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Allowing it to make wider films with more layers, web-processing machinery supplier Parkinson Technologies (Woonsocket, RI) has added a seven-layer Variable Geometry (VG) feedblock and 20-inch Epoch extrusion die from flat-die and feedblock manufacturer Cloeren (Orange, TX) to its film/sheet extrusion and biaxial orientation lab.

PlasticsToday Staff

November 5, 2009

2 Min Read
Parkinson expands lab with Cloeren feedblock, seven-layer die

Allowing it to make wider films with more layers, web-processing machinery supplier Parkinson Technologies (Woonsocket, RI) has added a seven-layer Variable Geometry (VG) feedblock and 20-inch Epoch extrusion die from flat-die and feedblock manufacturer Cloeren (Orange, TX) to its film/sheet extrusion and biaxial orientation lab. The move also allows Parkinson customers to “test drive” Cloeren multilayer technology inline with its brand of Marshall & Williams biax equipment.
 

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This seven-layer Variable Geometry (VG) feedblock and 20-inch Epoch extrusion die from flat-die and feedblock manufacturer Cloeren will allow customers of web-processing machinery supplier Parkinson Technologies to trial wider films with more layers at the company’s lab.

Ken Forziati, business development manager at Parkinson told Plastics Today that his company has had Cloeren equipment in the past, but this venture marks the first formal collaboration to make the latest Cloeren technology available to lab customers. In addition, Forziati said Cloeren’s Selector Plug and VG feedblock design provide flexibility, which is key feature for a pilot lab tasked with creating a wide variety of structures/material combinations.

The die and feedblock are optimized for polyethylene terephthalate (PET)-based structures, but the adjustable vane and distribution pin design can be reconfigured for other materials. In addition, by changing out the Selector Plug, any of the five existing extruders can be configured to feed any of the seven layers in the film/sheet structure.  The feedblock also features a spare port to accommodate a sixth extruder, should the need arise. In addition to the air knife, electrostatic wire, and polishing nip roll options currently available in the pilot lab, the die also brings vacuum box pinning.

Forziati noted that lab activity started off slower in 2009 than in previous years, but has remained strong overall despite the current economic conditions. “It looks like we will finish the year ahead of 2007 levels but off slightly from 2008,” Forziati said of his company’s lab work. “Our trial backlog is currently running eight weeks, which is average.” In a typical year, Forziati said the lab will work with 40 different companies, ranging in size from venture-backed start-ups to Fortune 50 enterprises, conducting 80 to 100 trials, with trial duration varying from a single day to a week-long campaigns.

The current facility in Woonsocket, which was redesigned from the ground up after Parkinson acquired Marshall & Williams in 2000, opened in June 2004, replacing an older lab in Providence. Forziati added that the company has operated an orientation lab for demonstration and development work in one form or another for more than 40 years. The newest lab is 10,000 ft2 and has three full-time employees. —[email protected]

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