Perspectivas del Mercado de Empaques BOPP de Anduro Manufacturing 

En tan solo unos años, el indicativo de empaque BOPP ha cambiado dramáticamente – y también lo han hecho las cuestiones de los compradores de empaques BOPP.

Durante y alrededor del 2004, Estadounidenses trabajando en China para el líder en agricultura mundial, Cargill, conocieron sobre un material de empaque que era muy superior a las bolsas de papel de capas múltiples que se  utilizaban para los productos de nutrición animal en Estados Unidos. China, viéndose corto de recursos para fabricar bolsas de papel, comenzó a construir bolsas de rafia, una fibra particularmente buena para tejer. 

La idea de crear bolsas de polipropileno tejido (WPP) no fue inicialmente bien recibida por los productores/empacadores en EEUU, ya que sus fortunas estaban atadas a los sacos de papel tradicionales. El camino inicial de empaques WPP en el mercado de nutrición animal fue construido por independientes que importaban las bolsas casi del todo de una firma única de China, quien hacía bolsas WPP y las laminaba con polipropileno bi-orientado (BOPP).

Las ventajas de bolsas BOPP/WPP, tanto en términos de integridad y atracción visual, eran tan aparentes que el más grande suplidor de nutrición animal y productos para mascotas se movió rápidamente a ellas. En ello, aprendieron las diferentes ventajas: las bolsas WPP ocupaban un tercio del espacio que las bolsas de papel, virtualmente eliminando el deterioro y más resistentes a las condiciones climáticas.

El resto, como dicen, es historia. Cargill lideró el camino, ordenando a todas sus plantas a adaptarse al cambio. Otros le siguieron, y si alguien titubeó, minoristas como Wal-Mart eventualmente decidieron por ellos, rehusando a recibir productos en empaques propensos a roturas (una decisión influenciada por una demanda generada por un incidente de caíada causado por un derrame en el suelo de alimento para mascota empacado en una bolsa de papel). 

ANTES:
En esos días, las preocupaciones de los compradores de bolsas estaba centrado mayormente en capacidad de suministro, precio y calidad. Como un esfuerzo para proteger a los productores de empaques de EEUU, incluyendo algunos esfuerzos iniciales sin fruto para crear bolsas tejidas, el gobierno federal impuso impuestos “antidumping”, en un rango desde 120% hasta un 244%, en bolsas terminadas provenientes de China. Los suplidores de Asia, a veces en colaboración con sus agentes en EEUU, respondían aperturando plantas en Vietnam, Camboya y Tailandia. Incluso con opciones de manufactura distintas, los tiempos de entrega eran altamente inconsistentes (el día de hoy aún tarda de 12-14 semanas obtener bolsas producidas y entregadas desde Asia.) 

Habían problemas más allá de precio y entregas. El nuevo empaque tendía a deslizarse mientras subían la banda transportadora de algunos equipos de llenado. No era tan rígido como el papel, así que no ejecutaba igual en los equipos automáticos. Los pallets de China eran de baja calidad y había un problema en entregar bolsas planas y sin arrugas, causando problemas adicionales en las líneas de llenado. Los colores eran típicamente impresos de forma inexacta creando problemas de marca, y de mayor preocupación, las tintas de impresión abundaban de carcinógenos tolueno y benceno. Las preocupaciones ambientales también existían debido a la falta de un proceso para reciclaje.

AHORA:
Hoy en día el mercado está madurando y los clientes son conocedores de la materia.

Mediante los pequeños y medianos productores se unen a las grandes compañías en su conversión a WPP/BOPP, están escogiendo suplidores basados en su cumplimiento con los más altos estándares de calidad y seguridad en construcción e impresión. Ellos quieren una cadena de suministros claramente definida y cercanía con el fabricante de bolsas. Ellos quieren entender la relación costo-riesgo: precios, tiempos de entrega, materiales, etc. Ellos quieren fabricantes de bolsas que no solo produzca de acuerdo a sus especificaciones sino que les ayude a determinar especificaciones apropiadas para sus aplicaciones. Y, como todas las industrias de manufactura, están vetando suplidores basados en su compromiso y su habilidad de proveer servicio al cliente superior.

Hoy, el WPP es la regla más que la excepción en empaques de nutrición animal. Cada vez más es utilizado para alimentos  y productos para mascotas y avanzando como el empaque de preferencia para alimentos para humanos, arroz por ejemplo.

