For over two decades, Dallas-based company TQL Packaging Solutions has maintained a commitment to customer satisfaction through superior quality labeling products. In 1995, current President Scott Smith founded Total Quality Labels as a startup on a shoestring budget with himself as the sole employee. However, his focus on helping customers put the best product forward allowed him to quickly grow in the pressure-sensitive market.
TQL is the type of company that can understand the big picture, investing in the right technology, and even change their own branding to respond to the new market, as they did this year by changing the company’s name from Total Quality Labels to TQL Packaging Solutions.
The converter is celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2020, now as a full complement print service provider, offering digital and flexo technologies for conventional labels all the way up to complex packaging applications like pouches, shrink sleeves, and extended-content labels.
Despite the economic pressures of the pandemic, TQL Packaging Solutions is poised for 20% growth over 2019. This growth pushed the converter to purchase and install a Rotoflex VLI 700.
The VLI is a premier 28.5-inch-wide inspection, slitting, and rewind system that complements advanced applications and high-volume production. Rotoflex VLI is a necessary workflow addition for finishing film labels and wraps, flexible packaging, and excels at handling tension-sensitive materials. The machine can be configured to meet a full range of applications and substrates.
The new Rotoflex VLI 700 slitting rolls of material at TQL Packaging Solutions in Dallas, Texas.
Before choosing the machine, company leadership closely evaluated Rotoflex alongside with other solutions in the market, and the speed of VLI was the deciding factor. “We needed enough speed to keep up with our newly acquired 26-inch flexo press, which was installed over the summer,” says Smith.
According to Smith, his VLI runs two daily shifts at an average of 1,000 fpm. Upon installation, TQL Packaging Solutions had 3 million linear feet ready for the machine to slit, and Smith estimates that the machine was able to slit 20 million feet in the first weeks, “which is far better than I could have imagined,” he adds.
The high-volume jobs currently run at TQL Packaging Solutions required not only speed but pristine output and preserved roll characteristics. “It’s so important, especially on film work, to have rolls with crisp edges, just like a mirror. This is one of the areas the VLI really shines,” says Smith.
This is the first time the company has purchased a machine from Rotoflex, and Smith’s satisfaction goes beyond the product itself. “We had two days of training which, by the way, was another great thing. Rotoflex came in the middle of COVID and did the training in a very professional and safe way, keeping their distance and wearing masks all the way through. On top of it, training was multi-lingual, and that is valuable,” says Smith emphasizing that he has a team of 26 employees who also speak different languages. “I also expected to be a little bit more of a learning curve, but right off the bat we were able to easily run from small rolls to almost maxing the machine out (…)”.
TQL Packaging Solutions was impressed by the fact Rotoflex gave them a delivery date and kept their word by delivering the machine on time without hiccups. Smith says that for the new equipment, consumables, and supplies they continued to buy in the current scenario, “there was always a bug, something happening to delay delivery. Not this time – there was no bug at all! No delays due to the pressures of the world and we were thrilled.” Bob Anderson, Rotoflex Regional Sales Representative, says “We are happy to see TQL and other customers achieving their goals despite the challenges of 2020, and we are thankful for Rotoflex to be a small part of the support team that enables that success.”
The label and packaging industry has fared well, navigating the difficulties imposed by the global pandemic. This also rings true for Rotoflex, who shared a completely booked end of year from an operations standpoint, as well as its parent company, Mark Andy Inc., who reported a noticeable business uptick in the second half of 2020.