Archive for July, 2003

PE, PP and PS prices to rise

Thursday, July 24th, 2003

PE, PP and PS prices from Basell and Dow are going up as demand increases and the companies are able to restore some of their previous lost margins. Basell is increasing the European prices for all its polyethylene and polypropylene grades by Eur 100/tonne, effective at the latest by September 1. The company says margins were cut when the prices of polyolefin products fell abruptly during May and June following a sharp fall in demand.
Dow Europe is increasing the price of its Styron GPPS, HIPS and A-Tech advanced technology PS by Eur 50/tonne from August 1. Following disappointing levels of business through much of the second quarter, demand strengthened through late June and into July as converters replenished depleted stocks to meet increases in product demand, so the company is taking the opportunity to restore margins.

Davis Standard: Wood-fiber product development underway at University of Maine

Monday, July 21st, 2003

Davis-Standard’s Woodtruder is the cornerstone of several key research and development projects currently underway at the University of Maine’s Advanced Engineered Wood Composites (AEWC) Center. Since installing the Woodtruder in 2001, the University has been working with public and private organizations to develop and qualify new products. The University is presently working with the United States Coast Guard, the USDA, and multiple proviate organizations to develop new wood-fiber products and conduct process evaluations.

The program for the Coast Guard involves the development of a new decking material and retaining wall system as a replacement for pressure treated wood. The AEWC Center recently developed a 5/4 inch by 6-inch decking product installed at one Coast Guard pier and is now working on the retaining wall. A project being funded by a USDA wood utilization research grant is evaluating post die process conditions to determine how cooling rates impact product development. A second USDA funded project deals with the formulation of nylon wood composites. This project is in its infancy with the intention of product development for automotive-type applications.

‘The expertise of our researchers, our modern facility, and the capabilities of the Woodtruder make it possible for us to investigate and determine the best fiber-polymer combinations ofor any given applications,’ said Doug Gardner, professor of wood science at the University of Maine. ‘Our Center is fully equipped for prototype development. Each new material produced by the Woodtruder undergoes strenuous evaluation, like being repeatedly stressed to evaluate durability and being exposed to the equivalent of years of ultraviolet radiation, moisture and freeze-thaw cycles.’

Amut: New grooved feed zone

Friday, July 18th, 2003

For polyethylene pipes, Amut (Novara, Italy) has changed the design of the grooved feed zone and the screw geometry on its EA 60 HP single-screw extruders so that material is more quickly conveyed and lower melt temperatures can be used. Temperature controls have also been improved to allow processors to more closely regulate melt temperature. Five models are available, all with L/D ratios of 33:1; output ranges from 350 to more than 1200 kg/hr. The manufacturer has also designed a multiple coextrusion die head with spiral distributors targeted at processing five-layer PE pipe.

Periplast: Extrusion Machinery and Tooling

Friday, July 18th, 2003

Periplast Equipamentos Industrials, a maker of extrusion machinery and tooling, offers a wide range of equipment used for the production of pipes, profiles, sheets, and compounding. This includes, among others, single- and twin-screw extruders, coextruders, pipeheads, vacuum tanks and tables, cooling baths, takeoffs, saws, and coilers. The company recently acquired the intellectual property of Speedex and the Speedex range of takeoffs, planetary saws, swarfless planetary cutters, and startup winches. All are now included in the Periplast range of machines. Periplast, 7 Brookside, Leeds, LS17-8TD, England, [email protected]

