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Film extruders invest for expansion.

Two British blown film companies have expanded capacity with new plant and are extending factory space. BPI films has invested 10 million [pounds sterling] in a 2,000 [m.sup.2] building housing two five-layer coextrusion lines at its Leominster factory, and Chase Polythene is investing around 1 million [pounds sterling] to double the production lines at its Wolverhampton plant with an additional four and extend its Enfield site with 650 [m.sup.2] of production and storage space.

The BPI expansion will increase the company's capacity for a range of products, including industrial stretch film, by 40 per cent and will enable it to produce a new range of films. The investment follow two years of planning and a further 14 months of construction and customising of the Battenfeld Gloucester lines since the investment was announced in November 2007. The aim has been to install equipment to meet perceived future needs and so be "future proofed", and also to achieve maximum energy and materials efficiency. A high level of automation is used for control over factors such as film profile consistency.

BPI says it is the only manufacturer in Britain with five layer blown film technology. The new lines will augment its ability to produce new down-gauged products such as its Wrapsmartultra stretch wrap, which has the performance of a 14 micron film from a profile at half that thickness.

The investment at Chase follows the placing of two long term contracts which has necessitated an increase in the workforce at both sites. According to managing director Graeme Waiters the increase in business is due in part to the weakness of Sterling against the Dollar and the Euro, and to the shorter lead times for UK customers than from producers in Europe and the Pacific Rim, enabling them to hold smaller inventories.

The four new lines went in at Wolverhampton in December, and the Enfield expansion will open in July.
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Title Annotation:film & sheet production
Comment:Film extruders invest for expansion.(film & sheet production)
Publication:British Plastics & Rubber
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Apr 1, 2009
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