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Top Flight Corporation

Narrow Web Corona Treaters Take “Flight”

Topflight Corporation, formed in 1943 as a small World War II aircraft component manufacturer in Pennsylvania, originally developed systems for printing component part identifications on adhesive tape. Since it’s inception, Topflight has pioneered many innovations in high-speed processing of labels, nameplates and data plates including design and preparation for the Electronics industry, Pharmaceutical Diagnostic industry, and serve label customers in the Home and Beauty Aids, Cosmetic, Durable Good, and Automotive industries. Today, Topflight offers high-speed, rotary printing in a variety of processes including flexographic, gravure, letterpress, screen, hot-stamping and digital printing. In additional to printing, Topflight has added a variety of converting equipment to offer complete service for all die-cutting, laminating, coating and stripping needs.

According to Mr. Charles Brown, Vice President of Manufacturing Technology (Topflight), “today’s narrow web label industry is confronted with the same challenges as any mature business worldwide. There’s a great need to manufacture our products with an emphasis on faster, better and cheaper.” Brown continues, “The search for cheaper and better almost always leads to the substrate. Our suppliers have responded with some very good high performance products. Unfortunately, some of these products have a very low energy level making it difficult to convert. Water base ink systems as well as UV curable inks each have unique flow characteristics requiring converters to change the dyne level of the substrate. To do that at Topflight, we chose Pillar.”

Topflight is currently using Pillar corona treaters on their narrow web flexo, letterpress and screen presses. Prior to Pillar equipment, the company had been using a previous corona supplier but switched due to ‘the product not performing up to expectations’. Mr. Brown goes on to say, “one reason we chose Pillar narrow web corona treaters was the fact that Pillar gave me the information I needed to make the correct choice prior to purchasing our first corona treater from them.”

In order to determine the proper equipment for use at Topflight, Pillar Technologies ran test samples in their lab in Hartland, Wisconsin. Topflight supplied Pillar with the substrates and Pillar ensured they could achieve proper dyne levels per application. Since initial testing, and over the past decade, Pillar Technologies has supplied the Topflight Corporation with six 500 series power supplies ranging from 1kW to 5kW, six narrow web cantilever or EZ-thread corona treaters to treat widths from 8” to 16”, and six OZD-100 ozone destruct units.

The Topflight Corporation runs full production of screen-printing, flexo, letterpress, gravure and hot stamping equipment. “We use all of these processes,” says Brown, “and most of them can be run in combination, i.e. flexo and gravure, letterpress, flexo and screen, flexo and hot stamping, screen and hot stamping, etc. We also use butt splice units, web cleaners, laminators, flat bed and rotary die-cutting units on most of our presses.”

Plans for Topflight include expansion in which Mr. Brown explains, “corona treating will play an even bigger role in the future.” Pillar Technologies will be ready to meet the needs and challenges of Topflight’s inevitable growth with the introduction of the new unitized narrow web corona treating system (showing at Label Expo in booth #1500). Agreeing with Mr. Browns philosophy of having to be faster, better and cheaper, the new unitized corona treater is Pillar’s most flexible and compact narrow web system available. The unit features a removable electrode magazine with factory-wired hands-free high voltage connection for ease of installation and use. Simple to clean and maintain, the narrow web treater is designed for use in most any flexo, label or converting application from 7.5 to 26 inches.

The extremely cost conscious, compact treater mounts directly onto existing presses. Standard units are equipped with front access single point gap adjustment and power supply control panel. Integrated power supply ranges from .5 kW to 2.5 kW per side including front digital control panel. Automatic proportional speed control, computer interfacing and watt density controller are also available. Specified Systems may even incorporate optional web cleaner, web guide and static control equipment directly into the system. The unitized narrow web from Pillar is just one way of answering the needs of pinnacle performance operations like Topflight.

Building on a long history of engineering, design, printing, and converting excellence, Topflight Corporation has become an international leader, offering truly innovative printing and converting solutions every day. Always on the cutting edge, Topflight Corporation is continually working to develop or improve techniques to meet specific market demands, which sets them apart from the standard “label house.” Pillar is proud to be a part of Topflight’s continued growth and success.

For more information on this article, please contact Topflight Corporation (800) 233-9386 or Pillar Technologies at (888) PILLAR-6 (745-5276). You can also visit Topflight’s web site at www.topflight.com or Pillar at www.pillartech.com.