 

ANDURO ACTIVA NUEVO SITIO WEB:
Esta publicación electrónica es solo una parte de la amplitud de  información destacada en el nuevo sitio web de Anduro Manufacturing. Adicional a proveer información actual sobre la evolución del ambiente de empaques en nutrición animal y mascotas, el nuevo sitio comparte los pasos que Anduro continúa tomando para cumplir con las demandas de clientes en empaques WPP/BOPP mediante mejoras en la producción, embarques y servicio al cliente. Para conocer más sobre empaque WPP/ BOPP y Anduro favor visite www.anduromfg.com

EL EQUIPO EJECUTIVO DE ANDURO:
Anduro ha reunido a un equipo de ejecutivos de experiencia variada en la industria que asegure los clientes reciban productos de alto rendimiento con el apoyo de los conocimientos y el compromiso de servicio. 

  • Marc Datelle, CEO y fundador de Anduro, ha supervisado el desarrollo de Anduro como el suplidor más innovador y progresivo de empaques WPP/BOPP.
  • Después de 24 anos de dirección internacional de operaciones para Kimberly Clark, Gil Madrid se unió a Anduro como presidente para dirigir las operaciones de la compañía. El ha implementando sistemas que permiten a Anduro servir a un creciente número de clientes con necesidades específicas y productos de alta calidad, entregas a tiempo y apoyo. 
  • Jon Solberg dirige las estrategias técnicas de Anduro, guiando la compañía en términos de nueva tecnología, innovación de empaque y una maestría de nuestros actuales procesos incluyendo impresión y producción de tela de polipropileno. El estuvo al frente de la iniciativa de traer el empaque WPP/ BOPP a suplidores de EEUU y ha sido instrumental en el crecimiento del segmento de la industria, resolviendo cuestiones de desarrollo y acceso para fabricantes de alimento para mascotas. 
  • La planta fabricante de Anduro en San Pedro Sula, Honduras es dirigida por el Gerente General Carlos Ramírez. El Sr. Ramírez llegó a Anduro después de 26 años en proyectos de construcción y manufactura para el gobierno de Honduras. El supervisa la manufactura y al equipo de servicio al cliente bilingüe que provee apoyo a los clientes de EEUU y Centroamérica. 
  • El contralor Jorge Morales contribuye a Anduro con más de dos décadas de gerencia financiera con algunos de los más grandes bancos e industrias de Honduras, incluyendo Sara Lee y Russell Athletics.

LA SOLUCIÓN ANDURO:
Anduro Manufacturing entró al mercado en el año 2009, reconociendo oportunidades de la creciente demanda de empaques WPP/BOPP y resolviendo abordar las cuestiones clave. Fabricando en Honduras, una zona libre de impuestos y de libre comercio, Anduro provee la combinación ideal de entregas expeditas y precios competitivos. De propiedad y manejo Norteamericano, Anduro entiende las expectativas de los compradores de Estados Unidos, y ha implementado políticas y procedimientos consistentes con la  manufactura de empaques establecida en EEUU. Fabricando acorde a los estándares más altos de calidad y seguridad y entregando de acuerdo a especificación, Anduro ha ganado la confianza de los más grandes y demandantes suplidores de nutrición animal, incluyendo Nestlé Purina Pet Care, Manna Pro, Ainsworth y Cargill Centroamérica. Y, comprometiendo los recursos para servicio al cliente proactivo, Anduro no solo asegura cumplir con las expectativas de los clientes sino que les ayuda a encontrar mejores formas de mejorar la eficiencia y desempeño de sus empaques.


PRINTING: PROTECTING YOUR BRAND

One of the main reasons feed and seed producers are moving from paper to polywoven packaging is their appeal in the retail environment. Functionally, polywoven or BOPP/WPP bags are stronger and more durable than paper, enough reason to switch. But they also print beautifully to be much more inviting to the eye of the consumer. With that added brilliance comes an additional challenge: your bag supplier must have expertise in printing to ensure the quality of the print job fulfills the capability of the BOPP bag.

