The engineered films division of Raven Industries Inc. added the capability for cast extrusion at its Sioux Falls, S.D., headquarters facility.
The line will begin production this month, said business development manager Tom Stoebner.
This is the first true cast [extrusion] line, he said, with applications in geomembrane films, composite construction products such as wet concrete curing blankets and other products.
The line can coat substrates and cast smooth or embossed film and sheet in thicknesses from 1-80 mils. Cast extrusion is precise for gauging widths up to 110 inches and is suitable for multilayer processing in reinforced and non-reinforced laminations with thickness up to 45 mils, the firm said.
The line complements Raven's seven-layer blown film and large-width lamination capabilities.
The division employs 115 of publicly traded Raven's workforce of 960 and contributed almost one-third or $89.9 million of its $279.9 million in sales for its year ended Jan. 31. The unit had $3.1 million in capital expenditures. The film unit's sales included $49 million in lamination, industrial packaging, under-slab barrier and building enclosure uses and $40.2 million in pit linings and geomembranes.
Stoebner projected that current-year sales will be less than the last couple years.
Raven started out as a maker of high-altitude research balloons, and diversified into industrial, agricultural, construction, and military and aerospace markets.