(Moonachie, NJ – February 2016) LPS Industries, a leading producer of flexible packaging solutions, recently announced that its Vapor Flex Division is playing a key role as the manufacturer for a distributor that was recently awarded a two-year General Services Administration (GSA) contract. The winning bidder was designated as the sole supplier of MIL PRF 131 to the military on a global basis and LPS is supporting the winning bidder as the manufacturer of the material.
MIL PRF 131 is a high barrier water-vapor-proof and grease-proof flexible material used throughout the military. LPS Industries is one of a select few companies in the world that have the expertise, capabilities and is certified by the military to produce it. Madeleine Robinson, CEO of LPS, commented “I am very pleased that we were able to successfully partner with and support one of our key distributors for this contract. Our long history demonstrating that we can manufacture to the precise specifications and high quality standards required by the military were no doubt important factors that resulted in our mutual success.”
Manufacturing mil spec material requires being certified to do so by the government. In order for LPS to obtain the certification to become a qualified manufacturer of MIL PRF 131, the company went through a rigorous approval process designed and applied by the military. Conducted over a period of several months, LPS initially evaluated and tested various solutions to deliver the required performance characteristics of the material. The process culminated with LPS submitting samples of their solution for performance testing in a military laboratory. Approved manufacturers are also subject to post award on-site inspections of their manufacturing processes, procedures and quality standards.
As the term mil spec generally applies to high barrier flexible materials, it simply means that the specifications to produce the materials contain specific minimum performance standards across a number of dimensions, not a recipe of what materials to use. The standards may include watervapor and/or oxygen transmission rates, puncture resistance and seal strength, among others.
LPS’ extensive knowledge and long history as a specialty manufacturer of custom foil laminations, primarily used to protect medical tests and devices, was easily leveraged into the military high barrier flexible material arena. LPS has a rich history of pioneering flexible materials and packaging to the military. The company’s support of the military dates back to 1959.
MORE ABOUT MIL PRF 131
MIL PRF 131 is considered one of the workhorses in the stable of military high barrier flexible materials. Its specifications require performance characteristics that are designed to provide long-term, high level protection with particular emphasis on its water-vapor-proof and grease-proof attributes. It is used in a wide variety of applications by the military and military contractors where a high degree of protection against moisture is a requirement. Examples include packaging sensitive instruments or critical parts whose performance could be negatively impacted by contamination of moisture or foreign substances.
LPS is also manufacturing another type of specialty flexible material to the military, MIL PRF 22191, and has been doing so for several years. MIL PRF 22191 is sometimes referred to as “transparent foil” since it has the high barrier properties of flexible packaging material made with a foil layer, but foil is not used in its construction resulting in its being “see-through”. Applications are similar to those for MIL PRF 131, providing optimal protection for parts and equipment. However, the transparent nature of MIL PRF 191 allows visual inspection of the contents (or the serial or model number) of anything packaged in it without compromising the integrity of the protection the packaging provides.
In addition to MIL PRF 131 and 22191, LPS has worked with individual branches of the military to develop special purpose materials. Our most recent project started by being approached directly by the Navy and resulted in development of a mission critical material that is used throughout the fleet.
Robinson comments, “We see our role as a flexible packaging solutions provider being especially valuable in situations when we can team with one of our supply chain partners. Our goal is to bring value to the end project or solve a particular problem by applying our deep expertise and unique capabilities as a vertically integrated flexible packaging and materials manufacturer.”