Cortec enhances co-extrusion line at Minnesota plant

World’s largest VCI film plant is increasing capacity

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Cortec’s
The new equipment will allow CAF to dramatically increase the production volumes of co-extruded films and will give workers the agility to change tolerances with the touch of a button.

The fact that Cortec Advanced Films (CAF) takes VCI (vapor corrosion inhibiting) film and bag production seriously is underscored by the significant investment Cortec’s CEO made in a new co-extrusion line at the Cambridge, Minnesota, plant. The new multimillion-dollar line, E23, promises to benefit both customers and employees as CAF continues to blaze new ground with an expanding portfolio of specialty film and bag products.

Cortec Corporation is a global name in innovative, environmentally responsible VpCI and MCI corrosion control technologies for packaging, metalworking, construction, electronics, water treatment, oil & gas, and other industries.

Technology Upgrade

The new equipment will allow CAF to dramatically increase the production volumes of co-extruded films and will give workers the agility to change tolerances with the touch of a button. The previous co-extruder required manual adjustment and could only run at approximately 60% of the new extruder capacity.

Cortec’s
Each of these requires special resins that go in different film layers for better performance and/or cost-effectiveness of the final product.

This improvement will greatly increase efficiency for both specialty films and any standard VpCI product CAF may eventually choose to run on the equipment. E23 can extrude tubing up to 75 inches (190.5 cm) wide and sheeting up to 150 inches (381 cm) wide. CAF hopes to replicate the efficiency and greater control of the new technology by adding additional co-extrusion lines in the future.

Benefits of Co-Extrusion

Although E23 can be used to make any type of Cortec film, it is specially tailored to the production of specialty films such as Cor-Pak VpCI Stretch Film, Eco Wrap (certified industrially compostable stretch wrap), and EcoSonic VpCI 125 HP Permanent ESD Films (dual corrosion + ESD protection). Each of these requires special resins that go in different film layers for better performance and/or cost-effectiveness of the final product. Certain characteristics also make E23 preferred for extruding CAF’s VpCI-126 Top-Seal Bags with zipper closures for corrosion protection in WIP (work in process) cycle applications. E23 will also be ideal for new product development. Tim Bliss, production manager at CAF, commented, “Let’s just say it opens up a world of opportunities for research and development.”

Increased Capacity, Increased Morale

According to Cortec CEO and founder, Boris Miksic, this upgrade will result in “increasing capacity . . . to 40 million pounds of top quality patented VpCI® and compostable films and bags [at] the world’s largest VCI films plant fully integrated with its compounding, extrusion, printing, converting and 24/7 quality control laboratory.” CAF employees are also enthusiastic about the new investment. According to their production manager, “[They] are super excited about it—super excited. It’s a gorgeous brand-new piece of equipment that’s [going to] make their job simpler.”

Those who order the specialty films mentioned above can expect to see products coming off the new E23 co-extrusion line very soon, as CAF launched production on E23 in December 2023.

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