Plastics Technology

MAY 2012

Plastics Technology - Dedicated to improving Plastics Processing.

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Copol International Ltd. being focused, we are able to develop synergistic relationships with our customers and our suppliers that might not be pos- sible otherwise." To that point, Lanoƫ notes that both of Copol's primary material suppliers, LyondellBasell and ExxonMobil, have used Copol's production equipment as an extension of their own R&D operations to test new resin formulations and film struc- tures. Copol still operates out of the former PVC stretch-film plant, using 80,000 ft2 of manufacturing space to produce dozens of CPP film structures from three single-layer lines and one three- layer line. Due to be commissioned late this summer or early fall is a brand-new five-layer, Filmex cast PP line from Wind- moeller & Hoelscher, which will provide Copol with the capa- bility to expand its offerings to current customers and develop altogether new ones. "We have enjoyed much success over our history, but we are not resting on our laurels, says David Sawler, v.p. of business and product development. "Consumer demands are changing and packaging is changing to meet those new demands. To be on the leading edge of the CPP film industry, we need to expand our manufacturing capabilities and focus on new, value-driven prod- uct development. We want to play a major role in shaping the direction of the industry, and investing in this type of advanced equipment will allow us do that." The new W&H line will even- tually permit Copol to produce CPP with up to nine layers. Sawler continues, "The company has committed to new processing technologies and we are constantly evaluating new resin and additive technologies. Our continuous focus on innovation and development of new film products and services will deliver market-leading performance and value to our customers." LIGHT ON ITS FEET That's not to say that Copol is an industry behemoth that clubs com- petitors based on overwhelming vol- ume. Copol keeps its annual sales figures and production capacity close to the vest, but the firm's strategy is more about being fast and flexible than big and dominating. "We're a small player in a large market, but we speak in a loud voice," is how Sawler puts it. "The value proposition of what we deliver to the market is widely known," he elaborates. "We may not sell the most in terms of pounds, but I would say we have the most custom- ers. Not everyone can buy 20,000 lb Some 95% of Copol's wide range of CPP products are delivered door-to-door within a two-to-three-week lead time. PLASTICS TECHNOLOGY MAY 2012 47 of film at a clip. Some order 100 lb of material at a time, while others order a full truckload." Adds Bill Daehler of Northstar Films, Copol's exclusive U.S. sales agent, "We consider ourselves unique because we always have much more production capacity than we need. As a result we can offer lead times of two or three weeks to anywhere in North America. That speaks to our focus on the customer." PRODUCTION CAPABILITIES In Nova Scotia, Copol has steadily upgraded both the hardware and controls of all four of its cast lines. The addition of the new W&H line will expand the company's film gauge range from 0.7 mil up to 6 mil. It has a standard line of CPP films combined with the knowl- edge, technology, and analytical capabilities to develop totally new structures for highly customized applications. Copol oper- ates multiple slitter/rewinders that can produce custom finished rolls ranging from 0.75 in. to 72 in. Copol determines the optimal resin/additive packages for each application, but it also works to ensure that alternatives are always available to strengthen supply-chain management. "This broad portfolio of resin/additive packages allows for product customization to meet specific and unique require- ments," Sawler states. "We differentiate ourselves by customizing an existing product to meet specific client performance parameters, or by developing a new product that best delivers specific perfor-

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