BJK Flexible Packaging, a specialty films producer based in Louisville, KY, has expanded its film production capacity with the addition of a new 5-layer blown film line from Reifenhauser-Kiefel. The company recently installed and commissioned the new line in an all-new 30,000 sq-ft addition that it built specifically for that purpose at its Louisville headquarters.
The new film line, which started running in November, is used to produce 5-layer film structures that the company believes will provide a better alternative for 3-layer films, according to Brian Krein, chairman and CEO of BJK. It features a 110" wide line with a 550mm die, capable of running over 1,500 lb/hour of material.
The company provides films for packaging and extending the shelf life of fresh chicken. Jim Schandle, BJK president and COO, said the purchase of the new Reifenhauser-Kiefel line will help the company keep up with the current demand from existing customers, and to expand into new film markets that the company has not served in the past.
Two key differentiators that BJK saw from Reifenhauser were its Ultra Cool and Ultra Flat technologies. Ultra Cool is a high output cooling system that reportedly directly contributes to higher output of the blown film; and Ultra Flat provides flatter film that runs more smoothly through downstream equipment, such as printing presses and bag machines, again providing higher output and ultimately higher quality rolls of film.
Steve DeSpain, president of Reifenhauser, said that the new 5-layer system sold to BJK is the first one in North America with the Ultra Flat technology. This technology is already being used in Europe. DeSpain told PlasticsToday that the company is talking to other North American customers and the company sees it becoming a "must have item to compete in today's market."
DeSpain said that the Ultra Flat gives the processer the ability to produce a flatter film thus allowing them or their customers to take advantage of higher printing and converting speeds.
"It gives better film flatness, which does give a competitive advantage as press and converting speeds can be increased thus saving money," he said.
The new 30,000 sq-ft addition at BJK in Louisville that houses the new Reifenhauser 5-layer blown film line has enough room to add one more, which is what BJK intends to do in 2014. Once the second line has been added, they plan on adding another 30,000 sq-ft of space for extrusion and warehousing purposes.