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Blog / 2021.11.01


Sven Krause / Conferences & Tradeshows, Latest News, ML6

Meridian Laboratory was Pleased to Exhibit at PACK Expo Las Vegas

The packaging industry rose to the occasion on September 27-29 2021, and followed new health and safety protocols to have a successful and productive tradeshow. With a reported 23,000+ attendee list, the 1,500+ exhibitors were busy and energized for the entire show. Meridian Laboratory’s expectations were surpassed, with a record number of new prospects interested in everything from precision polyurethane drive rollers, no-crush spacer wheels, clamps & grippers, to innovative custom polyurethane products.

2020 was a record year for packaging machinery, with the total size of the market in the U.S. increasing to $12.3 billion, growing by 14.4 percent, according to PMMI’s State of the Industry report. “In a word, PACK EXPO Las Vegas and Healthcare Packaging EXPO was a success,” said Jim Pittas, president and CEO, PMMI. “Exhibitors and attendees alike were energized by the number of people who attended and more importantly the business conducted from the moment we opened the doors.” This growth and excitement was felt by Meridian Laboratory as well, with an increase in demand for high-performance polyurethane solutions, projects ranged from coated cam followers, idler rollers, bearings, to robotic gripper fingers.


Numerous attendees and exhibitors were eager to discuss potential projects with specific needs that could be addressed by high-precision polyurethane solutions. Meridian Laboratory heard from companies requiring coated bearings for shrink wrap machines, bottle labeling applications, projects with Amazon Robotics, projects requiring encoder wheels, and bottle sleeve machines with feeding issues that all could be solved with ML6 polyurethane. Many requested a sample packet and wanted to test out different durometers, keen to get a better solution in place as soon as possible.

Packaging applications frequently utilize coated wheels and rollers of all different sizes and durometers, but product longevity and supply issues were a common topic of conversation. “We need products that simply last longer,” was heard repeatedly. Every project Meridian Laboratory learned about would greatly benefit from the reliability that ML6 has been renowned for throughout the decades.

ML6 precision polyurethane no-crush spacer wheels were an extremely popular product of interest. These hold-down “spider wheels” were recently utilized in a taco seasoning production process. The innovative wheels are designed to bow and protect materials being driven, while delivering reduced wear and increased longevity.

New to PACK EXPO Las Vegas 2021

Health and Safety Protocols

In accordance with statewide requirements in Nevada, everyone (including fully vaccinated individuals) was required to wear a mask indoors at PACK EXPO Las Vegas. This included public transportation, shuttle buses, taxis, and monorail. The show’s PACK Ready health and safety commitment also required all attendees, exhibitors, vendors and staff to complete a self-screening each day prior to entering the venue. These measures went a long way in ensuring the health and safety of all involved.

PACK to the Future…

Presented in the North Hall, the curated exhibit included nearly 30 pieces of historical equipment, materials and photographs spanning 250 years, journeying through the evolution of packaging and processing and highlighting how the industry developed alongside civilization. PACK to the Future celebrated the role of packaging and processing through history and the impact it is poised to have on our future.

Why ML6 High-Performance Polyurethane was met with Enthusiasm at PACK EXPO

Since 1963, Meridian Laboratory has delivered high-precision polyurethane solutions for the most challenging packaging applications, meeting exacting specifications. Meridian Laboratory’s high-quality, low-cost ML6 precision polyurethane rollers have delivered the best results to the packaging industry for decades. Sourcing difficulties and long lead times were a common theme with many of our visitors, and one of the many reasons why many companies have switched to ML6. It is a combination of the longevity of our products, along with our reliable availability and customer-friendly pricing that makes ML6 the preferred choice of so many great packaging companies.

ML6 polyurethane rollers feature a perfect (no grinding) surface finish, creating the best ID and OD tolerances (+/-0.001”). Meridian Laboratory created a popular runout display to demonstrate what happens when you compare a standard off-the-self competitor polyurethane roller, commonly ground to spec, to a standard off-the-shelf ML6 precision polyurethane roller, cast molded to exact specifications.

What we see is that the TIR (Total Indicated Runout) of the competitor roller to be 0.008” or worse, while Meridian Laboratory’s ML6 drive roller measuring only 0.0005” (yes, that’s 5 tenths of one thousandths of an inch); this means the competitor roller had 16 times the amount of runout to that of Meridian Laboratory’s ML6 drive roller.

Total Indicated Runout is an important variable in roller design, as it indicates how concentric an object is, or how much deviation there is between the two sides at any given time. This deviation can cause problems with quality and the length of life of rollers. The difference between these two rollers is significant, ML6 can solve common issues, such as misalignment of products being fed by the roller, a misreading of an encoder signal, vibration, or misses and jams in a feeder application.

Meridian Laboratory’s unique and time-tested manufacturing methods guarantee a low TIR, regardless of durometer or quantity ordered. By using Meridian Laboratory polyurethane rollers and products the packaging industry can be guaranteed to get a superior part which has a near zero Total Indicated Runout.

Use the links below to browse a selection of ML6 Precision Polyurethane coated wheels, rollers, bearings, bushings, and other components that deliver the best TIR results for the packaging industry, or use the button below to submit an RFQ with your request or specifications.

Request a Sample Request a Quote

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