Archive for May, 2004

Britton Group: Management buy-out

Saturday, May 29th, 2004

Management at UK films maker Britton Group has bought the company in a E68m deal. Britton’s new owners will be led by chief executive Mike Clark and will include Turner and other members of the current management team. Turner said the move followed the retirement of Dick Searle last year after three and a half years at the head of the company. Clarke joined the group after heading firms including Macfarlane Plastics and Tyco UK. Turner added that Britton Group planned to grow the business, with backing from corporate finance companies. The company has seven sites in the UK with the capacity to manufacture 100,000 tonnes of blown and cast film. Its turnover last year was E135m.

Cincinnati: Standardised downstream equipment for its Alpha extruders

Saturday, May 29th, 2004

Cincinnati Extrusion has launched standardised downstream equipment for its Alpha extruders. These will be shown as complete Alpha Tubeline pipe and Alpha Profline profile extrusion lines for the first time at the K 2004 fair in October. The equipment offers short delivery times and a good price/performance ratio, the company said at a preview of the company’s exhibits. Cincinnati said it has sold more than 200 of the Alpha machines since the introduction of standard high-end Alpha single screw extruders at K 2001.
Managing director Walter Häder told it was still able to offer the basic Alpha 45-25B and 60-25B machines at the same “cost-effective” prices of E28,000 and E34,000 as at the time of the K 2001 launch. The company recently added two new model versions to the Alpha machines involving an increase in the L/D ratio by 3D to 28D and options of grooved or fine grooved feed zones.
It said that while the standard version Alphas were especially suited for processing of soft materials such as thermoplastic elastomers, the grooved feed zone versions were suitable for unfilled or filled PP profiles and tubes and other polymers such as polyamide.

Extrusioneering International: New Training Format Improves Compounding Productivity

Wednesday, May 26th, 2004

Extrusioneering International, one of the most respected consulting firms in the compounding industry, is introducing an innovative training program for operators, engineers and supervisors called Twin Screw University (TSU). TSU’s programs are designed to improve compounding profitability on co-rotating twin screw extruders. Through its affiliation with established polymer training centers strategically located throughout the country, TSU will bring a series of results-oriented seminars and hands-on workshops within commuting distance of the compounding industry. The Polymers Center of Excellence in Charlotte, North Carolina will host the first hands-on compounding workshop on March 23-25.

By bringing training to the compounder’s own backyard, the TSU program minimizes the cost and downtime associated with traditional training programs. Companies are inclined to send more than just a select few of their employees if it is convenient and cost effective. “We want to bring training to the front line where it is most needed,” says Adam Dreiblatt, president of Extrusioneering International. “Compounders who proactively examine and address the training needs of their workforce are more likely to benefit from increased productivity.”
The first TSU seminar series will be launched at the Akron Polymer Training Center on April 19-20. Hands-on interactive workshops are scheduled at the following locations: South Shore Harbour Conference Center in Houston, TX from June 9-11; the Plastics Manufacturing Center at Penn College in Williamsport, PA from July 27-29 and Aspen Research Corporation in Minneapolis, MN from August 3-5. The workshop then returns to the Polymers Center of Excellence in Charlotte from November 9-11. “Companies want to pay for results, not training,” says Dreiblatt. “Our goal is to make it convenient for operating personnel to get the training they need to be successful.”

Productivity in a compounding plant ultimately depends on the operators and engineers, regardless of how automated the compounding line may be. The largest gains in productivity are realized through increasing the knowledge and capabilities of those who operate today’s sophisticated extrusion equipment. “High-speed compounding extruders can produce scrap just as quickly as they can produce quality compounds,” according to Mr. Dreiblatt. “Plant operating staff needs to react even faster then ever before.”

The Twin Screw University curriculum includes hands-on experience to reinforce the classroom training, providing techniques to improve quality, production rate and yield immediately upon return to the workplace. Each of the hands-on workshops will feature twin-screw extruders configured for compounding fillers, additives and reinforcing fibers and is designed to be an interactive experience rather than a demonstration. Students are encouraged to bring specific process problems to be discussed openly or one-on-one with the instructor following the class.

Twin Screw University can also be structured as an in-plant program, offering half-day or full-day sessions on a rotating basis. This option has the least impact on production schedules and can be customized for each plant site.

Extrusioneering International has been providing twin-screw compounding seminars and workshops in the United States, Europe and South America since 1994 with outstanding feedback from attendees. Mr. Dreiblatt, who developed the SPE (Society of Plastics Engineers) seminar “Twin-Screw Extrusion Technology” and introduced the “Twin-Screw Compounding Workshop” into the SPE educational program, brings over 20 years of practical experience to the classroom.

For more information on Twin Screw University dates and locations, contact Extrusioneering International at (973) 895-4088 or visit their website at

Dow Polyolefins: Enhanced Bimodal HDPE Resins for Pressure Pipe

Tuesday, May 25th, 2004

A new family of high-performance HDPE resins that is said to provide long extrapolated life expectancy, enhanced integrity, and outstanding strength for pressure pipe and fittings as compared with other HDPE resins and concrete, steel, and clay. New Continuum bimodal PE resins from Dow Polyolefins, Houston, are aimed at pipe for potable water, natural-gas distribution, oil and gas production, sewer, mining, and industrial chemicals.
Produced with Unipol II gas-phase, multi-reactor process technology, these resins now include an enhanced additive package designed to improve pipe extrusion. These materials boast better resistance to slow crack growth and high-temperature/pressure performance than standard HDPE pipe resins. Dow also claims increased toughness, increased tensile strength and modulus, excellent resistance to rapid crack propagation, and enhanced bonding to MDPE and other HDPE pipe grades.

