Plastic Film Manufacturing: Understanding the Details

There are certain fields that require a specific degree. The more specific the title, perhaps the harder it is to find job openings; but when you do, it was all worthwhile. Take for example, the plastic film industry. This industry is degree-specific and interest specific. Those going into this career knew what needed to be done to obtain a position. Machine operators get a basic understanding of what happens on the floor.

Plastic film makers use various styles and formulas to create lines of plastic options for pharmaceutical companies to the automotive industry. General types of manufactured styles and formulas include:

• Bottom seal
• Side-weld
• Perforated rolls
• Back seal
• Perforated lip
• Wicketed bag
• Flat sheeting

In the automotive industry, plastics are high quality to for masking during paint overspray or high temperature protective bags needing to withstand shop bake cycles up to 380 degrees (Fahrenheit; 157 Celsius). Automotive includes buses, RV roofing, and all the goes with aircraft fuselage drapes. Custom options may require rolls of masking films, perforated sheets and continuous sheeting. Customizations can include:

• Mil thickness
• Width
• Perforation intervals
• Length of continuous sheeting rolls
• Folding to reduce the roll width by half
• And many more options

Flame retardant plastic is a life saver for most industries utilizing plastic film. By adding retardant to polymers to increase resistance to ignition, suppress smoke, reduce flame spread, and prevent polymer in the film from dripping, safety prevention increases immensely in those handling the plastic.

It is wise to check with manufacturers making sure the films conform to the Federal Motor Vehicle Standard 302, which specifies burning resistance requirements for materials used in passenger compartments.

Industrial packaging can be thick, but search for manufacturers that may be able to reduce thickness by 25-50%, without changing the strength and quality of the film. Film can be color coded too. This is great for when handling multiple processes in a given warehouse or factory.

The process for creating plastic film is technical and intricate that it is hardly worth understanding if the product is made with quality and to the customer’s satisfaction. Working with plastic film can be a dangerous profession; but with flame resistant options, color coding for limited confusion, and other qualities, it is safe to say that that the safety is becoming a priority in this industry.

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