Cadillac Products Packaging Co. has expanded its blown film plant in Paris, Ill., and added a nine-layer line, for barrier food packaging and industrial film.
The big line, installed in mid-2009, marks two firsts the first nine-layer blown film line for Cadillac Products Packaging and the first nine-layer line Hosokawa Alpine American Inc. has sold in the United States, according to officials of the film producer and the machinery supplier.
Alpine American President David Nunes said only a handful of nine-layer blown film systems are sold to U.S. film makers in a given year. Alpine American is based in Natick, Mass.
For Cadillac Products Packaging, it also was its first Alpine American line, according to Richard Polk, chief engineer. Before adding the line, the Illinois plant ran three multilayer blown film lines, including a five-layer line and two three-layer lines. Cadillac also has a blown film plant in Dallas, Ga.
To accommodate the new line, the company built a 4,000-square-foot addition to the 73,000-square-foot Illinois plant, Polk said.
All the big blown film lines have roughly a 55-foot tower and we put on the addition onto the end of the building, and extended that tower, he said.
We went through a fairly lengthy process of meeting with many suppliers, Polk said. The company got quotes from five different suppliers, then narrowed down the choices, he said.
Polk, a 35-year plastics veteran, was involved in the entire process, from initial planning through the startup. The whole process has been one of the smoothest operations I've ever been involved with, he said.
Alpine provided training for Cadillac Products Packaging personnel. Ayal Shahar, Cadillac's director of research and development, worked on a laboratory line at Alpine's sister facility in Augsburg, Germany.
Polk said the film maker's experienced staff also got some training, both at the Illinois plant and at Natick, to learn details of the Alpine gauge control and extruder control.
While waiting for the equipment to arrive, Cadillac Products Packaging formed a team of people, including operators, supervisory and maintenance personnel, and a process engineer, to develop a training manual for the nine-layer line.
They're an excellent company to work with, and very knowledgeable, Nunes said.
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