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Duo UK streamlines 97% mailing bag opacity guarantee

Duo UK has announced a new partnership with masterbatch specialists Colloids in a move which allows Duo to achieve its 97% opacity guarantee for mailing bags while reducing waste and lowering costs. The project has already seen masterbatch usage reduced by 5% while rejected spools have fallen by 20%.

Duo UK manufactures over 125 million polythene postal bags annually for clients from the e-tail, mail order and industrial sectors. To ensure contents of the package remain protected in the postal system it is critical that the product has a high level of opacity. Duo approached Colloids with a challenge to achieve consistency across its most popular mailing bags whilst reducing the amount of virgin material used and waste produced.

Operations Director Dale Brimelow explained, "We produce mailing bags for likes of ASOS, J D Williams and F+F at Tesco so providing a quality and consistent product is incredibly important. In order to ensure our competitiveness and meet our environmental responsibilities, we also need to minimise wastage.Clearly, given the significant volumes of opacity critical film we produce, if we are able to reduce the dosage of masterbatch and improve the consistency of output, this will help us achieve on both these fronts."

In order to achieve its mission, Colloids R&D department utilised the latest technology laboratory cast film and its ability to measure the opacity level in correlation with Duo's opacity meter. Using these techniques Colloids ran trials across seven colours of polythene film and achieved 97% opacity readings for the seven thicknesses specified by Duo UK, which ranged from 40-100 micron.

Following the research phase, Colloids produced a bespoke opacity chart for Duo UK which detailed masterbatch addition levels for each colour and thickness of polythene tested. Thereby ensuring the risk of overdosing on expensive masterbatch was removed while the number of spools rejected for low opacity was also reduced.

Dale commented: "This project will have a significant impact on our operational efficiency and reduces our environmental footprint. This in turn allows us to offer a more cost effective solution to clients. It is great to work in partnership with a proactive supplier like Colloids which like Duo UK, champions lean manufacturing and is willing and able to play a significant part in helping us achieve our objectives."

Bob Thomas from Colloids added: "From our perspective this has also been a hugely beneficial project - as well as ensuring we have a happy client, the body of knowledge we built up during the trials for Duo UK will stand us in excellent stead for developing new masterbatches and meeting and exceeding our customers' expectations in the future." 

Published: 04/07/2013

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