In August 2005, 3C Packaging Inc. (Clayton, NC) lost its building and most of its equipment to a devastating fire. Joe Elphick, president and CEO, began planning the company’s comeback immediately after the fire, rebuilding facilities and and installing state-of-the-art machinery. Once a designer and manufacturer of custom folding cartons known as Colonial Carton Co., the resurrected company renamed itself in January 2009 and now offers unit-dose compliance packages and printed literature.
|From the left, Randy Sutton, director of printed literature, Joe Elphick, president/CEO, and Jack Sowisdral, vice president of printed literature, by the Vijuk MV-2005 Outsert System with the G&K FA 53 Folder.|
“When we began shopping for our first leaflet folder, Randy Sutton, our director of printed literature, and Jack Sowisdral, our vice president of printed literature, pointed us toward Vijuk Equipment Inc. (Elmhurst, IL).”
The Vijuk outsert systems are capable of folding both outserts and inserts. Outserts are leaflets with the final panels folded inward and secured with nonfugitive glue to keep them compact, intact, and easy to handle for shipping and during high-speed processing at the customer’s facility. Customers may affix them to the outside of product containers with a dab of fugitive glue, permitting them to dispense with cartons and save on cost and labor. An insert, by contrast, is placed inside a folding carton with the product.
3C folds roughly equal quantities of the two types of leaflets for their pharma customers. Both essentially serve the same function—providing the end-user with directions for use.
Elphick notes, “We’re operating two different RTA (right-turn-angle) systems that are designed to handle lightweight stock for pharmaceutical and miniature leaflet folding. Our first machine, the Vijuk MV-97 Outsert System with the G&K FA 43 SVA Folder, folds outserts with up to 90 panels. Our newly acquired Vijuk MV-2005 Outsert System, paired with the G&K FA 53 R6 Folder, creates outserts with up to 150 panels. It is a double-knife folding system that is electronically controlled and equipped with a modem for off-site diagnostic analysis. We recently ordered a second one.”
Operators love the Vijuk folders, says Elphick. “Makeready is easy on the MV-2005, and once it starts on a job, it can fold up to 12,000 intricate outserts per hour—many that end up having as many as 150 panels. I can tell you, that capability really opens a lot of eyes in the pharma world.”
TheMV-2005 can fold a very large sheet—up to 20 x 40 in. “This capability is also important to our customers because FDA now mandates larger fonts and additional information for medical product users. For some of our clients, having a single large sheet means not having to buy two inserts. There’s a cost savings for them right there,” he says.
The MV-2005’s high precision maintains consistency during production runs. “Our outserts and inserts are always reliably the same size. Our customers love that. It means our folded items will run smoothly on their equipment.”
Elphick points out that the MV-2005 also allows 3C to fold outserts with panel dimensions as small as 1¹/8 by 1¹/8 in., which fit on bottle caps. He touts its water scoring capability, a feature which deposits a series of minute water dots along fold lines to soften fibers in the paper, ultimately allowing 3C to reduce the thickness of outserts and inserts anywhere from 13 to 18 percent. The reduced thickness means they can put many more of the folded leaflets in the trays they ship to their clients. As a result, less storage is required, and 3C’s customers don’t have to change trays as often during processing.
3C employs 120 workers operating 3 shifts in a new 115,000 sq. ft. facility—of which about 40,000 sq. ft. are earmarked for the expansion of the printed literature business.