for a wide range of applications and further strengthened its ability to be responsive, efficient and price competitive.
Aurora is a Meridian Industries Inc. company, which is a privately held, family-owned company headquartered in Milwaukee, WI.
Beckmann Converting continues to upgrade its high tech, ultrasonic laminating equipment, both in bonding capability and in web handling, to create wide web, multilayer and multifunction composites. Upgrades have allowed the company to process more efficiently and to process more types of raw materials. Beckmann operates as a contract or toll laminator and is able to create from two-layer composites to six-layer composites. It can create them as wide as 120 inches and slit in line, to any width a customer or its next step converter requires. These composites can be combinations of nonwovens, films, knits, wovens or meshes.
Ultrasonic laminating has a unique place in the creation of multi-layer composites because nothing other than the original materials are used in that process. This makes it a true “green” process. As long as there is sufficient thermoplastic content in the layers to be laminated, the ultrasonic energy melts the materials at the bonding points, making it the bonding link of the individual layers, unlike adhesive bonding, which introduces foreign substances into the composites. Because ultrasonic lamination is a “point bonding process,” all of the properties of the raw material layers, in between the bond points, are the same as before lamination, which include properties such as strength, loft, breathability, filtration and chemical resistance. Beckmann has successfully produced multi-layer composites for applications such as filtration, environmental, protective apparel, protective covers, healthcare products, cleanroom wipes and many more.
Boyertown, PA-based Berk International manufactures nonwoven wipes, toilet tissue and paper towels. The company is an expert in converting an assortment of materials including DRC, spunlace, airlaid, hydroentangled nonwovens, meltblown, needlepunch, TAD, tissue and towel. The Berk family has been in the wipes converting business since 1975 and has established a reputation of producing high quality products at reasonable prices. CEO Larry Berk and his brother Jeff Berk, who is president and head of sales, started Berk Wiper in 2000 and have grown the business every year since.
With 17 production lines running 24 hours a day in their 275,000 square foot facility, no job is too big or too small. From private labeling to contract converting to their own brands, Berk has it all. The company converts wipes for every market including Jan-San, food service, healthcare, automotive and industrial. Its capabilities include flat sheeting, interfolding, 1/2, 1/4, 1/6 and 1/8 folding, perforating, printing, rewinding, laminating and slitting.
In 1993, Converted Products, Incorporated (CPI) opened for business with the simple idea of providing quality contract converting services in slitting and die cutting. Twenty-four years later, CPI has kept that same simple premise but has expanded its contract services to include wider width, high speed slitting, hot melt laminating, traverse (spool) winding, rotary and flat bed die cutting, warehousing/logistics and product/process development. Operating in an ISO9001 process, Converted Products’ 160,000 square foot facility is located on the northwest side of Milwaukee, WI.
CPI’s slitting capabilities include score, shear, razor, single knife and rotary, in widths ranging from 1/8 to 136 inches along with experience in a wide variety of flexible materials.
In 2017, CPI upgraded its high speed, wide width equipment by installing a new winder with a drive assist unwind. President and founder of CPI Chris Gorenc says, “We had the opportunity to keep our equipment on the leading edge by installing a high speed, wide width surface winder with a drive assist unwind. There aren’t many contract converters who have the drive assist technology. It gives us an opportunity to work with low tensile materials that need a driven unwind to ensure a quality wound roll.”
But CPI’s work on efficiency didn’t end with just a machine. They went to work on eliminating as much waste in their process as well by implementing and adopting their own version of Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE). “We started by using whiteboard’s and worked into a more sophisticated database. Regardless of the method, we had to reduce our downtime as much as possible. It is a never-ending process to drive out wasted time and make sure our customers get the best price we can offer,” Gorenc adds.
The new surface winder features the following capabilities:
- Total Width: 130”
- Slit Widths: 3” to 130”
- Unwind OD Max: 100”
- Rewind OD Max: 72”
- Drive Assist Technology
- Unwind ID’s: 3”, 6”, 6-3/4”, 8”, 10”, 10-5/8”, 12” (Others available upon request)
- Rewind ID’s: 3”, 6”, 6-3/4”, 10” (Others available upon request)
- Speeds in excess of 4,000 ft per min
E&T Converters was founded in 1972, with the goal to provide the best possible converting services at the most competitive price. Because it has so many years of experience in the converting business, its staff is able to offer a wide variety of slitting capabilities. This enables the company to provide contract converting for virtually any market. In 1989, E&T built a new 230,000 sq. foot state-of-the-art building with a rail site so that it could effectively manage the many needs of its customers. E&T is family owned and takes pride in its quality, service and value offered to all of its customers.
