Study Finds Extrusion Coaters/Laminators Focused on Innovation

The extrusion coating and laminating market in North America is being researched by AWA Alexander Watson Assoc. for a forthcoming study in its series of focused AWAreness Reports. The initial findings in this first-ever dedicated North American study make for interesting reading.

Raw Materials and Product Innovation
The raw materials employed in this wide-ranging industry include papers, boards, nonwovens, films, foil, and polymers. The research looks at them all and at the end-user markets they serve within four broad segments — liquid packaging, flexible packaging, photographic, and commercial applications. All these end-use applications demonstrate a desire to make the most of the functional qualities of the materials.

In terms of the products themselves, there is an intense focus on innovation. The major extrusion coaters and laminators are seeking to find replacements for adhesive laminating; improved barrier coatings; more permutations of material combinations; and greater variations in polymer layers. They are seeking to deliver functional coatings that offer the end-user better temperature resistance, better sealability, and better sterilizability. Unsurprisingly, this activity has impacted the development of equipment, processes, and raw materials.

Consolidation and Pressure from Imports
As a pivotal point in the packaging industry, the extrusion coating and laminating market in North America is experiencing the same general atmosphere of change and consolidation as in related industries and the same need to improve profitability throughout the value chain.

While growth is expected to be better than gross domestic product, the domestic North American manufacturing industry is subject to pressure from imports, which are growing faster than exports.

“The Extrusion Coating and Laminating Market in North America” is scheduled for publication later this year. Details are available via the AWA Web site: awa-bv.com.

Lee Keiser is principal of Excel Consulting as well as an affiliate of AWA Alexander Watson Assoc. His 40 years of experience in extrusion coating and silicone technology are a result of working for Dow Corning, H.P. Smith, and Rexam Release, after graduating in chemistry from Lehigh Univ. in Bethlehem, PA.


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