Aetna UK launched the AXON range of shrink sleeving equipment with the EZ-130 system complete with the EZ-24-SR radiant heat chamber, which is constructed from stainless steel. This machine is capable of speeds up to 150ppm and has a sleeve layflat capacity from 15mm to 130mm. The EZ-130 has created a great deal of interest, particularly from the dairy, food and body care industries, and the system has been placed with one of Aetna's existing customers, where it is proving to be very effective.
Shrink sleeves have traditionally been used for primary labels in the beverage and cosmetics industry. Historically, the cosmetic industry relied heavily on carded, blister packages. The use of printed sleeves has helped reduce this by providing ingredients and bar codes on the sleeves, which eliminates the need for the blister packaging. This same concept is also used in the ink pen industry and confectionery industry.
Axon is the only manufacturer in the world to offer standard machines capable of processing round, square or other shaped products ranging from 20mm to 650mm in sleeve/band size, at speeds up to 750 parts per minute for a single head system. The market has now expanded to the personal care industry to allow for the use of a standard container with different sleeves for different products. This reduces the need to stock many different silk-screened containers.
Another example is the use of shrink sleeved containers in the snack industry instead of bags. This allows for a resealable crush proof container that fits in a car's cup holder. A major bottle moulding company has placed an order for the first Axon/Styrotech stretch system model ST-1030, if it proves successful, an order for a second machine will follow. Aetna are UK market leaders for pallet stretch wrap machinery and have a customer base of over 1000 companies. These include a cross section of customers in the food, drink, dairy and body care Industries and they intend to introduce these customers to the Axon/Styrotech range. Initial results are positive and Aetna believe there is a good opportunity for a versatile range of quality machines, at very competitive prices. 'We predict a high growth rate over the coming years and fully expect to create a market niche for both stretch and shrink sleeving in 2003.' Commented Aetna's managing director Mark Tucker.
The use of shaped containers continues to be popular and shrink sleeves provide a high quality decorating method that cannot be matched by other technologies such as pressure sensitive labels. The additional use of the sleeve for tamper evidence purposes is also an added benefit, so the opportunities are endless.' Aetna directly employs 10 fully experienced service engineers and holds a large stock of spare parts. As further proof of their confidence in finding a serious market segment in the UK for the Axon /Styrotech range, they have made further investment in a newly created position, that of Customer Care Manager Aetna say they are extremely proud of the reputation they have established since the company was launched in 1991 and firmly believe they offer the very best technical and after-sales support in the UK today.
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