Feature

Eight is lucky number for film manufacturer

New blown film line is only third in Canada


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August 1, 2002 by Canadian Plastics

The Packaging Group's new blown film line from Brampton Engineering has eight extruders, one for each film layer. Each extruder is equipped with a system of blenders and loaders which provide the capacity to customize the properties of individual layers.
The Packaging Group's new blown film line from Brampton Engineering has eight extruders, one for each film layer. Each extruder is equipped with a system of blenders and loaders which provide the capacity to customize the properties of individual layers.

The Packaging Group has significantly ramped up its manufacturing capabilities with the recent installation and start-up of a turnkey eight-layer blown film line at its Concord, ON facility. The line, which was built and installed by Brampton Engineering, consists of an eight-layer, 16-in. Streamlined Co-extrusion Die, Eliminator air ring, 4 + 1 IBC, vertical haul-off, ITALYCS control system and two face-to-face 64-in. turret winders and shaft handler.

According to The Packaging Group’s general manager, Johnny Wan, the eight-layer line allows the company to produce high-barrier film demanded by certain customers and markets more cost-effectively than laminating.

“You need a minimum of five layers to produce multi-layer film with EVOH,” says Wan. “By going to eight we’ve enhanced our flexibility even further and have the capability of making high-barrier film with other materials such as nylons and metallocene-catalyzed resins.”

The traditional business of The Packaging Group has been built on mono- and three-layer film manufactured at its plants in Cambridge, ON and Delta, B.C., as well as a facility in New Jersey. The company laminates, prints and converts this film for a variety of customers. The eight-layer film made at the 150,000 sq. ft. Concord plant is being targeted for the North American food packaging industry; specifically for markets such as cheese and processed meat which require packaging with the highest oxygen barrier properties.

The system’s eight extruders are each equipped with loaders and blenders which provides the capacity to customize the properties of each layer with slip additives, anti-block agents, color and other additives. The ITALYCS control system stores specific film recipes in a user-friendly format; as well as displays vital production information such as rpms and loads.

Another advantage provided by an eight layer line is the quality of film produced for thermoforming applications.

“With a five-layer design you sometimes get curling,” says Hardinder Tamber, extrusion manufacturing manager. “With an eight-layer structure you get a very flat film because of the additional filler polyolefins you can add between nylon layers.”

Tamber says one of the keys to the system is Brampton’s Streamlined Co-extrusion Die. “The SCD provides excellent thermal isolation of the layers, so you can combine different materials, with different thermal properties,” Tamber reports. “The die also has good purgability, which minimizes downtime and scrap.”

The Packaging Group has been operating the system for about three months and is evaluating the performance of different resins and eight-layer structures.