LEADING THE WAY
THREE OF ROY'S PRIMARY INNOVATIONS
#1 - Revolutionize Institutional Milk Packaging – The GefSystem
INDUSTRY & GF IMPACT In the mid-20th century, cafeterias, food service operations, and vending machines dispensed milk from large (6-10 gallon) steel cans. The heavy cans were returned to the dairy after each use, washed, and refilled for the next customer’s bulk milk. Poly liners were an early GF product that improved sanitation, but the steel milk cans were quite expensive, relatively unsanitary…and would ultimately rust!
Roy’s patented GefSystem used a lightweight, reusable plastic container into which a sanitary polyethylene liner was fitted.
Using a GF-supplied machine, the dairy-filled bulk milk and ice cream mix in 3, 6, and 12-gallon packages, shipping to their institutional and food service customers.
The concept was immensely successful and led to longer shelf life and higher-quality dairy products.
LASTING IMPACT Bag-in-box packaging is widely used for products such as milk, wine, tomato products, and cleaning agents, among many others. General Films continues to serve dairy customers in the USA and abroad with 1 1/2 to 8-gallon bags. Used in conjunction with GF-supplied fillers, fluid milk and ice cream mix are packaged for food service and restaurant customers.
#2 - Vertical Integration of Manufacturing
INDUSTRY & GF IMPACT During General Films' first 20 years, the company sourced film from a few commercial suppliers, and converted the film into numerous early products: Nomarc hat liners, PlastiCup crock liners, SaniMox foot covers, plus cellophane and poly bags. As growth in the GefSystem fueled film demand, Roy decided to “make his own” film. In 1968 the company installed our first blown film extruding line and began producing film for customers outside of GF. By the early 1970s, custom film, made to order, for outside customers had eclipsed our converted products business.
LASTING IMPACT Custom film represents about 75% of our sales volume. General Films supplies customers throughout the USA and Latin America. Markets served to include fresh chicken, cheese, produce, fluid milk, automotive, infrastructure/construction, and general-purpose industrial.
Our products preserve freshness and provide leak-proof containment for chicken from processor to end customer. Our cheese packaging holds 40 & 640-pound cheese blocks and 500-pound barrels for as long as 2 years, offering protection during the aging process. We maintain the cleanliness of blow-molded dairy jugs awaiting filling. Our products reduce noise and prevent water infiltration in autos. We help to lengthen the service life of in-ground ductile iron water pipes.
Supplying wide-purpose poly to highly engineered nine-layer coextruded films, General Films is one of the oldest operating blown film plants in the USA.
#3 - Long Shelf Life Food with Aseptic Packaging
INDUSTRY & GF IMPACT While developing a high-speed bag-in-box filler for the GefSystem, Roy realized the approach could be adapted to package liquid foods in a completely sterile manner. Based on numerous patents, Roy founded a new company, Asepak Corporation, to pursue this work, which was well ahead of its time.
The Asepak system could provide a very long shelf life in flexible film bags, an attractive alternative to the metal cans typically used at that time.
Having already experienced the possibilities inherent to multilayer coextruded films with a pioneering line installed in the mid-1970s, General Films added the first barrier film line in 1990. Made to Asepak specifications, General Films’ pouches provided barriers to oxygen, aroma, and flavor; with a shelf life of over one year possible.
Roy operated Asepak until his “retirement” at age 90 in 2003. His innovation and commitment to Asepak became the catalyst for General Films to begin manufacturing barrier films.
LASTING IMPACT With continued investment in state-of-the-art blown film technology, General Films now operates two, nine-layer co-ex lines, producing films that contain layers of polyethylene, nylon, and ethylene vinyl alcohol. These films provide high barriers to oxygen and other gases for enhanced shelf life, high strength films for rough service applications, heat resistant products, and other highly engineered films for demanding applications.