By Susan Stansbury
With the ability to convert 2.1 billion square yards annually into wipes, Rebel Converting has substantial capacity in Milwaukee and Saukville, WI. The company is a force in the coreless roll/canister wipes business. In addition, the “Rebel” in its name means more than expertise. Its founder and CEO Michael Kryshak established the company with both expertise and innovation in mind.
“When it comes to folded rolls, we pretty much invented them,” says Kryshak. “Want a bigger towel without a bigger canister, bucket, or refill pouch—we fold the towel in half and perforate it. All our rewinders are set up with our proprietary folding plows—no one has the capacity on folded rolls like we do, so if you happen to need a 10,000 sq.yds. or a billion sq. yds. of fabric converted into folded rolls, just give us a call.”
No one knows the wipes industry better than Mike. When I visited his office in Milwaukee several years ago, his floor-to-ceiling shelves were filled with every type of wet wipe in canisters, packs, and packages. Currently, the company has what they refer to as a “wipes museum.”
In Wisconsin where more than a dozen companies are making wet and dry wipes, Rebel Converting is a leader.
As a contract manufacturer, Rebel partners with its customers across retail, healthcare, and business-to-business segments—to maximize the opportunities that exist in today’s market. “With the ‘hangover’ the wipes industry has experienced and post-Covid demand drastically dropping, Rebel is doing exactly the opposite of what many others in the industry are doing by adding additional capacity and innovating new packaging options,” says Scott Meiller, Rebel Converting COO. “The aspect of sustainability and overall carbon footprint are key to the future of our industry. With that said, Rebel Converting has invested heavily in into two complete injection mold cells—each with a 400-ton press, pick-and-place robotics to do in-mold full digital labels.”
Rebel’s X-Treme canisters were specifically designed for “Hard to Hold solutions” (such as solvent based), and they are also made for customers who wish to re-use their canisters. “In both cases, traditional blow-molded canisters cannot hold up to the pummeling that X-Treme can,” says Meiller. “These ‘Sherman tanks’ of HDPE canisters are extremely durable and can be used multiple times with Rebel refills.” Rebel refills are box gusset pouches holding perforated pre-moistened wipes with a micro-perf-and-tear notch to make it easy for consumers. Rebel says its refills take up to 99% less landfill space and utilize 96% less plastic.
The company notes another advantage of its X-Treme canisters by using digital high-resolution printing which allows Rebel to print any design, graphic, and wording with “four times resolution you would see in a People magazine print job .” Because each label is printed individually, labels can be sequentially numbered, have different sets of numbers on them, or be printed with unique images. Artwork changes are quick and cost effective with no lead times. Full digital technology allows Rebel to provide customers with sample canisters identical to those from a final production run. It becomes easy to prototype canisters for customers to test market new products, various label brands and designs. Since the labels are in-molded—melted right into the canister, they offer maximum durability—again important for reuse.
“At Rebel where our motto is ‘YOUR Wipe Business is OUR Business,’ the two facilities give customers the assurance of redundancy in production. Company offerings include wet and dry wipes, alcohol-based and other solutions, fill-it-yourself wipes, unique folded in-canister options and small to “huge” containers. “
On unfolded rolls, Rebel does high counts such as standard 1,200, 1,500, 2,000 and even higher. Rebel’s quality and customer satisfaction is a principal pursuit. For example, on high count rolls, the focus is on more than cost, but on value too. End users pull out single towels instead of annoying multiple clumps. Proprietary technology assures consistency from the first towel to the last.
The company prides itself on keeping the decision-making process uncomplicated, with no chain of command or private equity owner obstacles. Continuing to grow and offer new market-driven designs across the wipes industry, Rebel Converting is committed to maintaining its leadership role.