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Super Tube Puts End to Letting ‘er Rip
by Lynn Grooms

Pets visiting a pet food store love what happens if a feed bag breaks, but retailers don’t and neither do feed manufacturers. In fact, more “big box” retailers are assessing fines if a manufacturer’s bags break, says Mark Resch who, with Neil Bretl, formed Super Group Corp. in June 2004. Super Group, Antigo, Wis., is focused on distributing packaging to the feed and seed industries. The company’s primary product is a line of woven laminate polypropylene bags that are stronger than paper yet cost 10-15 percent less to make, says Resch.

Super Group has teamed up with Coating Excellence International (CEI), Wrightstown, Wis., which specializes in innovative flexible packaging utilizing oriented poly propylene (OPP) film, the same processes used to produce the line of laminated woven polypropylene bags for the feed industry trademarked as “Super Tube.”

CEI made news last year when it landed a major contract with Sweet’N Low, which had previously purchased pink paper stock in South Korea. According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Sweet’N Low uses 24 billion packets a year. CEI has helped bring back business and jobs to the United States by focusing on specialized, value-added products using an efficient design for manufacturing coated paper.

The Super Tube is woven in a circle and, therefore, eliminates the back seam associated with paper bags, explains Resch. Back seams are prone to being ripped and torn bags result in shrinkage costs for feed manufacturers and retailers. Those shrinkage costs are now being compounded by fines from major retailers. Torn bags also add to labor costs when someone must clean up the spill.

“Super Tube fits the plans of large pet food companies and animal feed producers that are switching from paper to woven bags,” says Resch. At the same time, feed bag customers are looking to save costs. The CEI process allows bags to be manufactured for sometimes up to 10-15 percent less than what it costs to make paper bags, says Resch, adding that part of the reason is that three to four plys of paper would have to be used to equal the strength of the woven polypropylene bags.

The polypropylene woven process also eliminates the need for a poly liner to repel moisture. The moisture barrier rates of the Super Tube are much greater than paper bags with poly liners, says Resch. The product’s easy open, resealable tape does not wick moisture, he adds.

Woven polypropylene bags are much stronger as well as lighter than conventional paper bags, which also translates to lower shipping costs, says Resch. “Feedback from packers has been excellent--breakage is non-existent, bags go through sewing lines easier and are saving more money per unit.”

According to Resch, the new line of bags offers high quality graphics. A reverse print system is used where ink is trapped between the layers of the bag. Because the ink is trapped, colors do not scuff. Super Group offers up to 10-color printings.

Super Group is currently distributing the Super Tube line throughout the United States and Canada. With CEI’s international network, the line may be distributed to foreign markets in the future.

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