SolveTech’s has been helping researchers develop their plastic film processes for over 36 years. We utilize our proprietary thickness gauging technology in innovative ways to help companies save money and improve their extrusion processes.
SolveTech’s proprietary capacitance based technology allows us to help film producers, converters and buyers in unique ways. Learn more in the case studies below.
A film producer was selling film to a converter who was one of the film producers largest customers. Due to disputes regarding the thickness of the film, the converter was rejecting about 10% to 15% of the material. The converter and producer becoming very frustrated because, over a six month period, this issue had cost the converter approximately $100,000, and it was also costing the film producer $15,000 to $20,000 per month. Combined, the costs added up to over $200,000 between the two parties.
The relationship between the buyer and seller had become tense.
Both the supplier and the converter had SolveTech Profilers to measure film thickness and variability. Film variability was important to the converter as they saw issues with the film sealing, and bags that had high variability were also failing bag tests when they loaded the bags with 30lbs. The thin side of the bag would break, failing the test. They called me about one year ago to see if I could fix their average thickness problem using their Profilers.
To solve the problem, I utilized the methods in the new ASTM standard currently under vote. I requested samples of the material, calibrated an instrument here using their material, and then created calibration frames which are used as a calibration reference. This calibration of the instrument used the NIST traceable calibration that is the preferred method in the standard. Using the calibration frames, the buyer and the seller matched their Precision Profilers to each other so there was no longer a discrepancy. Along with the instruments matching each other, they also were accurately calibrated to the correct answer according to gauge by weight. Now the supplier checks the material while he is producing it and before it ever leaves their site. When the converter receives it, they check it as well and get the same answer.
One year later, the relationship between the film supplier and converter has never been better. Rejections have been reduced from 10% to 15% to 0.5%, resulting in a huge cost savings as well as making both operations run smoothly. The film producer said, “Now both companies are just in sync.”
“I do a report each month for each one of our suppliers. For (film producer), I can see their quality keeps getting better and better, and I keep writing reports each month praising them”, said the head of QA for the converter.
The converter plans on requesting that all of their suppliers comply with the new ASTM standard once it is in place since it has been such a help to their operation.
Profile a strip of film to see the uniformity of the material in the cross web or down web direction. This unit delivers the highest level of accuracy and repeatability on the market. You can see how your extrusion is performing in great detail to see the affect of small incremental improvements. Great for blown film and cast film lines.
The SC1000 is great for inspecting a sheet of material. Simply place the material under the gauge head and get a reading of thickness or basis weight. This the preferred method for materials that may have adhesive or that are very delicate.
The MultiChannel Array Gauge measures research cast film lines like nothing else on the market. Great for film webs less than 60 inches wide, and it provides a complete 3D map of your film thickness. It helps researchers get the die set up quickly which is very helpful for small batch runs.
SolveTech has innovative tools to help with machine direction analysis. Improving machine direction uniformity helps improve transverse direction uniformity and this can help you make very flat film.