Global biaxially oriented polypropylene films producer Innovia Films has announced its plans to invest in a new coating line for use in the graphic arts films industry.

This coating line will support the development of a new range of polyvinyl chloride (PVC)-free films at Innovia’s site in Wigton, UK.

Innovia’s Graphics & Linerless market development manager Bron Hekkema said: “Graphics materials are used for wide-format high-resolution images, and this requires high-precision, defect-free coatings.

“This coater will give us the flexibility to produce at customer-specific widths with rapid changeover times to minimise waste and increase efficiency. PVC-free graphic films are the future – because they are made from polypropylene that can be recycled and also has a significant[ly] lower carbon footprint which benefits the environment.”

Innovia is undertaking this new project in collaboration with BOBST, a Swiss company that provides machinery and services for the packaging industry.

Innovia Wigton project lead Steven Maude said: “Over the past two years Innovia’s Technical Team have worked closely with BOBST at their Competence Center in San Giorgio, Italy to specify the design of the new coating line.

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“Extensive trials on the BOBST pilot line have confirmed the capability of the equipment to deliver the highest quality coatings required for graphic arts applications.”

The company confirmed that the associated groundworks are scheduled to start later in the third quarter of this year while full production is expected to commence in the first quarter of 2025.

Aside from being used to create Innovia’s new graphics range, the line will enhance the existing capabilities and performance of the company’s Wigton facility to cater to the requirements of flexible packaging and label markets in the country.