Kleen Test Products Corporation
Kleen Test Products is a privately held, family-owned company headquartered in Port Washington, WI, with over 70 years of experience in the consumer goods industry. Kleen Test’s capabilities at its seven facilities include contract manufacturing and innovative product development services in a number of segments such as wet wipe and dryer sheet manufacturing, die cutting nonwovens, coating and conversion of specialized nonwoven products, liquid filling and bulk blending.
Recently, Kleen Test Products expanded its capacity and installed new automation for wet wipe canister production. This increased automation and capacity, coupled with capabilities to produce multi-packs inline, provides Kleen Test’s customers with cost effective solutions for wipe packages of all sizes. State-of-the-art production lines manufacture wipes with packaging ranging from 25 count canisters to 1000+ count pails along with multipacks of two to five canisters bundled together in printed film overwrap.
With multiple EPA and FDA registered canister production facilities across the Midwest, Kleen Test offers bulk blending for formulas ranging from the latest quat technologies, to bleach, peroxide and alcohol. Additionally, customers have access to in-house micro, analytical and product development labs to ensure that their products are developed and manufactured in compliance with EPA and FDA guidelines.
Micrex Corporation of Walpole, MA, is the developer and manufacturer of the Micrex/Microcreper family of compressive treatment machinery for nonwovens, paper, films, composites, and textiles. Companies worldwide use Micrex technology to add softness, bulk, drape, absorbency, extensibility, and stretch to a wide range of products.
Micrex performs product development through the Micrex Innovation Lab. This integrates with contract Microcreping services for those firms whose current needs do not yet require the purchase of a dedicated Micrex/Microcreper system. Micrex is prepared to support projects from initial development through large-scale production. All nine configurations of Micrex/Microcreper are available for contract production.
In 2017, no-cost lab scale screening trials are available to qualified customers.
National Wiper Alliance
National Wiper Alliance (NWA) is the largest operation in the U.S. focused on nonwoven dry wipes converting and private labeling. Operating out of its 500,000 square foot state-of-the-art facility located just outside Asheville, NC, NWA has over 30 converting lines offering slitting, inner folding, folding, sheeting, and perforating— both with core and coreless, as well as printing—with both inline and dedicated print lines. Additional in-house services offered include product development, sample runs, product testing, warehousing, customer inventory management, distribution and logistical support. Products converted by NWA can be found in the retail, aerospace, automotive, industrial, food service, hospitality, medical, government, military and janitorial markets.
Registered to ISO 9001, National Wiper Alliance and its owner Jeff Slosman have received numerous awards over the past year. These awards include: SBA-North Carolina 2015 Small Business Person of the Year – Jeff Slosman; NC Chamber of Commerce – 2015 Manufacturer of the Year – Honorable Mention; Business NC Magazine – 2015 NC Small Business of the Year and Wake Forest Family Business Center – 2016 NC Family Business of the Year.
Nonwovens of America
Nonwovens of America, Inc. (NOA) is located in Swannanoa, NC, operating a 5.4-meter air-lay needlepunch line and running colors in a weight range of 3.5 ounces per square yard to 34 ounces per square yard. In addition to the needlepunch line, NOA provides custom converting services which include a 10-color, 99” wide rotary screen print line, blanket lines, an inline calendar, and slitting and re-rolling. NOA offers toll converting services on the needlepunch line as well as all other converting services. The main areas of focus are automotive, retail, geotextile, industrial and emergency blankets. NOA provides in-house customer service, product development, warehousing, logistics and distribution support.
Pacon is a development partner and custom manufacturer of wipes, pads, surgical drapes and liquids for the consumer, industrial and medical industries. For over 65 years, Pacon has been solely focused on helping brands grow and innovate. It partners with outstanding R&D, packaging and marketing minds to provide cost effective solutions that deliver on a customer’s specific needs.
Whether it’s compounding and dosing challenges, water activated treatments, combining multiple laminates into one web, sealing difficult materials, or the proper application of high-speed automation – Pacon consistently meets the challenges of today’ manufacturing requirements. The nine industry innovation awards Pacon has won or been nominated for over the last 15 years are a testimonial to its success.
Virtually any nonwoven idea can be achieved with the right partner. At Pacon, the company does more than just converting – it collaborates with customers to create the ideal solution. And, the earlier they get involved the better. Many customers treat Pacon as part of their R&D department for new products, brand refreshes or line extensions.
Over the past 12 months, Pacon has continued to invest in its capacity to meet the growing needs of its customers. Its capabilities include: compounding, pad, jar and canister lines, multiple cross-folding and flat folding platforms, and many cells of Pacon engineered equipment to meet customer’s unique needs.
