Archive for November, 2004

CPI Plastics: Expansion of product line

Monday, November 29th, 2004

Building on the success of its eon® wood replacement decking and fencing systems, CPI Plastics Group Ltd. (“CPI”) of Mississauga, Ontario, Canada expanded its product line to include spa cladding. Introduced in 2003, the eon® cladding offers a maintenance-free alternative to wood cladding or skirting. Consumer demand for this product has been impressive. In less than two years, CPI has become the spa industry’s leading supplier of non-wood cladding capturing more than 50 percent of this market segment. Due to this development and CPI’s continued growth in decking systems, the company added 29 Davis-Standard 3 1/2-inch (90mm) extruders over the past year with more machine acquisitions on the horizon.
“Spa cladding is a natural fit for our eon® product line. The cladding is resistant to water, sun and spa chemical degradation. As with our other products, it is also maintenance free with the appearance and texture of professionally finished wood,” explained Jim Ellies, vice chairman of CPI Plastics Group. “Because of the growing demand for these products, we have around 80
Davis-Standard machines running out of two plants that are solely dedicated to supporting the cladding and decking business.”
CPI, which entered the wood replacement market in 1998, has successfully branded its eon® decking, fencing and spa cladding at major retail stores and wood product distributors throughout the U.S. and Canada. In addition to the

largest player in alternative decking. All totaled, eon® products encompass
60 percent of CPI’s business. The company’s steady growth in this area can be attributed to the thermoplastic composition and appearance of eon® products, making them a value-added substitute for wood or vinyl. Consumers can enjoy the look and feel of real wood while benefiting from a product that is water resistant, free of cracking, insects, splinters and warping. Specific to its decking, CPI also has a patented “t-clip” assembly which eliminates the need for surface nails and screws.
“We have a very strong, strategic partnership with Davis-Standard,” added Ellies. “They have customized the specs for our extruders and always keep a few on hold so there is a good turnaround whenever we place an order. This is very critical for us as we continue to focus on service, price and delivery.”
For more information about eon® wood replacement products, visit www.eonoutdoor.com. For more information about CPI, visit www.cpiplastics.com. For more information about Davis-Standard’s extruders for profile applications, contact Wendell Whipple at [email protected]

DuPont: Seventeenth DuPont awards for innovations in packaging

Monday, November 29th, 2004

The winners of the DuPont Packaging Awards 2004 (www.dupont.com/packaging/awards/) have been announced.
Selecting from a total of 104 entries, the eight-member judging panel
nominated 22 international food and non-food packaging innovations for
awards.
The food category recognises advancements from all parts of the food chain,
which are made possible, or more productive, by the use of plastic
packaging. The non-food category recognises innovations that use plastic
packaging in industrial, cosmetic, medical or other non-food related
industries.
Evaluation criteria are degree of innovation, breadth of application,
significance on industry or consumers, marketing innovation and impact of
the packaging on consumer or industry buying decisions.
DuPont sponsors the competition in cooperation with Campden &
Chorleywood Food Research Association, Gloucestershire (England) and
the National Food Processors Association in Washington DC (USA).
Entries need not include a DuPont product to be eligible. Since its inception
in 1986, the competition has received more than 700 entries from over 35
countries. During that time, over 140 innovations have been honoured.
Three significant innovations received the Diamond Award
•The Procter & Gamble Company, Product Ventures, Ltd., Liquid
Container Co., Amcor Flexibles, Erie Plastics, and Multi-Color
Corporation (all USA), received a Diamond Award for the Folger’s
AromaSeal™ Shaped Plastic Coffee Canister – a modern alternative to
the 150-year tradition of metal tins. The 6-layer co-extruded canister is
dent and ding resistant, is lightweight and stackable. The moulded-in
handle makes the canister easier to handle – a real value-adding
packaging feature.

