The Len-Tex Corporation, based in North Walpole NH, is one of America’s leading manufacturers of commercial vinyl wallcoverings for hotels, hospitals, schools, and retail outlets.
Special wallcovering materials that offer high performance as well as being environmentally-friendly, and which that emit a lower level of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) over the course of their useful life to promote healthier indoor air quality.
To manufacture a product that incorporates ‘Clean Vinyl Technology’, which is a proprietary formulation that contains no phthalates, heavy metals, or formaldehyde. It is not the vinyl but the additives that pose a risk.
To prepare the surface of the vinyl for printing and coating, Len-Tex needed a more consistent finish for the water-based chemistry of its top coating. This coating is required to enhance the durability and cleanability of the wallcoverings, while also protecting their appearance. The finish resists both alcohol and alkaline-based cleaners, and also offers good abrasion protection.
Previous manufacturing practice
The company believed that Corona treatment would be provide the solution and installed two offline units. These proved somewhat effective in maintaining the quality of the finished product but were inefficient and unreliable.
After taking reference from another well-respected converter, Len-Tex decided to fit Vetaphone Corona treatment units on two of its presses to improve the efficiency of surface treatment. Now, all five presses at Len-Tex are fitted with Vetaphone Corona units, including the latest 4-colour machine, which, like the others has a 1370mm (54”) web width and an operational speed of 36m/min (120ft/min).
Len-Tex claims a fall in waste levels from 10% to around 2% and a smoother manufacturing operation. With the high cost per square metre of the substrate, this level of reduced waste represents considerable cost savings. The company has also been able to redeploy the two operatives that were needed to run each of the old offline Corona machines, so staff productivity has been given a boost too.