Colback, provides a firm backing for filters that meet the highest standards of filtration performance and efficiency. However, in the Colback manufacturing process, when we remove defects, we create a sewn seam.
One of our customers, a leading global filter manufacturer, approached us with a development need: they were moving to new production lines, which were wider and faster than before. The issue was that, with the new lines, there was a greater risk of the sewn seams in Colback causing the automated process to shut down. Or of products being shipped with a seam, and the consequent potential damage to quality and reputation, let alone the possibility of shipments being halted.
However, the customer did express a preference for using Colback over alternative suppliers' products, due to its better performance - if we could eliminate the sewn seams.
The solution we discovered lay in using Ultra Sonic Bonding (USB), an existing technology, but new to our processes. With USB, a seam still exists but cannot be seen or felt - thus we could eliminate both defects and seams.
However, there was still the challenge of identifying a seaming unit that would work with our production, and meet our customer’s process steps. We organised pilot trials at our Arnhem, Netherlands plant and at the customer’s facility, working closely with them to set production specifications. We installed the unit on one line in October 2016, after the initial request.
With the seam issue resolved, our customer was happy to choose Colback for all their new lines - and expects to continue to do so. With fewer risks for their new production process and packaging, the project translates into growth and expansion opportunities for them, particularly in Asia. Having now worked closely withus, they hope to co-develop innovations in the future.
For Low & Bonar, the development of seamless Colback rolls without defects offers potential for increased sales and collaboration with up to six other customers in the filter industry, as well as with other market segments such as flooring and roofing.
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