Archive for June, 2003

Davis-Standard: First Wireless System for Monitoring Extrusion Processes

Monday, June 23rd, 2003

Davis-Standard and Adaptive Instruments will demonstrate the plastic extrusion industry’s first wireless monitoring system during NPE 2003. The “Accutech” wireless technology from Adaptive Instruments provides processors with a cost-effective, stand-alone solution for monitoring variables such as melt temperature, pressure, screw rpm and motor load from remote or hard-to-access locations. Since the system is non-invasive and requires no wire installation, permits or licenses, it can also be used for process data collection or to test the viability of a new project. Davis-Standard is the first extrusion manufacturer to apply the new technology and will illustrate its advantages at booth #5107.
According to Angelo Firenze, Adaptive Instruments’ president and CEO, the Accutech system is an extension of core wireless technology that has been applied to industrial applications. “Wireless is a proven, enabling technology and it was only natural for it to evolve to the extrusion floor. Our system is unique in that it’s a fully functional and portable wireless package, ready to use out of the box. We understand the importance of reliable and secure transmissions in extrusion processing, so we addressed those issues by equipping the system with two-way communication. This provides a means of checks and balances to ensure accuracy and to self-diagnose potential problems. ”
The system has a monitoring range of up to 3,000 feet and is equipped with a fully-integrated sensor and battery-powered field transceivers; a base radio transceiver with RS232, RS485 (digital), Ethernet and/or 4-20mA (analog) output; software for data management and exception reporting; and full assimilation to legacy systems. The components are individually calibrated between -40° and +185°F and all instruments are FCC certified for license-free use. Advantages include low installation cost, system portability, unlimited access to processing data, multiple input capacities, a flexible base radio output, low power consumption with 5 year battery life, two-way signal integrity and off-site monitoring capability. Each base radio transceiver can communicate with as many as 250 field units per second.
“Ease of installation is one of the primary benefits of this technology. The stand-alone sensors can be attached to any device on a processing line for wire-free monitoring from the sensor to the read-out mechanism,” said Jim Duckworth, vice president of engineering at Adaptive Instruments. “Since our software enables off-site monitoring, it’s possible for a processor to access data or be alerted to alarm conditions from anywhere in the world using a web browser, including a PDA or cell phone.”
An example of a typical system overview includes a PC (Davis-Standard’s EPIC III™) communicating via RS485 using Modbus protocol to one or more base radios that transfer data wirelessly from field units. The software program uses a simple command and response protocol to communicate with the wireless units. The demonstration at Davis-Standard’s booth will involve three static
extruders and a running cast film line. Davis-Standard will have two EPIC’s, each with a base radio, communicating to field units monitoring melt pressure and melt temperature. For the running cast film line, multi-input field units will monitor pressure, temperature, screw rpm and motor amps.
Jim Murphy, a Davis-Standard business director, says the new technology is ideal for monitoring variables on large extrusion lines. “By eliminating hard wires, the Accutech system is an affordable and practical option for processors operating long, complex extrusion lines. The simplicity and versatility of the system set-up combined with its diagnostic capabilities make this an exciting development for the industry.”
For more information about the Accutech wireless monitoring system or Adaptive Instruments, visit www.adaptiveinstruments.com. Or contact Angelo Firenze at [email protected] . For more information about Davis-Standard’s application of this technology, contact Tom Lewon at [email protected]

Cabot: Update of additive masterbatch range

Thursday, June 19th, 2003

A major product development programme by the Cabot Corporation has expanded and updated the company’s range of additive masterbatches, resulting in a comprehensive selection of grades to meet the most common requirements of the plastics converting industry today.
Altogether, 17 new grades have been added to the PLASADD® range, which now includes 40 products in total designed to deliver significant improvements either during processing or in end-use performance with a wide range of thermoplastic polymers. Most PLASADD masterbatches are produced at the company’s factory at Grigno, Italy.

The development programme has involved upgrading existing grades and introducing some entirely new masterbatches to provide improved performance in several different ways’, said Patrice Pirotton, product manager. For example, we have developed new anti-UV and anti-oxidant grades which improve outdoor weathering performance and a number of new slip, antiblock and antifog masterbatches to modify the performance of blown and cast film.

