Beckwith-Bemis Inc. is installing a batch feeding system for a new, wide extrusion line it added as part of a major expansion.
The Sherbrooke, Quebec, producer of coated fabrics, films and adhesives will be able to run its new, 103-inch extrusion line and its original, 76-inch line concurrently when the new batch system is in place, spokeswoman Denise Braun said in a telephone interview. The two lines had been sharing the original line's batch feeder since the 103-inch extruder began operating last fall.
Beckwith-Bemis President, Chief Executive Officer and owner Blair McIntosh said his firm has invested more than C$4 million (US$3.5 million) in the past year on expansion and plant improvements. The changes support the company's push into niche markets that allow it to ship as far as thousands of miles away into the U.S. Pacific Northwest and western Canada, McIntosh said.
Central to the expansion was installation of the wide Battenfeld Gloucester extrusion line. As well as doing extrusion coating, it can make heavy PVC, polyurethane and other films. Beckwith-Bemis also installed a four-color rotogravure printer and laminator with top coating, embossing and slitting capabilities. Other investments include two automated compounding and batching systems, a range of laboratory equipment and a new Davis-Standard lab extruder.
``Equipment such as our wide extruders, multifeature printers and laminators all have made use of polymer-based, coated fabrics, and polymer film and sheeting pervasive across many walks of life,'' McIntosh said.
Beckwith-Bemis is developing new products to extend applications for coated fabrics and plastic film, including supported and unsupported geomembranes and waterproof marine flooring. One hot product is PVC-based exterior flooring for decks that gives a simulated-granite effect. Specialty geomembranes are in high demand in western Canada, where there is a boom in oils and mining. Cured-in-place liners for sewer pipes are proving to be popular and cost-effective products for infrastructure upgrading.