Cortec® Corporation has planned a major 2017 expansion program at its Cambridge, Minnesota, film extrusion facility, one of the largest film extrusion plants in Midwest North America, and the largest VpCI® film extrusion plant in the world. They manufacture recyclable Vapor phase Corrosion Inhibiting films, which are used across the globe to protect metal parts and equipment from corrosion during storage and shipping.
An exciting development will be the addition of a plastics recycling complex for their growing recycling program, a cutting edge North American initiative with exciting economic and environmental benefits.
Recycling is nothing new at this company, where recycling and reprocessing of film scrap has been going on for decades. With the installation of state-of-the-art reprocessing equipment, they have ramped up their capabilities as reprocessing moved in house. They incorporate the “repro” back into the virgin film at up to 20 percent, a level at which ensures quality of the new product.
In March 2017, they officially launched its new customer recycling partnership program by beginning to reprocess 12,000 pounds of used VpCI® plastic film that had been baled and sent from a major heavy industry manufacturer. Production Manager Tim Bliss commented, “It’s just going to be getting something back that we’d normally never have gotten back—that would’ve gotten thrown in the garbage… At the very least, we’re being conscious of the earth that we’re not throwing away that much stuff.”
Many suppliers or manufacturers use VpCI® films to protect components from corrosion. The customer who removes or offcuts the film must decide what to do with the used plastic, which often ends up in the landfill. Instead of paying thousands of dollars for disposal, the customer can now send the used VpCI® bags back to this company. Environmental responsibility and reduction of carbon footprint are added benefits for both parties.
Depending on the customer’s production load, which influences the amount of film used, they estimate that it will be saving its first recycling partner $10,000-$20,000 per year, and reclaiming potentially 50,000 pounds or more of plastic. There are other companies waiting in the wings to start this recycling partnership.
They will also be seeking to increase production this year by modernizing Line #21, their largest extrusion line. A new die and air ring will allow greater productivity and better control over film thickness, while a new state-of-the-art winder with automatic roll to roll transfer will increase employee safety. Other improvements will follow as they strive to increase the efficiency of this important line.
This VpCI® Film Extrusion Plant looks forward to the many benefits its expansion will bring to customers and the community. By staying mindful of the environment and improving efficiency.