Q&A: NEW ERA

New Era is a global enterprise focused on providing custom designed equipment solutions for the web handling industry.  With decades of industry experience on staff, New Era can apply its engineered solutions to provide you with web handling equipment tailored to your converting needs.  The company has a great deal of experience with coating, laminating, calendering and drying systems for a wide variety of environments, with a customer base spanning most industries which handle materials in a roll-to-roll fashion.                                                                                                                                                 

Paul Lembo, executive vice president at New Era Converting Machinery, Inc. recently took some time to discuss the company’s latest equipment and highlights for the upcoming ICEC show with PFFC. Here is what he had to say:

What plans has New Era made for the ICEC show coming up in October and how do you plan to navigate the challenges of the current travel climate?

Lembo: I think it is safe to say that ICEC this October will be very different from past shows.  Covid restrictions and changes in social norms since March of 2020 will result in a different trade show experience.  Our hope is that we can navigate these challenges by finding innovative ways to promote our company.  While we have the show’s largest booth, and plan to bring converting equipment to the show floor, we hope to incorporate some virtual and visual experiences where people can learn more about our company while staying socially distant should they choose to.  Additionally, our President Bob Pasquale plans to present two papers during the conference and our hope is that this educational setting will attract more visitors to the show.

What equipment will you be bringing to the ICEC show this October? 

Lembo: Our current plan is to bring three large machine sections to the show, including one complete pilot coating line. The pilot coating line (PCL) has been developed to allow a tremendous amount of flexibility for product development.  After years of engineering and market research, we were able to develop an affordable, easy to operate pilot coating line that offers clients the ability to run up to eleven different coating methods.  Bringing this coating line to the show will be a great opportunity for potential clients to see this innovative new machine for the first time.

Your recently patented LLS Butt Splice Unwind has received quite a bit of industry attention. What are its main advantages and features, particularly regarding coating?

Lembo: Many coating applications cannot tolerate a traditional “lap” splice in that the thickness of the two layers of substrate requires the splice be jumped at the coater.  This off-coat condition results in scrap material at every unwind splice in volumes that are typically far greater than just the splice itself.  In many cases, “butt” splicing can drastically reduce or even eliminate this scrap in that the material is not overlapped and can pass through the coating head without having to go off-coat.  The historical drawback to butt splicing is that they needed to be made at zero speed, which necessitates the use of large accumulators in higher speed processes.  Additionally, the formation of the butt splice was typically a manual process.  The result is a labor-intensive operation which requires a great deal of floor space.  Our patented LLS unwind can create a functional butt splice automatically at full line speed, without the use of an accumulator.  This innovation brings the best of both splicing methods, reduced floor space requirements, minimal operator intervention and reduced scrap in the coating operation.

You touched earlier on utilizing virtual experiences to educate and inform customers, can you talk a little about your YouTube channel on coating methods and how you use that to educate industry professionals?

Lembo: A few years ago our President, Bob Pasquale, wrote a paper which we turned into a blog series on coating methods and their design applications.  In the time since we began sharing it online, we have noticed that it is one of the most popular educational papers on coating methods that we have ever posted.  The YouTube series on coating methods is intended to be a visual expansion of those posts, to provide a 3D animated representation to help viewers understand how various coating methods work.  In addition, we have taken much of the valuable content from the original coating papers in an attempt to help viewers who know their substrates and coatings focus in on the best coating method or methods for their process.   We have seen a lot of activity on our YouTube channel and the viewership continues to grow.

Helping customers in finding the right coating method for their production is only one aspect of a successful service portfolio. What can New Era offer in terms of after sales service and customer support? 

Lembo: At New Era, we have built our company around our customers having access to all levels of our organization, including ownership.  What this means to the customer is that they are always going to get to the right person, and quickly.  After-sales service and support has always been a primary focus for New Era in how we operate our business.  There are many facets to supporting a customer in the converting industry, but we see the primary areas of need from our clients being mechanical, electrical and process related.  We have large departments of experienced personnel in all of these disciplines, which means we have the right people available to help when something is required on our equipment in the field.  Remote support capability has become increasingly valuable in our current climate, and while we have offered remote support on our equipment installations for years, we are now expanding those platforms for audio and video communication such that we can see what the customer sees in real time.  We are told that our responsiveness to the needs of our customers is one of the primary reasons converters continue to come back to us.

Learn more about New Era’s capabilities on our website http://www.neweraconverting.com or follow us on twitter @webconverting.


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