Gloucester Engineering Co. Inc. Chairman John Sharood wants his company to be known for its innovation, and that's why it is bringing word of WOW to NPE2009.
The film equipment company unveiled its newly developed WOW winder for cast stretch film for smaller cores or coreless operation during an open house June 18 at its corporate headquarters in Gloucester.
This is our first NPE since we became independent, so we are proud we can bring new technology to the market, Sharood said in an interview at the open house.
Sharood and Dick Murphy, partners in private equity firm Mousam Ventures LLC of Kenne- bunk, Maine, led a management buyout in 2007 of Gloucester Engineering from the German firm SMS GmbH.
The WOW, which was three years in development, is a multiple-turret surface-driven winder the company says has virtually no wound-in tension while operating at speeds up to 3,200 feet per minute for cast stretch film. It can handle core walls to .04 inch or 1 mm thickness.
WOW is one of three new products that Gloucester Engineering (Booth S32000) is touting at NPE. The company also is introducing its Centrum winder, a surface center and gap winder with a floating suspension that can handle a 59-inch-diameter film. Gloucester Engineering also is showing Symphonix, a next-generation control system.
WOW, which stands for With Or Without cores, can run 2- or 3-inch cores or rolls without cores, according to Mark VanBuskirk, vice chairman of Gloucester Engineering.
The first delivery is slated for July to packaging giant Berry Plastics Corp. of Evansville, Ind. In a news release, Gloucester Engineering said the winder will be installed on an 11-layer polyethylene cast stretch film line that it delivered to Berry earlier in the year.
VanBuskirk said the stretch film market can be divided in half those using larger rolls and those using smaller rolls or hand-wrapping. He said that this machine is for hand-wrapping.
VanBuskirk described the global cast stretch film market as varied: The U.S. uses 3-inch cores, Europe, 2-inch cores and Asia either 2- or 3- inch cores. The WOW works with either, or with no cores.
J. Corey Michal, Gloucester Engineering's senior mechanical engineer, said that the project was undertaken about three years ago to improve speed and performance and meant a rethinking of winders for the 2- or 3-inch core. It meant looking at the problems of traditional winders and coming up with new ideas. A prototype was developed in the laboratory and shown to select customers to make sure that the concept was viable and desirable.
We did do the due diligence for the most challenging part cut and transfer. The right concept required that we change the method of cut and transfer, Michal said.
He said once that was done in the lab, they were able to cut down the trim waste and do it without adhesive, which allowed for higher speeds.
Michal said that a switch to individual shafts help eliminate a lot of issues.
Gloucester Engineering operates out of a 165,000-square-foot facility in Gloucester. It also has an 80,000-square-feet machine shop about a mile away. Overall, it has 232 employees working two shifts five days a week.
Sharood said the company is investing 10 percent annually in research and development.