There’s a reason, actually several reasons, why Multifilm is known as the “twist-wrap guys.” A fully integrated plant and proprietary products such as UltraWrap and CPP Twist Wrap have driven sales of piece wraps, or individually wrapped pieces of confection, to comprise nearly half of the company’s revenues.
“We know the market, the equipment and the customers for piece wraps,” says Chris Rogers, president. “It’s a niche that we have focused on for more than 25 years now.”
But when it comes to individually wrapped candy, there’s a large segment that Multifilm has stayed away from: aluminum foil for bunch-wrapped novelty chocolates. That is, until now.
“For several years now, our customers have asked us if we can also supply aluminum foil for bunch-wrapping chocolates, such as Easter eggs and bunnies, Valentine’s Day hearts, etc.” continues Rogers. ”And while it’s piece wrapping of chocolate that runs on similar machinery, using a surface-printed single-web material, aluminum foil is a very different animal.”
Aluminum foil is a very thin, dense and heavy material, and the excellent dead fold makes it very unforgiving for converters to process. The material wrinkles easily and a small ding or dent that would not be a big deal on a roll of plastic film, could easily ruin a roll of foil. Purpose-built specialty equipment is often required, and the market is relatively stagnant. Over the past few years, mergers and plant closings have dwindled the supplier base for unmounted foil processors. Thus, when a major supplier exited the market in 2013, Multifilm’s management team sized the opportunity to enter the market.
“At that time we felt that there was a need for a new player to enter this market. Someone with state-of-the art equipment that could service this segment of the chocolate industry with superior quality, quick turnarounds and competitive pricing. Might as well be us,” says Multifilm CEO Olle Mannertorp.
Hence, Multifoil was born. Almost two years after the initial idea, the company has acquired a new 42,000-sq.-ft. facility, equipped with a 10-color W&H press, a new wax laminator, and two new slitters dedicated to foil production. As a result, Multifoil is a wholly owned subsidiary totally dedicated to foil conversion.
“We now have the most modern foil converting operation in North America,” says Rogers. “The new Windmöller & Höllscher flexo press is state of the art, and runs at over 1,600 ft./min. on foil as thin as 9 microns. Add a high-speed turret slitter to that, and we have tremendous capacity and plenty of room for expansion to keep serving this market segment for years to come."