•The Paper Products Ltd. (India) and GlaxoSmithKline (Nigeria and
USA) received a Diamond Award for their continuous hologram
security seals in pharmaceutical blister packs to prevent counterfeiting.
•Morningstar Foods, Inc., and Closure & Specialty Products (both USA)
are the third recipients of a Diamond Award. It was for the toggle
dispensing closure of the Delight Coffee Creamers from Morningstar
International, which is ergonomically designed for one-handed opening
and closing. A toggle-closing end is designed to provide for a clean
shut-off with minimal drip and no left-over residue, while providing a
secure seal for refrigerated storage. The dispensing closure is injectionmoulded
polypropylene.

Four Gold Awards went to:
•EDV Packaging Solutions and Nutrexpa S.A, both from Barcelona
(Spain) for the development of a transparent, multi-layer package of
polypropylene and ethylene vinyl alcohol co-polymer (EVOH), bonded
with DuPont™ Bynel® adhesive resin, for the La Piara line of paté
spreads. The five-layer structure can withstand pasteurisation for over
one hour. Barrier to oxygen is achieved with thermal resistant EVOH.
DuPont Bynel® is used for its high-temperature resistance.
•MonoSol, LLC (USA) and The Procter & Gamble Company (Belgium)
for the Cascade 2 in 1 ActionPacs. The dual compartment water-soluble
film packaging houses both powder detergent and liquid grease-cutter
for automatic dishwashers. The cold-water soluble MonoSol film is
made from cast co-polymer polyvinyl alcohol (DuPont™ Elvanol®).
•Kraft Foods and Printpack (both USA) for a new package platform for
Ritz® chips. For the consumer, the flat-bottomed, easy open, stand up
pouch affords a peelable easy open function with convenient peel-offtab
for reclosure. For the producer, the tandem adhesive lamination
structure exceeds key attribute requirements of high impact graphics,
product shelf life barriers, high-speed machinability, and consumer
functionality.
•Ross Products (a division of Abbott Laboratories), Crown Cork & Seal,
Owens-Illinois Plastics Group, American Fuji Seal, Bemis Flexible
Packaging, Weyerhaeuser and Innovations & Development, Inc. (all
USA) for the Ensure® Ready to Drink re-closable plastic bottle. The
packaging consists of a two-piece composite closure, a 6-layer plastic
bottle; a full body shrink film and a label featuring 7-colour rotogravure
reverse printing.

WHS Halo: Expansion of PVCu extrusion factory

Wednesday, November 24th, 2004

UK window profile manufacturer WHS Halo is meeting with council officials today to seek planning permission for an expansion to its factory at Minworth, West Midlands.
The company took out an advert in regional newspaper the Birmingham Post yesterday saying that it hoped to create 140 new jobs with extensions to its manufacturing and administrative centres. The PVCu extruder described the project as “multi-million pound”.
Managing director Winston Duguid said: “We are always trying to make our operations more efficient. If we get planning permission for the new space we will be able to move people from rented accommodation in the area to centralise them on our site.”
This latest news adds to a bumper set of UK investments in window profile manufacturing. Duraflex’s new £20m (E29m) factory in Tewkesbury is set to open early next year, as is Eurocell’s new mixing and extrusion facility in Alfreton, Derbyshire.
Synseal has invested £9.5m (E14m) over the last 18 months in compounding, extrusion and injection moulding at Sutton-in-Ashfield, Nottinghamshire.

Strong growth in Chinese production

Wednesday, November 24th, 2004

Production by China’s 8,981 plastics processors “with reasonable production scale” increased by 14.2% in the first half 2004 compared with the same period in 2003.
In value terms the increase was even larger at 25.1%, to RMB174bn (E16.3bn), according to figures presented by Liao Zhenpin, secretary general of the China Plastics Processing Industry Association (CPPIA) during K2004. He said the number of companies had also increased by 700 since 2003.
Plastic film was the largest sector, accounting for 1.75 million tonnes, followed by filaments and woven products at 940,000 tonnes.
Pipe and rods amounted to 920,000 tonnes and was the second fastest growing sector with a 23.1% increase after “artificial and synthetic leather” at 462,000 tonnes and 28.1% growth. Profile, film and sheet production rose by 19.5% to 783,000 tonnes.
The start-up of 12 new oriented film plants in 2004 brought the total number of BOPP plants to 18. National capacity of BOPP film has reached 1.76 million tonnes in 2004 and is forecast to reach more than 2 million in 2005. But annual demand is no more than 900,000 tonnes at present.
The situation is similar with the smaller BOPET market. The 200,000 tonnes of installed capacity in 2003 matched the demand forecast for 2005, but new lines set to open next year will bring overcapacity with 500,000 tonnes installed.
CPPIA said the overheated development of the domestic BOPET industry and “irrational investment” will affect healthy development and “discourage expected returns for new investors”.

