Flexible Packaging recently caught up with Dennis Carespodi, Oracle Packaging director of technology, for an update on the converter’s extrusion capacity and capabilities
Q: Can you give us a brief overview of Oracle’s extrusion capacity and capabilities?
A: Oracle’s extrusion capability is based on tandem laminating/coating and co-extrusion coating. We are not a film producer, though we have been in the past. Multiple lines have either tandem or co-extrusion coating capability. Our lines are configured to process multiple substrates, including paper, paperboard, aluminum foil and oriented films (PP, PET and PA).
Q: What are some of the requests that you’re getting from partners and customers when it comes to extrusion?
A: Typically, our extrusion requests center around seal performance (initiation temperature, seal range, ultimate strength and peel force) and product interaction (flavor or active ingredient scalping and product resistance). Occasionally, surface properties such as COF and dyne level come into play for machinability or printing requirements. We’re uniquely suited to address these needs due to deep material knowledge and a diverse supply base.
Our expertise in adhesive (wet and dry bond) coupled with extrusion lamination give our product designers maximum flexibility in structural design. Our goal is to offer every customer the optimum solution for their specific requirements. We’re not adverse to custom designs. They make up the majority of Oracle’s product portfolio. Cost reduction through resource efficiency is a common theme across all market segments.
Q: Recently, Oracle acquired a new extruder for its Winston-Salem, North Carolina, facility. What type of machine did the company acquire, and how will that enhance company operations?
A: Oracle’s newest extruder is a custom, multi-layer coating line designed by Davis-Standard. Davis-Standard and Oracle technical personnel collaborated on the specifics of the design for approximately nine months. The line went into full production immediately following completion of acceptance and validation runs. This line increases Oracle’s width capacity by 30-50 percent and significantly expands our co-extrusion capability.
Q: Can you explain the significance of Oracle’s Innovation Center/Pilot Facility and its role in extrusion?
A: Oracle’s Innovation Center/Pilot plant is a one-third scale adhesive/extrusion laminator that plays a critical role in our product development and commercialization process. This facility provides the means to screen novel raw materials and rapidly prototype products at minimal cost. Since this line is not subject to production constraints, our sample lead time can be reduced significantly, sometimes as short as one week if the appropriate materials are on hand. The pilot line capabilities mirror production assets, so we have a high level of confidence that new products will scale up and transfer to production smoothly.
Q: Is there anything you’d like to add?
A: With the addition of our new extrusion line, Oracle has ample capacity to expand adhesive laminated and extrusion base offerings beyond current offerings. Expansion of co-extrusion capability allows the optimization of sealant and adhesive polymers to deliver maximum performance at lower material costs. Non-traditional materials such as bio-polymers and barrier resins are now options that can be considered as components in the design process.
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