‘There are also several new grades which provide solutions to problems experienced during processing, such as static electricity, porosity, melt fracture and degradation’.

Three new UV stabilizer masterbatches have been developed for the production of greenhouse and mini-tunnel film which comes into contact with agro-chemicals. All incorporate nickel-free stabilizer systems and are compatible with ethylene co-polymers. The grades have been designed to meet specific performance requirements. A non-interacting HALS/UV absorber combination in PLASADD PE8740 gives this grade superior resistance to agro-chemicals, including elemental sulphur, while PE8860 is a highly concentrated formulation which can enable film to be used for up to three seasons in southern Europe.

PE8737, PE8739 and PP8738 are three new masterbatches designed for improving UV stability in a wide range of film, tape and injection-moulded products. These grades are also based on HALS stabilizer systems. PE8737 has been specially developed for mulch and silage stretch wrap films which require good resistance to agro-chemicals, while PE8739 is a highly concentrated grade primarily recommended for HDPE and PP tapes, mouldings, industrial films and agricultural films which do not come into contact with agro-chemicals.

The maintenance of film transparency through the prevention of droplet formation is an increasingly common requirement for packaged food. Cabot has responded to this demand with two anti-fog masterbatches, PLASADD EV8743 and EV8744, which have been designed for laminated and mono-layer films respectively. Both products comply with relevant EU Directives for foodstuffs.

PLASADD EV8742 is another new anti-fog masterbatch, in this case designed for mono-layer and multi-layer film used for mini-tunnels and greenhouses. By preventing droplets forming, it enhances light transmission and considerably reduces plant damage caused by the lens effect and water drip.

Two new additions to the PLASADD range which comply with EU food contact directives help to counter blocking and increase slip in polyethylene film. PE9050 is an LDPE-based grade recommended for films requiring a strong anti-block performance and good clarity, while PE8741 combines slip and anti-block performance. With this grade, the slip additive migrates to the film surface relatively slowly, reducing potential problems during sealing and printing.

Cabot has also introduced several new products that provide processing solutions to problems such as static electricity, porosity, melt fracture and polymer degradation.

For processors requiring anti-static performance Cabot has introduced PLASADD PE8746 and PE8747. The former delivers a fast, long-lasting anti-static effect during the production of film, sheet and mouldings, while PE8747 not only provides a rapid anti-static performance for extrusions and mouldings but also acts as an efficient mould release additive.

PE8847 is a highly concentrated anti-oxidant masterbatch which provides a high degree of thermal protection during production of film and pipe extrusions, as well as in compounding applications. It also improves long-term thermal stability.

LL8809 is a highly concentrated processing aid masterbatch developed for polyolefin films, sheets, mouldings and pipes. It brings a number of improvements, including elimination of melt fracture, die deposit reduction, higher output rates, and improved surface smoothness and glossiness. A second new processing aid – PS8772 – is a polystyrene-based grade which reduces die build-up and smoke during the production of styrenic sheet and mouldings, resulting in improved surface finish.

Responding to the growing use of reclaimed and recycled materials with unknown moisture content, Cabot has developed PLASADD PS8774, a highly concentrated dessicant masterbatch for styrenics. At 1 per cent addition rate, this grade typically absorbs 1500ppm moisture, reducing surface defects, porosity and die build-up during processing.

Deceuninck: Plan to double sales

Thursday, June 19th, 2003

PVC-U window systems producer Deceuninck has announced plans to double sales over the next four years. The Belgian-based company said on Tuesday it planned to increase sales from E362m in 2002 to over E700m by 2007. In its long-term business plan, the firm said it would invest in new markets and consolidate recent acquisitions such as Thyssen Polymer into its existing business. Over the next four years, the company aims to expand operations into Italy, Russia, and the west coast of the USA. The region earmarked for the greatest expansion is Asia, which it plans to grow from 5% of its current business to 13% in 2007. The company plans to keep Europe as its largest market with an estimated E244m sales in 2007, making 34% of its business. It is planning extra machines in its TPE extrusion business, but will streamline toolshops in Europe and the USA.