Battenfeld: Automatic Vacuum Control for Calibrating Tables

Wednesday, July 16th, 2003

It is well-known among profile manufacturers that the start-up of the extrusion line requires much more vacuum than the later run under production conditions. This fact causes a waste of energy as during production more vacuum pumps are running than actually required. In order to eliminate this waste of energy Battenfeld Extrusionstechnik in Germany has launched its new ZV-series of profile calibrating tables with Automatic Vacuum Control. With this new system the operator is in a position to enter different vacuum levels at the operator panel. Each vacuum level entered will be maintained exactly during production and the control makes sure that no more vacuum pumps are running than really necessary. Even if one of the vacuum pumps fails and must be replaced during operation the control still ensures a steady vacuum. Tests have shown that it is possible to run a window main profile with only 1 x 3 kW vacuum pump instead of 4 x 5,5 kW as previously used. Even more impressive are the results if the Automatic Vacuum Control is used for dual strand extrusion as usually eight or more vacuum pumps are employed. This high potential of energy saving has already convinced several customers worldwide who have received their calibrating tables with the new Automatic Vacuum Control. The Automatic Vacuum Control also has a very positive side effect: There is no unpleasant noise which is usually caused by leaking air.

Reifenhauser: Gearless Extruders

Wednesday, July 16th, 2003

Due to the success of its REI-Compakt gearless extruder, Reifenhäuser, Troisdorf, Germany (U.S. headquarters is Ipswich, ma), has decided to introduce a family of units with 300 to 11,000 N-m in torque. More than 30 REI-Compakt units have been sold since the prototype was introduced at K2001. Dieter Thewes, extrusion center manager, says the biggest selling point of the design (Dec 01 mp, 59; mpi, 70) is energy efficiency; it uses as much as 20% less energy compared to traditional extruders. Although the extruder cost is similar to ac- or dc-motor units with gearboxes, energy cost savings reportedly amount to _10,000 over the life of the machine.
The design also substantially reduces maintenance, says Thewes, since there is no gearbox, no ac bearings to exchange after 17,000 h, or dc brushes to replace after 3000 to 7000 h. By every third brush change, a dc collector normally needs replacing, which requires two days of extruder downtime.
The lack of a gearbox makes the REI-Compakt’s footprint 30% smaller than Reifenhäuser’s standard RT extruder line. The linear motor is reportedly at least 17 dBA quieter than the European Union noise limit of 82 dBA for extruders. Since the motor is water-cooled, there is as well no dust or soot filter to clean. The unit can even be used in cleanrooms. It will not overheat in areas with high humidity and temperature, such as the Far East and southern U.S., according to Hans-Peter Krukenberg, extrusion center sales manager.

Polyco: Expansion of window board production

Tuesday, July 15th, 2003

Polyco, which makes plastic window boards and architectural profiles, has extended its 2,000 sq metre site by 1,600sq metres. The extension will house a second production line that will produce window board. The firm also plans to take on 10 more staff to its 20-strong workforce. Managing director Ian Law said the firm was considering further expansion as it extends its range of products over the next two years. Polyco set up the Powys site four years ago. It has a factory in Reading.

Parksite: closing of film production site

Tuesday, July 15th, 2003

UK polyolefin film maker and converter Parkside International is to close its Stoke-on-Trent plant later this year. The company will transfer production to its Normanton and Darton sites in Yorkshire. Around half of the 140 employees at the unit will be offered positions at the Yorkshire locations. The plant, which operated for many years under the Britannia Packaging banner, carries out a number of film conversion processes including printing, bag and pouch making and lamination.

Petco: PET sheet capacity expansion

Monday, July 14th, 2003

Recycler Petco Plastics Inc. is adding a third extrusion line that substantially will boost its capacity to make sheet from recycled PET. Petco’s US$3 million expansion will add 12 million pounds of capacity, giving Montreal-based Petco a total annual capacity of 36 million pounds.

Krauss-Maffei: Standard pipe and profile extruder

Monday, July 14th, 2003

Krauss-Maffei has developed a standard machine for pipe and profile extrusion. KM extrusion machinery business managing director Graziano Parisi said the XS range uses the same high-quality elements as its single and double-screw machine ranges. The XS machines will be made in small runs, according to Parisi.
KM sales and marketing director Marc Glabisch says the 45mm XS single-screw machine is priced at EURO 43,000.
The company showed the XS machine at its recent open house in Munich.