Americhem Inc., a provider of custom color and additive solutions for nonwoven fibers and fabrics, will add a spunbonded nonwoven pilot line to its product development laboratories. This line will allow for pilot runs, which will streamline color and additive product development for customers in the industry.
The new custom-made spunbonded line will be installed in the summer of 2010 in Americhem’s fiber product development lab at its Dalton, GA manufacturing plant.
“This new equipment will enable Americhem to speed color and additive product development for our customers,” said Rob Clayton, Americhem’s business director for nonwoven products. “It allows us to optimize products while minimizing the amount of time and money required for trials on our customers’ equipment.”
The pilot line is designed to run 1 to 3 dpf (denier per filament) spunbonded polypropylene samples. Customers can make visual assessments of nonwoven fabric at the same location where Americhem designs and manufactures the masterbatch products for the nonwovens market.
The plant also features a Color Design Center, where product designers and manufacturers can view more than 1000 card wrapped colors under different lighting conditions to generate ideas for new products. With the installation of the spunbonded pilot line, customers can take advantage of Americhem’s “Match While You Wait” service, which allows several different colors to be matched in a one-day visit. Americhem product design scientists then produce masterbatch and spunbonded polypropylene samples, all in the same day.
“By adding nonwoven manufacturing simulation capacity to our design center, we are very unique among masterbatch manufacturers,” said Larry Campbell, Americhem’s global technology director for nonwoven fibers. “Not only are our color and polymer scientists leading experts in the industry, but our customer simulation capabilities benefit our customers in many ways. We are able to replicate our customers’ processes and help them get differentiated products to market faster and more cost-effectively.”
This new capability adds to the company’s in-house simulation capacity. Americhem operates several fiber spinning lines at the Dalton, Concord, NC, and Cuyahoga Falls, OH locations. In addition, the company maintains manufacturing simulation equipment for: injection molding, blown film, film and sheet extrusion, coextrusion for siding profile and composite board extrusion and injection, extrusion, and multi-layer blow molding.
Americhem masterbatches for nonwoven fibers are designed with superior dispersion characteristics. The products have been proven to extend pack life, as well as to reduce die-face buildup, improving spin performance and yields.