In a Dec. 7 ceremony, United DC Inc. received recognition for an innovative packaging method for bagging resins in both pellet and powder forms. The Houston contract resin packager was one of four firms presented with the 1995 Innovative Business Practices Award, sponsored by Andersen Consulting and the Houston Business Journal. Recipients were selected by a panel of business leaders.
In 1988, United DC said its management began to notice a growing industry discontent with the then-conventional packaging methods of paper bag with valve and a polyethylene form, fill and seal bag. Conventional packaging was costly to produce and potentially dangerous to the environment. The valve on the paper bag tended to leak and the PE form, fill and seal bag could puncture easily, causing spills.
``I struggled for years with this problem,'' said United DC President Marc Levine. ``I didn't like either bag and neither were efficient to a filler's operations.''
Since two-thirds of all bagged resins go offshore, Levine went to the Pacific Rim to ask users what they liked and disliked about the 55-pound bags.
After getting the input he needed, Levine's company started working on a solution through an application he said had never been used before in the plastics industry: a polypropylene, woven, open-mouth bag designed and manufactured to meet the strength and puncture requirements of the industry.
In 1991, after more than three years of research and development on both the bag and the machinery needed to manufacture it, United DC put the bag, called Unibag, onto the market.
Today, about one-third of all resins that go into a bag go into the Unibag, said Levine, who added that there has been a marked increase in production capacity since use of the Unibag began. United DC now receives and packages 20 railroad cars of resins per day.
``We're able to pack more pounds per day at less cost with better quality,'' he said.