3M: Recycling-compatible Film 8000 -

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2004

Things are getting serious for electric shavers, computers and other electrical and electronic goods: by 13th August 2005 a new European directive will be in place which will allow consumers to return goods to manufacturers for disposal free of charge.

This means that manufacturers will be responsible for the disposal of their own products. Unfortunately, problems arise because each product contains several different materials including the label, which can be made from a variety of materials, and attached to the plastic casing of products. Even small amounts of label material can contaminate the recycled plastic to such an extent that the recycled material cannot be considered for making into new casings.

More than ten years ago, three companies developed a solution to this problem which is highlighted by the new European directive. Wincor Nixdorf, a supplier of products and services to banking and retail branches, the plastics manufacturer Bayer and the multi-technology company 3M based in Neuss, Germany, developed a new label material that can be used on most modern plastics without any problems and recycled easily along with the plastics casings.

This unique material is the 3M Recycling-compatible Foil 8000. Its properties and effectiveness have been confirmed not only by Bayer but also by BASF and the German Institute for Plastics and Recycling (FkuR) based in Willich.
This flexible, durable and printable product has been in use at Wincor Nixdorf for the past six years. It is compatible with all materials currently used in casing such as polycarbonate (PC), polystyrene (PS), ABS, ABS-PC compounds as well as high-impact polystyrene and can help reduce the costs of recycling these materials by up to 30%. Even though this film is slightly more expensive than conventional materials, it minimises the costs for manufacturers as there is no longer a need to remove the labels. At the end of the day, it costs one tenth of the cost incurred using traditional materials.

Davis-Standard: Low Profile Die Technology

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2004

Davis-Standard’s latest evolution of low profile die (Lo-Pak) coextrusion technology is engineered to offer processors tighter profile tolerances, higher quality and productivity, as well as versatility to run many resins and new film grades.
The updated 380mm (15-inch), three-layer Lo-Pak die is from a family of dies that serve a range of applications including converting film, barrier food packaging, specialty and laminating films. The die incorporates a unique shear-rate modeling design that reduces residence time and wetted surface area when compared to other dies. This design also features controlled shear rates in the critical confluence area, improving gauge control accuracy and film consistency. Heavy die body components offer steady heat transfer and thermal stability. The die’s taper-lock construction with lapped seal surfaces perfectly aligns components to eliminate leaks while minimizing the number of mechanical seals required.
This low profile system is designed for 200 - 270 bar die inlet pressure for excellent overall and layer-to-layer thickness control for multiple polymers and processing conditions. The short flow distances from confluence to gap improve tolerances for a variety of viscosities and resin types. In addition, all extruder transfer pipes enter at the same height for simplified maintenance and resin handling. The Lo-Pak is available in diameters from 200mm to 900mm (8 to 35 inches) and in models up to nine layers.
For more information about the Lo-Pak die technology or AutoPro air ring, contact Rick Keller at Davis-Standard’s facility in Somerville, New Jersey, USA, at [email protected] or (908) 722-6000, ext. 2266.

