Introduced in 2003 but still gathering steam in the market are Tug & Tote bags, a patented way to simplify supermarkets' logistics with produce bags while also improving customers' experience. The processor and converter, Waverly Plastics, took time to listen to and learn from its customers, and the effort has paid off many times over.
|Steve Sakai, president of CMD Corp. and Waverly Plastics CEO Rose Van Nieuwenhuyzen, display the Tug & Tote system in front of a new CMD converting line recently purchased by Waverly.|
A solution took shape in the processor's ranks when its VP of manufacturing, Tracy Slocum, noticed that by tugging at the roll from the middle, just one bag came out. He repeated the process a few times and noticed that his fingers always only touched the sealed end of the bag and that the bags dispensed easily, and cleanly, one at a time.
The company developed a carton and racking system which allows easy dispensing of single bags to retail customers through the bottom of the box. The patented product is named Tug & Tote.
Because the bags dispense cleanly, one at a time, retailers don't have to deal with discarded bags that dispensed incorrectly or were punctured while dispensing. Cartons also can be custom printed to assist in advertising efforts. It's not all plastics processing, clearly, but it is giving a customer the product he wants, with a plastic application—the bags—at the center of the project.
Van Nieuwenhuyzen estimates that the Tug & Tote produce bags are used in about 1500 stores around the country. Waverly also offers the system with bags processed from a biodegradable plastic. "We developed a test we could trust and do our own testing, as well as using external facilities," says Van Nieuwenhuyzen of the biodegradable products. "Our biodegradable bags meet the ASTM standard definition for degradable and biodegradable plastic."
The technology that creates the overlapped bags on a roll for Waverly is the patented CMD Model 4213RO rotary overlap bag winder from film-conversion machinery manufacturer CMD Corp. (Appleton, WI). Using it, bags can be wound without being connected. Instead, each bag is 'layered' onto the previous bag. This facilitates the easy dispensing of single bags.
Waverly's most recent CMD bag line, acquired in May 2010, was customized to provide high-speed, multilane converting. Additional customization included a unique process to reduce static and make the bags easier for the consumer to open, according to CMD. —[email protected]