Leistritz: Lab-Scale Extruder

Tuesday, May 25th, 2004

The new Leistritz lab-extruder with striking new features was introduced at Plast and NPE by the company. With 18 mm screw diameter, a screw speed of up to 1200 rpm and a side feeder, ZSE 18 HP, the smallest twin screw extruder of the Leistritz ZSE series, makes authentic sampling of formulations at laboratory scale possible. Even for the production of small batches, the ZSE 18 HP is an excellent alternative to larger machines. With throughputs of 200 g/h up to 40 kg/h for certain applications, this small extruder exhibits excellent performance according to the company. Due to the high torque even pellets that are hard to handle, such as PA 6, PA 66 and PET can be fed conveniently. Despite the modular set-up and other features of the ZSE range the new features include: a new high torque multi-motor drive, which combines motor and gearbox in a single, water-cooled housing, which makes the drive extremely reliable and silent; involute splined shaft profile for transmission of the high specific torque of 74 Nm; and the according side feeder facilitates split-feed processes for various compounding tasks such as filling, colouring and reinforcing.

Aquafilm: Acquisition of cast PVOH film producer MonoSol

Tuesday, May 25th, 2004

Water soluble blown film manufacturer Aquafilm, USA, has been bought by MonoSol of the USA as part of the break-up of its American parent, also called Aquafilm. In the USA Aquafilm’s edible film products business in Florida has become part of the US arm of British-based BioProgress, which makes oral drug delivery systems. Aquafilm Ltd, formerly part of Linpac, was set up in 1986 and was bought at the end of 2000, along with Enak Ltd, by Cast Film Technology LLC of the USA, which the next year changed its name to Aquafilm LLC in an integration with Microflake Inc. The British business was the main production site for Aquafilm’s industrial and consumer soluble films, the American company concentrating on edible films.
MonoSol makes blown and solution cast PVOH films and says that the acquisition enables it to expand production of blown films in North America and cast films in Europe. It will maintain Aquafilm’s existing UK operations. MonoSol also makes edible films, following the purchase of Kosmos Pharma of the USA in January this year and the setting up of MonoSolRX.
The takeover of Aquafilm Ltd gets back MonoSol’s laundry bag business, which it sold to Aquafilm last year.

Cognis: Sale of its PVC stabilisers business

Friday, May 21st, 2004

The EUR 40m-turnover division will be bought by a consortium of companies comprising Reagens of Italy and Sun Ace Kakoh of Singapore. Both purchasers are leading manufacturers of PVC stabilisers. Cognis has two stabiliser manufacturing sites and a sales office in Germany. It also has a production site in Hong Kong. In total, the division employs around 160 people. The new owners expect to retain most of the staff. Cognis says it is selling the business because it “has little in common with our core competencies”. Its stabilisers are based on calcium-zinc technology.
The deal should be formally concluded by the end of this month.

Enercon: Plasma3 for Nonwoven Webs

Wednesday, May 19th, 2004

Enercon announces development of Plasma3, a proprietary atmospheric glow discharge surface treatment system for functionalizing narrow and wide nonwoven webs.
The Enercon Plasma3system can modify the entire fiber network of webs with dual-side treatment. Uniformity of treatment is achieved and functionalization is precisely controlled to promote many hydrophilic surface properties. Process chemistry consumption costs are extremely low, reacting in the discharge area and yielding high and long-lasting surface energy to provide improved adhesion of dyes, inks, coatings and adhesives.
Enercon’s Plasma3™ atmospheric plasma surface treatment technology can produce exceptional nonwoven performance. Custom-designed solutions can include improved pigmentation and coating adhesion for wipes, padding and electrical & thermal insulators using both natural and synthetic fiber blends.
Enercon Industries Corporation, headquartered in Menomonee Falls, WI, is a major manufacturer of equipment for the plastics and packaging industries. The company supplies custom built corona, flame and atmospheric plasma treating systems, and 3D plasma treaters for the plastics and rubber industries.

Polyex: Opening of multiwall PC extrusion plant

Wednesday, May 19th, 2004

A UK company has invested EUR 12m in a new plant to extrude multiwall polycarbonate for use in conservatories and other construction markets. Polyex, a sister company to PVCu profile extruder and window manufacturer Eurocell Building Profiles, has established a 6,500 sq metre factory and warehouse at Alfreton, near Derby. The company has installed two Omipa extrusion lines and has space for a third line. Production capacity is estimated at 8,000tpa with one of the lines equipped to co-extrude two different colour layers of polycarbonate.The warehouse holds around 400 tonnes of sheet in stock, which is cut to size on two automated machines. The plant presently produces in two thicknesses, 16mm and 25mm and will soon introduce 8mm, 10mm, 32mm and 35mm sizes. It has already won a supply contract with nearby PVCu manufacturer Synseal and has set up an innovative website offering all customers to ability to order cut shapes or blocks online. Polyex employs 25 staff and is headed by managing director Roger Hartshorn and chairman Mike Bosworth.

Berstorff: Machines for the Chinese market

Tuesday, May 18th, 2004

Extrusion machinery manufacturer Berstorff believes that a simplified range of machines will help it to win new business in China. Its UTX Basic twin-screw extruder, which will be shown at K2004, is highly standardised and forms an important part of Berstorff’s growth strategy in both emerging and established markets. The Basic model will be more than 20% cheaper than the company’s existing UT and UTX products, according to Ralf Dahl, technology manager for twin-screw extruders. As well as being attractive to developing nations, the model is also aimed at smaller masterbatchers and contract compounders in Europe. It will be available with six screw diameters between 26mm and 77mm, and standard speeds of 600rpm, 900rpm and 1,200rpm. A prototype will be exhibited at K2004 in October.