Octagon: Non-contact thickness profile measurement system

Wednesday, November 17th, 2004

At K 2004, Octagon Process Technology GmbH, Würzburg, has presented its new VenPad capacitive thickness profile measuring system which permits non-contact measurement on the outside of the film bubble. In contrast with other non-contact sensors, the VenPad sensor maintains a constant and extremely small distance between
itself and film bubble, ensuring exact and reproducible measuring
conditions. The sensor measures within the range of 6 to 500 µm with a
resolution of 0.1 µm. VenPad is equally suitable for single-layer blown
films and for co-extruded films with any number of layers; in the latter
case, the system indicates the overall thickness.
Through the special design of the VenPad system, air flows at high speed
tangentially between the film and sensor, creating a Venturi effect (partial
vacuum between the film and the VenPad sensor) which generates an air
cushion of constant thickness. Thus the system operates ‘automatically’
and without any need for adjustment at a constant distance from the surface
of the film – an important prerequisite for comparative measurement.
VenPad is highly suitable for reliable, trouble-free thickness profile measurement,
especially in the case of films with tacky or delicate surfaces.
Used in conjunction with Octagon’s SmartLip thickness profile control,
VenPad permits the efficient cross profile control of the most sensitive of
film products. Moreover, VenPad can be integrated into an existing
extruder control system, for which purpose the sensor is equipped with a
Profibus interface.

Teknor Apex: ‘NON-LEAD’ PLENUM COMPOUNDS IN FIREGUARD (R) FAMILY

Wednesday, November 17th, 2004

Two new non-lead stabilized grades of Fireguard (R) plenum compounds provide performance well within the range of lead-stabilized Fireguard products while enabling cable manufacturers to save cost on a yield-per-pound basis, it was announced at IWCS / Focus by Teknor Apex (Booth 404). The new compounds are expected to be used for jacketing in data, telecommunications, and coaxial cable, including the coax sector of local-area networks (LANs), according to industry manager Mike Patel.

The new ‘non-lead’* Fireguard compounds, designated 910-L16-C13-NL and 910-L16-C6-NL1, have Shore C hardness ratings of 91/86 and 88/81 (instantaneous / 10 sec.), respectively. Their specific gravities are 1 to 2% lower than those of counterpart lead-stabilized Fireguard compounds.

‘While the difference in specific gravity looks small, the greater product yield per pound of compound translates into significant raw material cost savings,’ Patel said. ‘A small-size cable manufacturer could save on the order of US$ 10,000 per year.’

Plenum applications are subject to the industry’s most stringent standards for low-flame / low-smoke performance. Fireguard compounds are vinyl-based products that provide cost and performance alternatives to fluoropolymers in plenum cable. The ‘non-lead’ formulations in the Fireguard family provide mechanical, electrical, and flame and smoke properties comparable to those of lead-stabilized Fireguard formulations and, like them, are readily processed in standard equipment used for PVC, according to Patel.

New Compounds Address Need for Lead-Elimination and Demand for Security Networks

‘While other compound suppliers have also introduced lead stabilizer-free products, the scope of lead-replacement is greatest at Teknor Apex,’ Patel said. ‘We have developed the technology to replace lead-stabilized compounds without compromising performance, and we are fully capable
of formulating new-generation grades for any application specified by a customer.’

Recent European, Asian, and U.S. mandates to eliminate lead have posed a challenge to the wire and cable industry because lead stabilizers have been the most efficient and cost-effective additives for rendering the PVC polymer in vinyl resistant to thermal degradation. Causes of degradation include the heat and shear of processing and the exposure to heat in such end-use situations as plenum areas near heating ducts. ‘While suppliers of stabilizers have developed new additives with performance equivalent to that of lead, incorporating them into vinyl compounds is never a matter of simple drop-in replacement,’ said Patel. ‘Teknor Apex has developed new Fireguard formulations that duplicate our lead-stabilized products not just in heat stability but in processability, mechanical and electrical performance, and cost.’

Demand for such products has also increased as a result of the current strong emphasis on increasing security in commercial and institutional buildings by installing coax-networked television monitoring systems, Patel added. ‘Since these networks typically run through plenums, the cable must have flame and smoke performance on the level provided by our Fireguard products.’

Borealis is at the forefront of polypropylene (PP) material advances. Its long-established relationships with many stakeholders in the pipe industry have enabled Borealis to convert market needs into BorECO™ PP solutions that benefit all members of the v

Friday, November 12th, 2004

Were there to be a special Guinness book of plastics records, KIEFEL Extrusion GmbH would have secured a place in it based on the last K: the leading supplier of blown film lines worldwide already had the first contract sewn up less than one hour after the opening of the world’s largest plastics fair on the 20th of October. This extremely satisfying start for this machinery manufacturer from the town of Worms was just the starting shot for a series of sales achieved during the fair. KIEFEL sold no fewer than eight lines at the K and several retrofit packages for existing systems.