EDI: US$ 3.1 million defense contract

Wednesday, June 18th, 2003

The U.S. federal government has awarded a US$ 3.1-million defense contract to Extrusion Dies Industries, LLC (EDI) for development of a process to produce low-cost electrolyte and cathode films for batteries that power electronic devices used by soldiers, the company announced today.

The contract calls for EDI, a leading builder and international supplier of flat die systems for extrusion and web converting, to develop die and extrusion process technologies that can be scaled up for full production of films for high-energy rechargeable and primary disposable batteries. ‘Achieving these technologies will provide our military with a means to produce lower-cost, high-energy batteries that are safe, long-lasting, and light enough to make use in the battlefield easier and more effective,’ said EDI president and CEO Timothy C. Callahan.

Awarded to EDI not long after Callahan and other EDI top executives succeeded in completing a management buyout of the company, the contract stems from a federal appropriation for U.S. Army battery R&D secured by U.S. Congressman Dave Obey, whose district includes Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, where EDI is headquartered.

EDI designs and manufactures dies for use in the production of extruded film, sheet, and coatings. Under the contract, the company will develop a process and construct a pilot plant for the battery films at its Chippewa Falls facility. The company has operated at this site since it was founded in 1971 and today employs 155 people there.

‘EDI’s highly skilled workforce has achieved a high technical standard,’ said Obey. ‘This contract enables them to build opportunity for themselves while helping to upgrade the power sources used by our men and women in uniform.’

EXTRUSION DIES INDUSTRIES, LLC designs and manufactures dies, coextrusion feedblocks, deckling systems, vacuum boxes, and related equipment and ships more than 500 dies and feedblocks a ear. Its subsidiary Extrusion Dies UK is based in Whetstone, Leicester, England. In the U.S.A. and UK, EDI operates facilities for reworking its own dies and those built by other suppliers, and it has licensed other rework facilities in Germany and Japan. Headquartered in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, U.S.A., EDI sells half of its dies outside the United States. Visit www.extrusiondies.com and www.reworkdies.com. EDI’s E-Mail address is [email protected] .

ENTEK Extruders: Major expansion of manufacturing facility

Wednesday, June 18th, 2003

ENTEK Extruders announced that it is making a US$5.8 million investment into the expansion of it’s manufacturing capabilities.
‘We are investing over US$3 million in proprietary equipment for the production of screws, barrels, and extruders. In addition, we are in the planning phase to add 30-50% of manufacturing space’, says Larry Keith, President of ENTEK. ‘This is another step in our ongoing effort to provide the highest quality products at the lowest possible cost and do it with customer service that’s virtually unheard of in the industry.’ ENTEK has purchased 25 acres of land adjacent to its Lebanon, Oregon USA facility for the expansion.

ENTEK Extruders is a leading manufacturer of twin-screw, co-rotating extruders and OEM replacement parts for Leistritz®, W&P (Coperion) and Berstorff®. The company attributes its growth mainly to success with large project turnkey solutions and superior spare parts pricing. Another key factor is the on-site engineering services offered by ENTEK, including mechanical, controls, electrical, and chemical. ‘Sales are strong’, added Keith, ‘in fact, this will be our best year since we began business in 1984.’

In addition to its headquarters in Oregon, ENTEK currently has sales offices in North America and the United Kingdom, as well as manufacturer’s sales agents worldwide. National Plastics Expo attendees are invited to meet the ENTEK team at booth 7543.

