CHICAGO — Black Clawson Converting Machinery Corp. will reinvest some of its new cash in expanded research and development operations in Fulton, N.Y.
Daniel Bessinger, the firm's president and general manager, said in an interview at at NPE 1997 that he has a 4-year, multimillion dollar plan to upgrade all of Black Clawson's plastics-related pilot facilities.
Black Clawson also is on the lookout for acquisition opportunities after grossing about $110 million from the recent sale of its paper-stock preparation business, he said.
Bessinger said Black Clawson expects to spend more than $3 million to upgrade its solvent coating lab that makes stock for pressure-sensitive labels and other products for converters. It has expanded its technology base in solvent coating from a licensing agreement it signed about a year ago with Pagendarm GmbH of Hamburg, Germany.
Coating lab upgrades include a new quick-change cartridge coater, modular dryer nozzles, a Fluidex moisturizer, and new roll guides, winders and drives.
Next in line are upgrades for Black Clawson's pelletizing, blown film and cast film labs.
In all, Bessinger said his firm will invest more than $2 million this year in those programs and similar amounts in each of the next three years, to achieve world-class research capabilities in those areas.
Black Clawson also will upgrade its machine tools operations and computer hardware, but existing manufacturing capacity should be able to cope with growing sales as the company improves efficiency, according to Bessinger.
At NPE, held June 16-20 in Chicago, Black Clawson debuted the Autobolt system for its R.O.I. internally deckled die.
Autobolt is an automatic profile control system designed for the very-rigid sliding die lips of the R.O.I. die. The system uses direct-acting control that heats the bolt to increase coat weight and cools it to reduce plastic coat weight.
Spokeswoman Laurie Beth Tyldesley said the company also is introducing a new machine direction orienter for cast and blown polyolefin, nylon and polyester film lines. It features two-state orientation, a 10-to-1 total draw ratio, individually adjustable draw gaps and a motorized threader.
Another recent introduction is its Accutail-2 automatic splicing system for webs running as fast as 3,000 feet per minute.
The company announced it recently commissioned a cast polypropylene coextrusion line for Multifilm Inc., headquartered in Elgin, Ill.
Multifilm will use the line to make new PP films for hard-candy wrappings. According to Black Clawson, the line typically runs at 450 feet per minute making 84-inch-wide finished, trimmed film.
Meanwhile, the company recently received U.S. patents for a barrier screw and a low-shear mixing screw. It claims the screws are well-suited for low-shear processing of metallocene-catalyzed polyolefins.