BOPP bags are printed on either flexographic or rotogravure presses. These printing systems demand specific attention to key issues to ensure your bags are printing properly and consistently from the first bag to the last, and through multiple reorders employing the same artwork. There are some key steps to ensuring you and your supplier work together to produce a perfectly printed bag:

DESIGN INTEGRITY: 
Whether you design in-house or outsource to a third party, the design has to accommodate the construction of the bag. Your graphics will travel through rotary and linear processing, so it’s important your supplier can help your design team layout the artwork so the finished bag meets your expectations. Some things as simple as where the lap-seam meets on the back panel, or how color breaks accommodate bag length and how it will be sewn, or where critical information is located. Make sure your supplier can help in the critique of the important mechanical aspects of artwork and is capable of recognizing in advance where adjustments to the artwork need to be made to accommodate the way the bag moves through construction.

COLOR VALIDATION: 
Color is brand. Protecting your brand requires hitting the color target and staying on target throughout the life of the product and production schedule. The key to getting and keeping color accurate is the formulation for the ink mixing. The color should be validated by a densitometer, which measures color saturation, both in the ink room and on press. The appropriate test to ensure the right color and consistency is an Lab (L, a, b, color space) to determine color and color differences. These are systematic and verifiable methods for delivering results that your supplier should be well-versed in and prepared to deliver on.

VISCOSITY: 
Key to controlling color throughout the printing process is maintaining ink viscosity. Too low, and fine details are washed out; too high, and halftone dots tend to disappear. Your bag supplier should be able to demonstrate an understanding of the difference between digital color control in the ink room and on press, and be able to explain how they are going to control your color and hence your brand.

RESOLUTION: 
For flexographic or gravure printing, we recommend your artwork is produced with a resolution of 133 to 175 dpi (dots per inch). More importantly, confirm that your printer’s resolution capabilities can meet your designer’s expectations. Your supplier should be capable of producing color separations for gravure cylinders or flexography plates that ensure sharp and clear images and copy throughout the print run.

CLICK FOR LARGER VIEW

 

In the process of building your BOPP/WPP bags, printing is most important to controlling your brand, not just in a single bag run, but over the life of your order entry process. Make sure your supplier understands how your artwork lays into the bag making process and can control color and resolution quality throughout to ensure you get what you expect in every bag.


WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS AND COST SAVINGS OF BUYING WOVEN BOPP BAGS DIRECT FROM THE MANUFACTURER?

Woven BOPP bags have become the packaging gold standard for animal feeds, and increasingly for pet food. Because woven bags are so much more durable than multi-wall paper, from filling to distribution to retail and the end customer, demanding retailers, like Walmart, require suppliers who want shelf space to use woven bags. And because the graphics are so much sharper and more colorful, producers have turned to laminated BOPP packaging to be competitive in the marketplace.

The question is no longer whether or not to use BOPP bags, but how to buy them. Initially, BOPP bags came from the Pacific Rim, primarily China. And U.S. producers, unable to deal directly with Chinese manufacturers, bought their bags through brokers. But being so far removed from their sources has caused problems: with the products, because of delivery times and product quality; and with brokers, because they add a lot of cost and little or no value. Still, buying bags domestically has proven cost prohibitive, so many producers do a juggling act, accepting longer lead times out of the East through brokers and supplementing with higher-cost domestic bags when necessary.

Anduro Manufacturing, a U.S. company based in Atlanta, Ga., has structured its operation to address these issues. We manufacture our Durofab™ brand BOPP bags in the free trade zone of Honduras, home to many of the largest and most successful American consumer product manufacturers. Everything is done locally, from weaving the bag fabric to printing to assembly – a tightly controlled, integrated process. Manufacturing costs are low and bags are just two shipping days from our terminal in Gulfport, Miss. The idea is to provide the best of both worlds: favorable pricing and delivery to meet the most demanding producer schedules.

HERE ARE A FEW REASONS FOR DEALING DIRECTLY WITH THE MANUFACTURER:

  • You know where your bags are being made. Bags coming out of Asia through a broker may have been made by several different shops; consistency can be a problem.

  • You get what you buy. Without direct contact with the manufacturer, it is difficult to ensure your bags are being made to your specifications. In particular, fiber weight may be compromised and printing inks may contain high levels of toxins.
  • You can better protect your brand. When you are working directly with the manufacturer, you can be assured of the integrity of your graphics and quality of the flexography or rotogravure printing.
  • You can ensure proper bag length. Because the automated equipment used by U.S. producers allows for very small tolerances, bag length historically has been an issue with bags made in Asia.
  • You can count on better service. With no middleman between you and your producer, you have a direct link to your bag production. Communications are simplified and problems can be resolved in real-time.

