Waverly Plastics Co. Inc. found gold in the middle of a roll of polyethylene film produce bags.
With the recent purchase of new machinery from CMD Corp., Waverly is poised to capture a bigger share of the retail supermarket business with its Tug & Tote carton and racking dispensing systems.
Since 2005, the Waverly, Iowa-based blown film extruder has marketed the Tug & Tote, and has among its customers 1,500 stores around the U.S., Rose Van Nieuwenhuyzen, Waverly's president and CEO, said in a June 30 telephone interview.
We started in the business mostly selling to wholesalers, who in turn would install the product in small-town grocery stores. Once we got beyond that phase, we got into the larger supermarkets, not necessarily nationally, but we're in some of the regional markets, she said.
The company's fastest-growing markets include Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York, she said.
What's unusual about the rolls inside the Tug & Tote dispenser is that the bags have been wound without being connected and are dispensed individually from the inside of the roll.
Steve Sakai, president of Appleton, Wis.-based CMD, said his company developed its model 4213 rotary overlap bag winder to bring Waverly's concept to fruition. The challenge for us was to deliver a machine that would produce those kinds of rolls in a consistent, high-quality fashion.
In May, Waverly purchased a multilane bag-conversion line from CMD. From a CMD 2352 surface-driven unwind machine, a roll of film passes through a post-gusseting and slit-sealing machine with special V-folders. There, the film is split into three lanes, which are fed into a CMD 1552 high-speed rotary bag machine. Then, sealed bags are wound onto coreless rolls on three separate overlap winding machines.
Waverly leverages our technology into a real value-add for the consumer, Sakai said.
According to Van Nieuwenhuyzen, Waverly ships about 330,000 Tug & Tote boxes annually. In addition to virgin PE bags, Waverly offers an oxo-biodegradeable version of the Tug & Tote line made with an additive developed by Environmental Products Inc. of Vancouver, British Columbia.
Waverly has eight blown film lines and employs 38, manufacturing a variety of food and trash bags and liners. It began using several new bag-sealing and winding technologies in 2009 to help control costs, Van Nieuwenhuyzen said.
CMD, which manufactures high-speed machinery for bag making and packaging, employs 150.
Neither company discloses sales.