Blown Film (November 01, 2004)
DO YOU REALLY NEED NINE LAYERS?...
DO YOU REALLY NEED NINE LAYERS?
Only a small number of processors run nine-layer blown film lines, but some experts believe the technology will gain greater use among progressive companies that want to differentiate their products from their competitors’ offerings.
Blown film equipment manufacturer Battenfeld Gloucester Engineering sees a bright future for nine-layer technology. The company has already sold several of its nine-layer Optiflow LP dies, and is installing a nine-layer line at its technical lab in Gloucester, MA.
One film producer that has invested in nine-layer Battenfeld blown film technology is Ampac Plastics of Cincinnati, OH. Ampac is a private company that produces performance films for food, retail and industrial packaging. Tom Geyer, vice-president of manufacturing, says the company invested in this advanced equipment to increase its options. “It will give us greater flexibility with the structures we run. Ampac makes seven-layer film, but occasionally we need more layers to meet certain performance requirements.”
“It’s a great selling point,” he adds.
Tom Crosson, Ampac’s director of sales for the consumer packaging division, adds that nine- layer film can successfully compete against more complex structures. The ability to match or exceed the properties of a laminate with a multi-layer film that’s produced in one step is a powerful economic advantage, he explains. “We specialize in engineering solutions for our customers. Obviously we can produce multi-layer barrier packaging more economically than laminates.”
Crosson also believes that with nine-layer capability Ampac will be able to better serve the converting industry, not only with higher barrier films, but also with specifically designed heat seal layers all in one film. A converter could print on less expensive films before laminating to Ampac’s barrier/sealant film.
Battenfeld Gloucester Engineering Co. Inc. 978-281-1800
THREE-LAYER DIE IMPROVES FILM GAUGE CONTROL
Davis-Standard introduced the latest evolution of its low profile (Lo-Pak) coextrusion technology at this year’s K Show. The updated 380 mm (15 in.), three-layer Lo-Pak die is from a family of dies that serve a range of applications, such as converting film, barrier food packaging and laminating films. The die incorporates a unique shear-rate modeling design that reduces residence time and wetted surface area when compared to other dies. This design also features controlled shear rates in the critical confluence area, improving gauge control accuracy and film consistency. The low profile system is designed for 200 to 270 bar die inlet pressure for excellent overall and layer-to-layer thickness control for multiple polymers and processing conditions.
Davis-Standard also operated a five-layer cosmetic tubing line for making 16 mm to 50 mm diameter cosmetic sleeves at its Erkrath plant during the K show. The line, which can run at 18 m/min, features two 60 mm extruders for inner and outer layer tube construction and two 32 mm satellite extruders mounted on posts for the tie layers and EVOH barrier layer. The configuration conserves space compared to previous lines. The demonstration was relayed via video transmission to the Davis-Standard booth in hall 16.
Stephen Sales Group 905-940-5577; Auxiplast Inc. 450-922-0282