FABRIC WEIGHTS & MEASUREMENTS: GETTING WHAT YOU PAY FOR.

Of the many elements that go into making BOPP/WPP bag packaging, fabric weight has the most impact on price. Typically, BOPP bag manufacturers measure fabric weight in grams per square meter (GSM). For a long time, 85 GSM was the norm for BOPP bags. That has trended downward to 75 GSM; some producers are running 65 GSM or even 55 GSM bags on their filling equipment. Obviously, the lower the weight, the less fabric, and therefore, the lower your per-bag cost.

The lowest weights might run okay on manual filling lines, but most U.S. producers use automated filling equipment, and the less stiff the bag, the more challenging is filling it on automated equipment. (Some merchants also demand thicker bags.) Older swing-arm style filling machinery is particularly challenged by lower weights; if a bag is too thin, it will “creep” while in the cassette and slide out of position causing “mis-hangs.” Lower weights are handled a bit better by hangers that pick up bags lying flat.

You might see fabric weights measured by “denier,” typically calculated as square inches per pound. The different measurements can be correlated; for example, 85 GSM converts to a 900 denier.

 

All of these measurements and subsequent conversions can make it difficult to determine if your bags are truly measuring up to your specifications, that is, if you’re getting all the weight you’re paying for.

THE FOLLOWING PROCESS AND FORMULA SHOULD BE HELPFUL:

  • Cut a measured square (accurately) and weigh it on a gram scale. Then convert to grams/square meter to get the overall structure basis weight.
  • Subtract the basis weight of extrudate, typically 18 GSM, which is the polypropylene used to adhere the printed film to the fabric.
  • Subtract the weight of the printed BOPP film, typically 16.2 GSM (18 micron).
  • The remaining weight is
  • the fabric weight, which in this case should be 75 GSM.If you’re looking to determine weight by denier, take the actual GSM weight, divide it by 85 and multiple by 900. E.g., 75 GSM divided by 85 GSM = 88.235% X 900 denier = 794.115 denier.

Remember this is an estimate and there will be some variation – most variance will come from extrudate – but you should be close enough to determine if your bags meet your fabric weight specification.

Understanding the measurements how to convert one specification to another will help you run a more effective cost analysis, leverage your packaging spend and make a smart BOPP packaging buy.


Finishing & Packaging: The Keys to Bag Integrity & Performance.

All the good work done in manufacturing and printing your BOPP bags can be for naught if they are not finished and packaged properly. Poor finishing touches or shabby packing and palletizing will diminish product integrity and create problems in the filling process. The finishing and packaging areas most critical to ensuring your bags arrive in good shape and perform well on your filling equipment include:

THE LAP SEAM: 
Bag integrity relies to a great extent on how the lap seam is glued. Most frequently, problems have arisen where bags are stored outside in cold and dry climates. The materials get brittle and the seam is compromised. In the early days of making BOPP bags the solution was to convert from glue to an extrusion lap seam. But today improvements have been made in hot melt glues; if the manufacturer is willing to invest in a superior glue, it can be used with confidenc

BAG LENGTH: 
While graphics typically determine a bag’s width, bag lengths often vary where gear-driven cutting systems are employed. Bags are cut according to an “eye spot,” a rectangular black bar printed on the bag that triggers the knife. With a gear-driven system, the trigger tends to gain over time, adding length to the bags. The variations create problems for automated fillers. Anduro employs a servo-motor system to control the rotary knife, wherein a sensor catches the “eye spot” and trips the knife to fire precisely at that point for a consistently accurate bag length.

PACKING AND PALLETIZING: 
Just as critical as making and finishing bags with precision is packing them in pallets so they ship and unpack without wrinkling. Wrinkled bags don’t perform well on automated filling equipment. Bags are packed manually, and packing personnel must build the stack in a jigsaw-puzzle style manner so as to ensure the bags don’t wrinkle when compressed. Once the bags are stacked properly, the pallets are reinforced with angle brackets to prevent them from collapsing and damaging the bags. At the Anduro plant, we use hardwood pallets that hold up to 6,000 bags, so shipping is cost-efficient and the bags are afforded maximum protection.

An uncompromised finishing and packing process means you receive bags with consistently accurate dimensions, including gussets and bag length, with lap seams that maintain their integrity in all types of environments, and that are not wrinkled or damaged during palletizing, shipping or distribution.