New England Extrusion 'blows' into WI

In March, Turners Falls, MA, film maker New England Extrusion opened a 34ꯠ sq' plant in Milton, WI. The plant includes two new extrusion/blown film manufacturing lines from Reifenho/oouser (Lawrence, MA).

Total investment is $5.1 million for the plant and machinery. Combined capacity on the two lines is nearly 12 million lb/yr, says Milton plant manager David Underwood. Film is sold primarily for confections, meats and cheeses, though it is also produced for medical and specialty applications.

Line 12, he says, is equipped with a 19.7" die that can process up to 1겨 lb/hr, with film widths up to 84". The line's winder (shown at right) is capable of dual-direction winding, which allows NEX to wind film counterclockwise so that the treated surface is on the inside of the roll. That winding method, however, is the exception. About 98% of the film from this line is wound clockwise with the treated surface on the outside of the roll.

On line 11, all film is wound with the treated surface on the outside. This line has a 15.7" die and can manufacture up to 800 lb/hr, at film widths up to 65". Extruders for both lines are supplied by Merritt Davis (Hamden, CT). Control systems are from Rockwell Automation/Allen-Bradley (Milwaukee, WI).

According to Underwood, the lines produce primarily low- and linear-low-density polyethylenes, primarily for food packaging, in thicknesses from 1 to 8 mils, with outer roll diameters up to 47". In some instances, metallocene resins make up as much as 80% of the structure.

"We've been running the two lines 24 hours a day, five days a week since March," Underwood reports. And the future looks even more promising. "We expect to switch to a seven-day operation this month," he concludes.

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