KIEFEL CEO Edgar Gandelheidt was able to record the most important chapter in its success story in Düsseldorf with the signing of a contract for the sale of a nine-layer line to a customer in the USA. “We have achieved a significant breakthrough in the North American market with the sale of this line from our KIRION® program”, Gandelheidt says. The line is suitable for the production of demanding barrier packaging, laminating films and thermoforming films. The equipment includes nine smooth bore extruders that enable outstanding processing of thermally sensitive materials and guarantee optimum homogenisation of the melt. With a patented die design including a die diameter of 600 mm (23.6”), it is set up for lay-flat widths of up to 2,200 mm (86.6”). A surface/center/gap winder completes the modular line that, in the words of Director of Sales Worldwide Kurt Freye, demonstrates the latest state-of-the-art technology at KIEFEL.

The sales made at the K are, according to Gandelheit, the best proof that the KIRION® generation has become the international leader in blown film technology: the 3-layer line shown at the fair was ordered by the US plastics processor Raven Industries from Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Apart from that, both mono- and multi-layer lines will soon be going to the USA to two other companies. The first deal – suspected as being the Guinness book record (in terms of speed) – was concluded with another American customer for a large retrofit package for several existing systems. A Chilean business partner went for an extension of a mono- to a 3-layer line and he also ordered a new 3-layer line to further expand his production facility. Finally, the French company Palamy, in Le-May-sur-Èvre, placed orders for a mono- and a 3-layer line. The machines for this producer of technical films in PE should start up production of specialty film, printed carrier bags, and so-called “wicket bags” by March and April 2005 respectively.

Borealis: BorECO™ polypropylene for non-pressure pipe applications

Friday, November 12th, 2004

Borealis is at the forefront of polypropylene (PP) material advances. Its long-established relationships with many stakeholders in the pipe industry have enabled Borealis to convert market needs into BorECO™ PP solutions that benefit all members of the value chain: Converters, installers, end-user utilities and communities.

BorECO PP delivers an optimum balance of stiffness and impact properties and good processing characteristics for both extrusion and injection moulding, thereby offering the possibility of a ‘one material’ solution for complete systems in these applications. The performance profile of BorECO PP includes resistance to chemicals, compatibility with all conventional jointing techniques and a potential service life stretching beyond the current industry standards.

This allows simplified logistics through the purchasing, handling and processing of a single material, together with greater cost savings resulting from decreased pipe weight and reduced material consumption, ease of installation and savings in system transportation.

Furthermore, the long-term performance reliability of BorECO PP enables the production of high quality systems that require little or no maintenance or repair over their service life. The total savings generated by BorECO PP-based systems help to reduce waste water disposal fees to commercial and community end users.

Industry leadership
In the late 1990s, Borealis confirmed its industry leadership by bringing to the market the first PP block copolymers with superior stiffness for non-pressure pipe applications, BorECO BA212E. Borealis and its customers have shown an increasing number of community officials, planners and decision makers the benefits of light weight and durable plastics solutions for underground drainage and sewerage systems.

The introduction of BorECO PP allowed an amendment to the standard for ‘Plastics piping systems for non-pressure underground drainage and sewerage – polypropylene’, EN1852-1/A. This related to PP materials with a modulus of elasticity of 1700 MPa or higher (PP-HM), for pipe systems of stiffness class SN8. This new standard made it possible to manufacture thinner walled PP pipes with the same ring stiffness as polyvinyl chloride, polyethylene or conventional PP. Consequently, pipes with an even lower weight per metre could be produced based on the BorECO PP materials.

A new grade, BorECO BA222E with an E-modulus of >1900 MPa and excellent impact strength has been introduced. This new material has been specifically designed for solid wall heavy-duty pipes with increased ring stiffness requirements at reduced weight per metre.

