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.