Omniflex LLC President Paul Darby expects his company to double or triple its business in waterproof, breathable-barrier films, thanks to a new visual film-inspection system for superthin, high-performance films.
The system can detect and document pinholes, voids, gels, wrinkles, streaks and light or dark contaminants as small as 0.5 millimeter. Omniflex recently began using the system on the production lines for its trademarked Transport and Vacuflex films. The system can handle films cast onto translucent polyethylene and polyester carrier films.
The films are used in the apparel and footwear industries, as well as in medical textiles such as medical gowns.
The proprietary system took years to develop, Darby said in a telephone interview. It provides 100 percent real-time inspection of each roll, and roll-by-roll documentation of any defect and its location. In the past, films were inspected manually and then sampled to measure defect and run sizes.
Greenfield-based Omniflex has been making films from polyurethane and other specialty polymers since 1994. Film gauges range from 0.2-0.8 mils when cast on carrier films, and 0.8-6 mils without the carrier. Widths up to 68 inches are available.
Omniflex also has expanded into Asia by opening three sales offices.
The company said it plans to keep manufacturing its barrier films at two locations in Massachusetts but hopes to boost its presence in Asia. The sales offices are in Taipei, Taiwan; Hong Kong and Shanghai, China.
The company said it believes there's a niche for its less-expensive thin films, down to 0.2 mils, in Asia.