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Reusable Cores – At Your Own Risk!

In times when saving costs has become a major challenge many have succumbed to
the pressure and reverted to risky and even life-threatening approaches and solutions.
This also applies to our core industry, specifically in the area of the reusable application
of cardboard cores.

The principle couldn’t be simpler: the cores are collected at printing plants; they are
then prepared and returned to the paper mill to be used again. The preparation
involved in this process ranges from merely removing any remaining paper to sawing
off the clamping imprints at the ends up to so-called “joining”, i.e. gluing used cores
together. An entirely new cover can even be fixed to the used core. If you are
interested in one of these solutions, you should also be aware of the following facts and
risks involved:

Cardboard cores are products that are custom tailored to the specific needs and
applications of each customer. They have been specially designed to optimally fulfill his
requirements. This fact alone shows that arbitrarily glued together core fragments will
produce an inhomogeneous “new” core, whose behavior in the actual application
cannot be foreseen or calculated. Varying core diameters, cardboard qualities and
adhesives are just a few examples that demonstrate the variety of factors involved in
this context. But also the reapplication of an individual core raises potential hazards.
Even if the ends, parts of the core apparently most stressed by the chuck, are
removed, one should not disregard the fact that cores in their application are subject to
far more extreme stresses and strains. For example, through the dynamic strain of the
roll weight or other serious strains such as the amplitude, the deformation of the core
and vibrations as a result of the high speeds involved in the unrolling process.

Apart from the strain-related imponderability, there is yet another significant aspect:
within the framework of its application, and in the case of reusable usage, a core will
suffer losses in terms of consistency, stiffness and geometry during each and every
application – this is nothing new. However, it is imperative to note that no one is able to
make a definite and reliable statement as to exactly how many applications an
individual core has already undergone.

All these facts in combination with responsibilities concerning product liability and
insurance law allow manufacturers of cardboard cores to make just one clear
statement: any form of liability for this product can only and exclusively apply to its first
application. Whatever your plans may be in terms of re-using cardboard cores, you are
proceeding at your own risk.

Your core manufacturer, your national association or the European Association ECTA
would be more than happy to answer any of your questions.

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