Rockline Industries is a family-owned and run business since its founding in 1976. The company has grown from a 35-person company to a 2000-person organization designing, making and shipping products all over the world. Rockline is committed to safety, quality, sustainability and excellence in everything it does. Rockline Contract Manufacturing Services (CMS) are built on the core values of integrity, dignity, respect, and hard work.
The expertise Rockline CMS continues to demonstrate, guides customers into new product solutions focused on continuous improvement in innovations with materials, manufacturing platforms and technologies. CMS offers a fully diversified portfolio of converting and packaging equipment in an environment that is designed to be a world-class leader in quality, while intentionally practicing strategies that minimize its global footprint.
Values: Rockline’s cultural values define them. They reinforce to all of their stakeholders—customers, associates, suppliers and communities—just how much Rockline appreciates them. They allow Rockline to build a value-based business and reputation within the industry at large. Within the contract manufacturing sector, its values ensure that Rockline maintains a global recognition as a premier supplier in the industry, producing innovative solutions, ensuring mutually profitable partnerships and providing customers with important and trusted services that create lasting relationships.
The word “urgency” describes the sense with which Rockline seeks to earn recognition by its customers as the unmatched leader in contract manufacturing. This urgency involves five basic imperatives — Renew (invest all earnings in continuous improvement); Respect (treat others as we want to be treated); Integrity (do the right thing); Teamwork (individual goals are secondary to team goals); and Excellence (best in class). Rockline fosters a culture of integrity, service and personal growth. The company delivers excellence in its products, process and services.
Integrity: Rockline does not compromise integrity for financial gain. Its partnerships are managed with the utmost respect while striving for manufacturing flexibility and to provide the best net value to its customers.
Every Rockline associate is asked, “Do what you think is right – every day.” These simple words can make for tough choices, but Rockline says it will never stop trying to do the right thing. For example, the company has a reputation in the wipes industry of uncompromising integrity with respect to maintaining strict confidentiality to protect and preserve intellectual property for the ongoing business security of its customers.
Continuous Improvement: Rockline embraces continuous improvement through product innovation, capital reinvestment and through dedicated passionate leadership and cross functional teams. Its values are applied to all stakeholder relationships—from customers, associates, and suppliers on out to the communities at large whose needs it meets with uncompromising effort. It works every day to confirm just how much Rockline values each and every one of them.
Rockline understands this is the only way to build and sustain the reputation it seeks within the industry. In the words of its CEO Randy Rudolph, “We won’t make a product we wouldn’t buy for ourselves. We aim for the sweet spot. Rockline is big enough to give our customers the resources and vision of a global company, yet we are small enough to value each and every customer.”
Innovation: At Rockline, its core strength is the quality and innovation of its product. The focus of its contract manufacturing group is to deliver excellence in customer service by supporting its customers with custom manufacturing and cutting-edge product and packaging while strengthening its speed to market. This is supported by a winning combination of technical leadership along with the most diverse manufacturing platforms in the industry. It listens, innovates and collaborates with its customers to deliver customer specific solutions that leverage its expertise in material, manufacturing and innovation.
Sustainability: It is Rockline’s commitment and passion to put its own reputation on the line every day, to measure and report its own progress so customers don’t have to. That’s what sustainability means to them. Rockline strives for Ecological Intelligence in its end products, using less material where it can, and sourcing natural and recycled materials wherever possible.
Web Industries continues to invest in large format converting and printing services that offer consumer product companies unique manufacturing and economic advantages. In 2017, Web acquired two eight-color wide-web presses, one of which is already in commercial operation. Web also broke ground on a 50,000 square foot expansion at the company’s facility in Fort Wayne, IN. Projected to be completed by year’s end, this expansion will house a new large format spooling line and additional printing assets.
Web’s custom-designed large format spooling line will offer industry-leading slitting and spooling, web control, and material handling capabilities for large width, large OD spools. “Large format spooling is essential to manufacturers of personal care and consumer products for the yield and equipment uptime benefits it delivers,” says Tom Lucas, technical project manager. “This technology can achieve material lengths in the hundreds of thousands of feet while providing usable splices and facilitating longer, more efficient manufacturing runs.”
Web’s eight-color flexographic presses offer wide-web printing widths of up to 63” onto nonwovens, films, papers, and other substrates. These presses complement the company’s other high-speed, wide-width services, offering large format spooling, large OD slitting, and multi-color printing under one roof.
“Web continues to see strong demand for new personal care products in North America,” says Jason Surman, Web’s VP of sales. “Our collocated large format spooling, slitting, and wide-web multi-color printing options provide exceptional quality while increasing our customers’ line efficiencies, reducing their total costs, and enabling them to get new products into the marketplace faster.”