Bixby International Adds a Gravure Laminating Machine to its Manufacturing Capabilities
As part of a recent wave of investment in its machinery and workforce, Bixby International has added a gravure laminating machine at its operations center in Newburyport, MA. The new gravure laminator will allow the engineering team to expand Bixby's capabilities to create composites and adhere materials that previously weren't part of the company's offerings. The addition of the gravure laminator increases access to new adhesion and coating chemistries that enable Bixby to differentiate itself from its competitors in the thermoplastic sheet extrusion industry.
The laminator, a Monti Antonio model 908-2600, will be used for coating and laminating various material webs in production to form unique functional composites. The machine, which can apply either a solid or specified pattern of microscopic "dots" in the composite-making process, can be used for a range of materials including non-wovens, films, fabrics, and other composites.
"The gravure laminator allows us to adhere materials that we may not have necessarily had the ability to work with before. It's a very sophisticated piece of equipment and one that is not widely used by our competitors,” said Marc Gagnon, Chief Development Officer. “This machine gives us the advantage of adhering flexible materials, with the benefit of adding a film layer of adhesive and access to broader chemistries in our laminate solutions. The versatility of how it can be used provides us with many new possibilities going forward."
The gravure laminator will be used to create a wide range of products, including industrial fabrics, flooring, and apparel. The engineering team expects to use the machine extensively as the company rolls out its new BixWear line of components for high-performance apparel and footwear.
Bixby's unique plastic formulations provide a variety of adhesive, barrier, and elastic BixWear products such as films integrated with foam padding, textile reinforcements, perforation, and multilayer combinations of polymers and textiles. The addition of the gravure laminator will play an integral role as Bixby leverages its roots in engineering and plastics to facilitate the launch of BixWear.
"We think there is a niche to fill in an area where we have expertise and the equipment, and having the gravure laminator working in concert with other high-performance machinery in our multi-million-dollar lab takes our capabilities to a higher level,” said Dan Rocconi, President and CEO. “That is what the performance apparel market is asking for and is unable to find in the U.S."