Nonwovens – A Case Study

The Situation:

Pack Air was contacted by a customer who wanted to build a new fully automatic nonwoven line. They had worked with other suppliers in the past, but for this project they wanted something different. We have extensive experience in the nonwoven market, which often utilizes manual, semiautomatic, and fully automatic processes within the same line. Pack Air has built a solid reputation in the industry for building pack stations, semiautomatic de-palletizers, accumulation equipment, transportation systems, and integrated line controls, making us an ideal choice in this situation.

The Challenge:

We reviewed the project requirements and analyzed the current system to determine which parts worked well and which parts needed to be improved. It was determined that a fully automatic system would not fit within the customer’s budget, but a semiautomatic system would meet the rate requirements and fit within budget.

The customer agreed with the design of the system we proposed and asked that we supply the system in a very tight time frame. This customer, as with most, had a predetermined startup date, and any time loss or delay on the front end needed to be made up in the middle in order to meet final deadlines.


The Solution:

We were truly interested in meeting all of our customer’s requirements, the most challenging of which was their tight time frame.

We supplied a complete packaging system, starting with two Pack Air designed semiautomatic de-palletizers. This design included an unload station and sweep bar arrangement with a manual slip sheet removal zone and an automatic indexer. The product would discharge the sweep zone in mass flow and be single filed from both sweep systems to a 2:1 / 2:2 merge feeding two canister load stations. The load stations discharged into a transportation conveyor and accumulation system.


The product then went to the fillers and cappers, to a second accumulation system, and finally to the case packing stations. The system was complete with line controls, operator safety lines and interface panels for safe, trouble-free operation. To speed up the installation process, all of the equipment was pre-wired and tested in our facility prior to shipping. This allowed for a short install window and a quick start up curve which helped our customer meet their deadline.

The Results:

How well this system was received, and how well it performed, is best answered by our customer. When they stated that they wanted something different, they really meant that they wanted a supplier who would not only build what they asked for, but also stand behind their work. In their words “Pack Air was that something different.”

The true validation of the customer’s statement came to light when they contacted us to design a second system for a new product launch. During that conversation they also asked us to rebuild another supplier’s system that they said never worked correctly from the start.

We were not the least expensive solution, nor were we able to guarantee the customer the turnaround they was asking for. However, we were honest in our approach and offered a staged shipment schedule that allowed them to get their most critical equipment online in time for startup. We believe that integrity, honesty, and fairness in our business not only helps us win new customers, but also builds a relationship that will keep our customers coming back.