FlexTech Packaging Ltd. is doubling its blown film capacity by acquiring a second Alpine production line.
The new line, with a seven-layer die, is part of a $5 million expansion the Cincinnati firm has under way. It also is adding an orienter and other downstream equipment, and doubling plant space to more than 50,000 square feet, FlexTech President Bob Bellafronto said in a telephone interview.
FlexTech specializes in barrier films based on polyethylene and nylon or ethylene vinyl alcohol resins. It started production in 1998 with a five-layer Alpine blown film line. Its films are used in cheese, meat, frozen food and vegetable packaging. Bellafronto and three other executives own the company.
Bellafronto said FlexTech is going with a seven-layer die for the new line because it and the orienter allow lower barrier resin levels, thus cutting costs. The orienter also provides high barrier and greater stiffness, which should make the firm's films more attractive in pouch packaging uses.
FlexTech expects delivery of the new line in the second half of July and to have it up and running in September. Its nominal capacity is 6 million pounds per year. There is room for a third line, too, which Bellafronto said is slated for next year.
Hosokawa Alpine American said the line it sold to FlexTech will be the 500th blown film extrusion system Alpine has sold since it was established in 1978. The Natick, Mass., company said its film lines total 1.5 billion pounds of annual capacity, about 10 percent of North America's total. More than half the capacity is for coextruded films. More than 100 different companies have bought Alpine lines.