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Smith Corona, a thermal label manufacturer, has added an on-site gas generation system to begin producing its own nitrogen - an achievement usually reserved for large-scale industries. This self-sufficient nitrogen production process will be utilized for curing silicone with UV technology, a method the company prides itself on using. This process is being used on all coating lines, not just for specialty items.
“We’re really excited about the opportunity to help increase the quality and consistency of our products with this new system,” said Patrick Mitchell, Vice President of Operations at Smith Corona. "By adopting this new method and producing our own nitrogen, we are redefining what's possible in label manufacturing while reducing our environmental footprint."
As the largest user of UV cure silicones for label release in the pressure-sensitive adhesive (PSA) industry, consistent nitrogen flow rates and extremely high purity levels were necessary for Smith Corona’s UV process.
To achieve this, Smith Corona sought solutions through Airgas®, an Air Liquide company, a U.S. supplier of industrial, medical, and specialty gases, who initially supplied the company with liquid nitrogen. It was determined that co-locating a nitrogen gas generation system, called FLOXAL™, to the facility was the best option to provide the highest quality cure and maintain full transparency.
The inclusion of a 50-ft distillation column, compressor, and two 40-ft vaporizers allows Smith Corona to scale its business needs in a more efficient, reliable, and productive manner. In addition, the implementation of this innovative technique with these nitrogen tanks brings with it the following sustainable benefits:
• Reduction in C02 emissions by 40-50% through on-site production rather than daily truck deliveries of liquid nitrogen
• Reduced safety issues for transportation and handling of hazardous materials in addition to less truck traffic
• Reduced energy consumption to obtain the same amount of nitrogen through an LIN assist system rather than the Pressure Swing Absorption (PSA) system used with other label competitors