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EDI Buys Die Coating System Supplier Liberty Coating Equipment

Published on 2007-03-09. Author : SpecialChem

CHIPPEWA FALLS, WI, U.S.A. -- Extrusion Dies Industries, LLC (EDI) has purchased Liberty Coating Equipment, a manufacturer of slot die coating systems, it was announced by EDI. Slot die equipment has been Liberty's chief business but is one of several at EDI, which is also a leading international supplier of flat dies for sheet, film and extrusion coating.

EDI will retain the Liberty® product range and trade name but move all manufacturing systems from Liberty's plant in Sussex, WI to EDI headquarters in Chippewa Falls. Joining EDI as product manager for Liberty systems is Tom Johns, formerly design and application engineer with Liberty. EDI project and manufacturing engineer Mark D. Miller will serve as manager in charge of all Liberty accounts.

While both Liberty and EDI are long-established as suppliers of slot die systems, there is little overlap between their customer bases, according to Christopher W. Curtin, EDI's executive vice president of sales and marketing.

"The acquisition of Liberty Coating Equipment enables EDI to expand its reach in a number of slot die markets, particularly those requiring very thin or optically clear coatings," said Curtin. "We also now have more alternatives to offer companies that have relied exclusively on conventional roll coating but are attracted by the advantages of slot die coating."

Advantages of Slot Die Coating over Roll Coating Are Now More Accessible

Slot die systems are used for applying fluids or polymers such as adhesives, inks, electrolytes, and magnetic slurries onto continuous-web substrates used in packaging, electronic displays, window glazing, automotive windshields, flexible batteries, medical patches and liners, label stock, and many other products.

In roll coating, the amount of material deposited on the substrate is controlled indirectly by means of wiping blades or pre-set gaps between rollers; any excess coating material is scraped away and returned to the coating bath; and the bath itself is open to the workplace environment. Slot dies, on the other hand, are closed systems, and the amount of coating material is pre-metered by means of a precision pump. As a result, slot die coating provides these advantages: 1) more consistent coat weight and cross-web distribution; 2) higher line speeds; and 3) minimization of volatile emissions, coating contamination, raw material waste, and workplace messiness.

"While Liberty Coating Equipment did market internationally, EDI will expand global access to Liberty technology through its extensive worldwide sales and service network," Curtin said. "We also will draw on our ongoing research to extend the applicability of slot die systems and make them even more predictable. Current slot-die innovations at EDI include computer simulation of coating application, technologies that make it easier to vary width and thickness, and development of ‘drop-in' modular coating systems."

A Liberty coating system typically includes a slot die, positioning support, and fluid-delivery pump. While the lips of the die are integral with the die bodies and thus fixed, operators can vary product thickness and width by means of shims that change the dimensions of the slot gap. Also available are "cascade" dies with multiple slots that make possible multilayer coatings. Liberty's WetWare™ system combines die, positioner, pump, and ancillary components into a module that can be shipped to a customer or prospect for on-site slot-die coating trials on actual production lines.

EXTRUSION DIES INDUSTRIES, LLC is a leading international supplier of flat dies for sheet, film, extrusion coating, slot die coating, and pelletizing. The company designs and manufactures dies, feedblocks, deckling systems, vacuum boxes, and related equipment. Its European subsidiary is EDI GmbH in Reichshof-Wehnrath, Germany. In the U.S.A. and Germany, EDI operates facilities dedicated to reworking its own dies and those built by other suppliers, and it has licensed a third rework facility in Japan. Headquartered in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, U.S.A., EDI sells half of its dies outside the United States.

Source: Extrusion Dies Industries

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