‘One material’, low-weight solution
BorECO PP, BA212E and BA222E grades for solid wall systems offer the lowest pipe weight per metre of commercially available materials for drainage and sewerage.
This translates to a reduction in weight per metre pipe of approximately:

• 15% compared to conventional PP-B (900 kg/m3)
• 27% compared with PVC-U (1530 kg/m3)
• 27% compared with PE (950 kg/m3)

Besides its application in solid wall piping, BorECO PP also brings specific benefits in the production of twin-wall corrugated pipes, ribbed constructions, multilayer and spiral-wound pipes, as well as foamed solutions, injection moulded fittings and inspection chambers. In these applications BorECO PP opens a wider window for more design freedom than is economically achievable with alternative materials.

Increasing benefits
Mainly dominated by concrete, clay and ductile iron, the underground piping sector has over recent years seen the increased acceptance of PP. Growth in the use of PP for gravity-flow pipes has been partly due to the progressively high failure rate of old generation, non-plastic systems.

Common issues centre on brittle failure due to overloading and the lack of flexibility – elimination of this problem is a major advantage of plastics solutions. Furthermore old generation piping material frequently exhibits surface or joint damages, and leakages resulting from ground movement, the sulphuric acid corrosion of concrete, or corrosion of metal reinforcements.

BorECO PP has been applied in a range of different piping systems to overcome these problems and deliver durable, long-term solutions for communities, industrial end users and private house owners.

Solutions in action
The city of Malmö, called the ‘Park City’ of Sweden due to its exceptionally green city design, had a considerable problem with root penetration into the sewerage network. Root penetration can cause leakages in and out of a pipe system. Such leakages can occur in old generation pipe systems that cannot be installed in a completely leak tight manner, and often break shortly after installation due to their lack of flexibility. One consequence of such leakages is that water treatment plants need to be designed and operated at much higher capacity than actually required for the needs of the local population, causing additional costs and resource consumption.

In the early 1990s Malmö installed a test ring of different pipe materials. Trees were planted close to the test ring and television inspections were carried out every two months to see what happened underground. The observations were carried out over six years.

As a result of this investigation, Malmö decided to install fully-welded PP sewerage pipelines in order to overcome the roots penetration problem. The connection technologies used were socket fusion and butt fusion. Since then some 80km of Borealis PP sewerage pipelines have been installed in Malmö.
Malmö city councilor Mr. Bengt Mattsson explained: “Although at installation fully welded systems are around 50% more expensive than the cheapest solutions available, the cost of routine maintenance work over the system’s lifetime is so substantially reduced that the investment is repaid in the short term.”
The experience in Malmö proves how closely economic and ecological benefits are linked together in BorECO PP pipe solutions.

Cold climate performance
BorECO PP grades are especially suited for use, handling and installation in cold climate conditions due to their balanced high stiffness and high impact properties. An installation of spiral wound Weholite pipes made of BorECO PP in the community of Kokkola in Finland was successfully completed in January this year. The large pipe, with an inner diameter of 1600mm, was put into the ground at temperatures well below 0oC.

Further proof of good cold temperature resistance is the installation of a 900mm diameter solid wall pipe, produced by egeplast, in Norway in late autumn 2002. The total pipe length was 2km with pipe sections of 350 metres drawn over forest ground to the final installation position. High flexibility, good abrasion resistance and strength of the pipe were additional requirements related to the harsh handling of the pipe which is not uncommon in the installation process.

Dynamic profile
The high performance profile of BorECO PP gains increasing recognition in high load heavy duty applications. Rehau AWADUKT PP piping has, for example, been selected for the waste water line at the cargo loading section of Cologne-Bonn Airport. In such an environment, resistance to dynamic load in combination with good chemical resistance is especially important. The pipes made of BorECO PP were buried just one metre below the surface and are subjected to continuous dynamic load caused by aircraft carrier traffic. The weight of just one carrier is about 750 tonnes. Cologne-Bonn Airport is the second busiest cargo hub in Germany and handles about half a million tonnes of cargo annually through seven cargo terminals.