Plastic tubing and hose manufacturer Freelin-Wade Co. of McMinnville, Ore., has added coextrusion capability.
Freelin-Wade began working on coextrusion technology in 2007 and launched it with certain customers starting in early 2008.
``We are bringing together coextrusion with our expertise in the [fluid power] industry to develop tubing solutions that have not been seen before,'' said Ron Miller, Freelin-Wade marketing manager.
Freelin-Wade developed coextrusion processes and capabilities on two converted Davis-Standard machines in a 25,000-square-foot manufacturing area that is segregated from the main work flow. ``In this area, we do training, testing and boutique extrusion runs,'' Miller said. ``The tooling [to create couplers] was built and perfected in-house.''
Freelin-Wade can coextrude materials such as nylon 11, polyurethane or PVC.
The company employs more than 100 at an 85,000-square-foot plant. It stocks more than 4,000 sizes, colors and configurations of pneumatic hoses and plastic and nylon tubing.
Miller identified some end uses for extruded Freelin-Wade tubing.
``It's in the robots that built your car. It's in the buoys far out in the ocean watching for the next tsunami. It's in the latest jet airliners, in shopping bag handles and in your dentist's chair,'' he said.
Privately held Coilhose Pneumatics Inc. of East Brunswick, N.J., runs Freelin-Wade in the West as a tubing subsidiary and complementary operation to the parent firm's New Jersey fittings site in the East.
Coilhose acquired Freelin-Wade in 1990.