Huskey explained: “Our compact size and experience allows us to offer the flexibility that large manufacturers need but cannot supply without sacrificing technical-know-how of a large company. We have been successful in generating creative solutions where larger companies have tried, tried and failed, or were unwilling to try. We do not automatically say ‘No’ to crazy ideas.” With the emphasis on quality, Nova Films & Foils needs to choose its technology carefully if it is to meet our ISO 9001:2008 criteria. “Our workforce here is both highly skilled and flexible, with most people capable of multi-tasking across at least four machines. By keeping costs down and productivity up, we’ve enjoyed a steady year on year growth of around 15%,” he added.
With a need to corona treat at least 50% of its work, the company searched the market for the most reliable technology with ease of use, and hit upon Vetaphone, the company that invented the process in the 1950s and has pioneered surface treatment techniques ever since. The installation of a new coater laminator in 2014 highlighted a need for high quality corona treatment, and Vetaphone single and double-sided units were installed on the 65” wide machine that is capable of 600 ft/min.
“We chose Vetaphone because it was highly specified at a competitive price. It also looked better designed and engineered, and we are convinced we made the right choice,” commented Allaben. In particular, the corona units drew praise for their small footprint and the ease with which they were integrated into the new coating line. “The design of the electrode cartridges allows easy access for cleaning and maintenance, and any after sales support we’ve needed has been prompt and efficient,” he added, mentioning the on-call technical back-up available from Vetaphone.
According to Huskey, the consistent dyne levels achieved by the corona treaters across a range of substrates has allowed the company to develop new products and be more responsive to its customers’ demands. “It gives us greater confidence in what we’re selling – and I get a better night’s sleep too,” he said with a smile. Critical to the work handled by Nova is tight tolerance and consistent performance so that any future commercial production quality matches that of the prototype work produced. Materials handled vary from very high surface tension of 50 dynes/sq/cm or more, such as metals, to high surface tension with a rating of 35 – 45 dyne such as Polyester, Vinyl and Nylon, to ratings of 35 dyne or less, which includes PE, PP, and PVA.
In the short run customized markets of metal and foil tapes and special transfer adhesive tapes, Nova is often used as a test lab and has its own R&D department to cater for customer demand. According to Huskey: “We like to get involved with the customer early in the project so technical capabilities can be fed into the equation at the feasibility stage. This is where our expertise adds value to our customer, and profit to our bottom line.” Looking ahead, he can see even more opportunity to tackle niche markets that will require a second laminator. “We like to keep our technical platforms as proprietary as possible to make life easy for commercial production. I have no doubt that we shall specify Vetaphone for any future surface treatment requirements we may have.”