Extrudex: Spiral-grooved barrel extruder

Monday, June 16th, 2003

A new extruder concept developed by the University of Paderborn, Germany, has been commercialized for pipe extrusion and blow molding by Extrudex Kunststoffmaschinen GmbH in Muehlacker, Germany. Its new Helibar is a single-screw, 36:1 L/D extruder with a barrel that is spiral-grooved throughout. The groove is deep in the feed section and shallow along the rest of the barrel. Rotation speed of the special barrier screw is higher than usual, and output is also said to be significantly higher. A 70-mm-diam. Helibar produces 990 lb/hr of PE, vs. 500 lb/hr for a comparable smooth-bore extruder. Output of the 70-mm, 36:1 Helibar is similar to that of a 90-mm, 30:1 conventional extruder. Extrudex has built models of 50 and 70 mm and says they can process HDPE, LLDPE, LDPE, PP, PS, acrylic, PET, PC, nylon 6, flexible PVC, EVA, TPU, and other TPEs.
Extrudex developed the concept for Soplar in Switzerland. Soplar builds extrusion blow molding machines exclusively for processor Alpla, which wanted a more compact extruder with higher output. Extrudex has delivered over 50 Helibar units for blow molding in the past year and a dozen for extrusion applications, mostly pipe. Extrudex has signed an exclusive supply agreement with a European injection machine builder and is looking to license the technology to a builder of extruders. Tel: +49 (7041) 96 25 0, www.extrudex.de

Pechiney: Purchase of Mexican blown-film maker Novacel

Monday, June 16th, 2003

Pechiney Plastic Packaging Inc. has agreed to buy leading Mexican extruder and converter Novacel SA de CV of Guadalajara. PPI will pay US$90 million for Novacel, which has plants in Zacapu and Guadalajara. The company extrudes polyethylene blown film and does printing and laminating.

Davis-Standard: Flex-Master Provides Affordable Efficiency for Short Runs

Thursday, June 12th, 2003

Davis-Standard’s newly introduced Flex-Master 1300 extrusion coating machine is a cost-effective option for smaller production capacities. Engineered for short runs of one to two hours for common flexible packaging structures, the Flex-Master combines several widely-used Davis-Standard machine components into one integrated package. The machine’s versatility enables processors to extrude LDPE, LLDPE, m-LLDPE, Surlyn and EVA. Coating speeds up to 300 meters per minute are attainable in 1000mm finished roll diameters.
Modular components include an extrusion station, anchor coater, turret unwind and rewind, sandwich unwind and laminator. The 65mm and 75mm coextrusion station on display at CMM utilizes a feedblock and 1500mm die with internal deckles for edge bead savings. Both extruders are of the MAC (metric air-cooled) design with a single air cooling blower. Advantages of the carriage include motorized traversing movement and manual height adjustment. The coater includes a two-roll direct gravure, enclosed pan-fed system, arch dryer and exit pull roll station. The turret unwind and rewind feature regenerative spindle motors and drives, as well as dancer tension control and shafted operation. The three-roll laminator is equipped with a linear nip arrangement, 450mm to 760mm (18- to 30-inch) chill roll, 200mm (8-inch) water-cooled back-up roll, 165mm (6 1/2-inch) water-cooled nip roll, and closed loop water circulation system. These modular components can be combined to create monolayer, coextrusion and tandem coating machines.
The Flex-Master has already generated a great deal of interest with converters that need increased versatility. For more information, contact Ken Piora at [email protected]

Modern Packaging: New specialty films plant

Thursday, June 12th, 2003

Modern Packaging Films Inc. is investing US$ 26.8 million to set up a plant to produce specially formulated plastic films. The plant will be in a 90,000-square-foot, leased factory owned by Diversified Plastic Film Systems Inc. in Bataan. Diversified Plastic Film Systems Inc. in Bataan. The company will produce coextruded polypropylene film for food and tobacco packaging.

Sabic: Jan-Hessel Kruit retires

Wednesday, June 11th, 2003

On 1 July Mr Jan-Hessel Kruit will retire from the SABIC EuroPetrochemicals BV Managing Board, having reached retirement age. Jan-Hessel Kruit was closely involved in the sale and transfer of DSM’s petrochemicals business group to SABIC in 2002 in his capacity as director of this business group. Over the past year he has helped shape the new company SABIC EuroPetrochemicals as a member of its Managing Board.
Following Mr Kruit’s retirement on 1 July, the SABIC EuroPetrochemicals Managing Board will consist of Frans Noteborn (chairman), Boy Litjens and Abdullah Bazid. With effect from 1 January 2004 Mr Koos van Haasteren (43) will be appointed to the Managing Board. He is currently director of the Low Density Polyethylene business unit of SABIC EuroPetrochemicals.