Innovative Manufacturing Requires Joint Effort

Howell, Mich., January 15, 2013—In 2012 VCF Films, a leading manufacturer of thin polymer films and coatings for a variety of industries, announced its CEB 500 custom slot-die coating production line that enables them to produce highly engineered films for flexible electronics and displays, medical, aerospace, solar energy and optical devices. The new web coating line is capable of processing many different polymers and additives and applies them to virtually any flexible substrate. But the additional machinery was just the beginning of many changes for VCF.

For the past several months, Director of Engineering Cliff Lichlyter, who joined VCF in 1972, Technical Sales Engineer Dr. J.C. Brouet, and R&D Chemist Dr. Russell Goering have worked to oversee the installation and fine-tuning of VCF’s new line. The three-way partnership has created the perfect synergy of hard-core manufacturing experience with critical polymer engineering expertis"

“Our entry into these specialized markets requires an extremely high level of quality control and formulation knowledge,” said Vice President of Sales and Marketing Ray Durling. “J.C. and Russell’s background in chemistry and their scientific approach to production adds a new layer of expertise that our customers demand. Cliff’s 40 years in slot die manufacturing has served us well in the construction, testing and operations of our new casting line.” VCF works with customers developing new products in many different industries. One such area is the production of carbon conductive films for medical electrodes. “J.C., Russell and Cliff have been critical in refining our process in order to deliver superior products to our customers,” said Durling.

“The new markets we work in and the high cost of materials involved require a meticulous approach to formulating coatings and fine-tuning our machinery,” said Brouet. “We are ever-conscious of material savings, higher efficiency and tighter quality demands in our production methods.” “We employ Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) and constantly push our production staff for zero defects and more stringent cost controls – resulting in higher quality products than we could produce in the past,” said Lichlyter.

According to Durling, “We are now working with several customers in the medical and pharmaceutical space. These customers use sophisticated and costly coating materials that demand complex formulations and extremely tight tolerances. J.C. brings the emphasis on quality and consistency that we need to become a leader in these niche markets. Cliff has the industry know-how and operations experience to manage the manufacturing process. Russell continues to apply his chemical formulation experience to our new products. This is truly a team effort that would not be possible without the specific contributions of these three industry experts."

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