“We replaced an older, less efficient machine with a high-productivity Bobst K5000 vacuum metallizer,” Mark McGarel, FILMtech president and general manager, told FoodProductionDaily. “That will increase our metallizing capacity by about 25-35%.”
The Bobst machine boosts capacity in terms of sheer output, but also in the variety of treating options available to FILMtech, McGarel explained.
“This equipment has multiple chill drums, so the film can be cooled before, during and after processing. That allows us to run a wider variety of substrates, including soft polymers that are more temperature-sensitive.”
“We can run more aluminum on thinner substrates at faster rates and still achieve defect-free product,” he added.
“New technology is fun,” McGarel said. “It’s nice to be investing in something so rare.”
“There aren’t many of these machines in the world, especially in North America. For a company our size, it’s a substantial investment — but one that will allow us to better serve our customers.”
The equipment evenly deposits aluminum — at a thickness of two millionths of an inch (.000002 in) — onto plastic in multilayer film structures, McGarel said. In some structures the aluminum is visible, and in others it may be sandwiched between two coated layers.
Either way, the aluminum provides an excellent barrier to light, oxygen, and moisture, said McGarel. “It keeps the internal environment of the package stable, and keeps the external environment out.”
Opening the warehouse and shipping center has yielded two benefits, McGarel said.
“It has both increased our shipping and receiving capabilities and significantly improved our workflow. We now have separate areas for incoming raw materials and outbound finished product.”
“Before, we had only one set of dock doors through which all incoming and outgoing product had to move. Now, we have three additional docks on the other side of the building.”
With the addition of the warehouse, FILMtech's facilities now cover 101,000 sq ft on an 18-acre campus in Bean Station, Tennessee. The manufacturing facility is located near major shipping and receiving hubs and is less than one day’s drive from 70% of major US markets.