DUSSELDORF, GERMANY - Huntsman Plastics Inc. of Lewisburg, Tenn., in January began running what is claimed to be the world's widest stretch cast film line, and now is taking delivery of a second such, 220-inch-wide unit, according to the equipment's suppliers. Officials of Black Clawson Converting Machinery Corp. of Fulton, N.Y., revealed Oct. 11 at K'95 in Dusseldorf that Huntsman is installing another of the lines at the Lewisburg plant of what used to be Co-Ex Plastics Inc. before Huntsman Plastics acquired it from Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. about a year ago.
Huntsman Plastics is a unit of Huntsman Packaging Co. of Salt Lake City.
Depending on the options, each of the fully automated lines costs between $4 million and $4.5 million, according to Robert F. Moeller, Black Clawson's product manager for extrusion converting equipment.
Each unit can produce nine rolls that are 20 inches wide, on 3-inch cores. Other stretch cast film lines measure 200 inches wide, but those require two winders and hence cost much more, Moeller said.
Brian Stevenson, president of Huntsman Packaging, said the lines give Huntsman an edge in the competitive stretch-wrap business.
``We believe we have to be the lowest-cost producer. This [equipment] obviously gives us an advantage,'' he said.
Moeller said Black Clawson Converting Machinery, a unit of pulp and paper machinery maker Black Clawson Co., has a signed letter of intent from another U.S. converter, whom he declined to identify, for a 220-inch line.
These lines, each fed with extruders equipped with a Black Clawson-designed barrier screw with mixing tip, can run film gauges from 50-115 without compromising melt quality, he said.
Moeller said this ultrawide line can produce 4,000 pounds an hour of 60-gauge film, 4,600 pounds an hour of 70-gauge film, and 4,650 pounds an hour of 80-gauge film.
Separately, at the K show Black Clawson highlighted its Exceline line of standardized modules for the flexible packaging industry. It now has sold 10 of these lines, which originally were designed for the Asian market, but have found favor in Europe and North America, according to Laurie Beth Tyldesley, partner for strategy and planning with the converting machinery unit.
It also unveiled its Microsoft Windows-based Integrator II supervisory control system with a touch-screen monitor.
Finally, it also featured its R.O.I. 1 Die, an internally deckled rigid lip die for extrusion laminating applications. The stainless steel die's internal deckles ``virtually eliminate deckle leakage and allow infinite, on-line, deckle width adjustments as often as desired,'' the firm said.