Web Industries Expands Indiana Facility

MARLBOROUGH, MA | Web Industries has announced the completion of an $8 MM+ investment that puts eight-color flexographic printing, 60-in. OD web spooling, and precision slitting of flexible materials in a single facility in Fort Wayne, IN. 

Large-format spools

Company says the 18-month construction and equipment installation project gives manufacturers of personal and home care products a shorter supply chain advantage, faster throughput in their manufacturing processes, greater speed to market, opportunities for product differentiation and a single point of supplier accountability. Expanded capabilities include the processing of flexible materials for baby diapers, adult incontinence, and feminine care products, as well as a myriad of materials used in flexible packaging, industrial textiles, and medical applications. According to VP of corporate development Kevin Young, the move was made in response to increased demand for multicolor flexible materials and growing preferences among manufacturers for spooled flexible fabrics.

“A research project commissioned by Web Industries and conducted by an independent marketing analytics company revealed emerging branding needs for multicolor graphics on certain personal and home care products and growing recognition of spooling advantages in manufacturing processes,” Young says. “Our investment puts us ahead of the curve among formatters of nonwoven and flexible materials. In terms of our customers’ business efficiency, wide-web spooling enables them to process slit materials up to 25 times as long without interruption compared to pad rolls. This increases throughput and reduces material handling, splicing needs, and the potential for human error.

“Our new eight-color printing capability will be of particular interest to diaper producers co-marketing with entertainment brands to produce logos and graphics that delight toddlers, and to feminine hygiene and adult incontinence product manufacturers wanting to convey an extra dimension of quality to end users.” 

Wide-web spooling

“We can work with multiple streams of materials,” adds Young, “whereas vertically integrated businesses only provide their own nonwoven materials. We believe this is restrictive, and our customers benefit from our strategy of being material agnostic. This is a benefit no other nonwoven materials formatter can offer.” The investment at the Fort Wayne operation covers a 50,000-sq-ft, purpose-built climate-controlled manufacturing and warehousing expansion. The facility houses two eight-color flexographic presses to provide water- or solvent-based printing. It also houses a propriety-designed wide-web spooler capable of transverse winding slit materials on spools to 50 in. wide and 60 in. in OD, with slit widths to 12 in. All three assets are said to have superior web handling capabilities including tension control for specialized lightweight, extensible materials, as well as for converting heavy-gauge and multi-layered materials. 

The facility also warehouses large volumes of materials to support a high-speed operation and fast turnover of orders. “Maintaining warehoused materials is part of Web industries’ supply chain benefit,” Young says. “Looking ahead, sufficient space exists to accommodate additional equipment as our business continues to grow.”

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