Archive for September, 2005

Davis Standard: Super Blue® Extruder Turns Potential Crisis into Overnight Success

Friday, September 30th, 2005

When FAFCO of Chico, California needed an extruder to help address an unexpected production capacity increase last spring, Davis-Standard’s Super Blue® came to the rescue. FAFCO, the world’s largest manufacturer of solar pool heating panels and polymeric heat exchangers, was under pressure from customer demands because of a successful new product introduction and consumer concerns over rising energy costs. This resulted in a significant increase in solar pool heating sales almost overnight. The company couldn’t keep up with manufacturing and needed a fast and cost-effective solution. FAFCO called on Davis-Standard to see what could be done. After a few conversations and a matter of days, a Davis-Standard Super Blue extruder was on the truck headed to California. FAFCO installed the extruder in only one week from the day it was ordered and avoided a production shortfall.
“We were at a critical stage in production and nervous about losing business if we couldn’t find a solution. I called Davis-Standard and told them we needed an extruder and we needed it now,” said Lupe Arim-Law, FAFCO’s purchasing manager.
“Davis-Standard was very professional about our situation and came through in a big way. When you ask someone to do something that’s never been done before and they do it, the satisfaction is unreal. It was one of the most pleasant, stimulating buys I’ve ever made as a purchasing manager.”
The success of the first Super Blue led to the purchase of another in May. Once again FAFCO received their extruder one week from the order date and in both cases, the machines were up and running in less than 48 hours. Within this timeframe,
Davis-Standard also made modifications to fit FAFCO’s production requirements and supplied feedscrews. The 2 1/2-inch (65mm) and 3 1/2-inch (90mm) extruders are
FAFCO’s first Super Blue machines. The company also operates two Davis-Standard Thermatic® extruders. The extruders are used to make 1/4-inch (6mm) tubes used in proprietary heat exchanger technology.
“It was nice to be able to tell our company president the extruder would be here in a matter of days and know that it would arrive on schedule. We are firm believers in Davis-Standard’s people and their products. In this case especially, they were absolutely awesome.”
Wendell Whipple of Davis-Standard added, “Our intent with the Super Blue was to provide customers with a high quality machine and a quick turnaround. The FAFCO project was just as exciting for us as it was for them. It was a great team effort and we’re pleased we were able to accommodate their request.”
FAFCO’s products include energy-efficient solar pool heating panels as well as the company’s innovative IceStor cooling storage system. The company’s solar panels are made up of several small tubes which help capture the sun’s warmth and transfer it to the pool water. The IceStor system uses a chiller to circulate a cold glycol/water solution through the IceStor tanks during off-peak hours. The solution flows through the tanks’ heat exchanger tubes (immersed in water), forming ice around each tube. Then, during peak hours, the cooled solution is circulated to the building load directly or through a plate-and-frame heat exchanger to provide cooling at a fraction of the cost.
For more information about FAFCO, visit www.fafco.com. For more information about Davis-Standard’s Super Blue extruder, contact Wendell Whipple at [email protected]

Brückner: PET film & Sheet with a Thickness as Low as 100 µm

Friday, September 30th, 2005

Brückner Formtec presents a concept for optimizing thin PET film and sheet production - the patented (U.S. Pat. No. 5 484 370) JuBo roll. JuBo stands for Justierbare (=adjustable) Bombage (=crowning) and refers to the first roll in 3 roll stack, the polishing roller.
This patented technology is especially suitable for wide roll stack extrusion lines producing thin film and sheet. It enables premium polished film production in a thickness range between 120 and 1.000 µm. Films down to 100 µm are possible with slightly modified configurations.
Why JuBo?
Thin plastic film manufacturing requires high line pressure for polishing, resulting in roller deflection. Additionally high productivity demands wide film widths, resulting in even higher deflection and thus in an uneven thickness cross profile of the film itself.
To compensate deflection and produce an even thickness profile, convex rolls are commonly used. Such convex rolls with fixed geometry can only cope with one particular setup while highly flexible lines, as those from Brückner Formtec, require adjustable crowning to cover a wide thickness range, various resins and flat die deckling.
Therefore, Brückner Formtec has developed the JuBo technology.
What is special about JuBo technology?
JuBo technology does not require complicated, failure prone mechanics. It is based on thermal expansion and incompressibility of oil and thus easily controllable and maintenance-free.
An oil filled cavity is placed underneath the cooling spirals, its shape is calculated by finite element method (FEM). This cavity during operation reaches the temperature level applied to the cooling water of the polishing roller. Depending on the temperature, pressures up to 300 bar can be reached within the oil cavity. This in return creates a very symmetrical deformation of the outer shell of the polishing roller. Result is a crowning up to 300 µm in the centre line of the Jubo roller.
Is it available for any line?
Brückner Formtec JuBo rollers are especially designed for Brückner Formtec equipment. To Brückner Group customers this technology is also available as an upgrade for lines supplied by other machinery manufacturers.

New extrusion and thermoforming exhibitions

Thursday, September 29th, 2005

Major suppliers have been reserving stands for Extrusion, Compounding & Additives 2006 and Plastics Forming & Cutting 2006, the two new UK plastics exhibitions taking place next May. Luigi Bandera is one of the major manufacturers of extrusion equipment exhibiting at Extrusion, Compounding & Additives in Telford on 9-11 May next year. The Italian company manufactures a wide range of foil and sheet extrusion lines, as well as blown film lines and other equipment.
Extrusion machinery suppliers Leistritz and Kiefel have also reserved exhibition space, as well as ancillary and downstream equipment suppliers Motan and Summit Systems. Plastics Forming & Cutting 2006 will take place side-by-side with ECA 06. Visitors from the thermoforming industry will be pleased to see Canon Shelley, CR Clarke, Formech and Swanstone on the list of machinery suppliers who have already reserved stands.
For more information on reserving a stand at the two events, contact Peter Morgan on tel 020 8277 5343, or email [email protected]

Davis-Standard: Introduction of Versatile, Pre-Engineered Roll Stand System, the “XP Express”

Thursday, September 29th, 2005

Davis-Standard, LLC recently introduced a pre-engineered roll stand system, the XP Express, that offers processors an operator friendly, highly functional and competitively priced unit with a reduced delivery time. This is Davis-Standard’s most versatile roll stand design providing linear roll actuation with capabilities for lamination, solution coating, auxiliary cooling, slitting and trimming, embossing and protective film applications. The custom models are available for both sheet applications (“CS”) and packaging applications (“PS”).
Advantages include high speed capabilities for thin gauge applications; individual roll speed control; repeatable roll positioning; thermal cooling for high throughput rates; a temperature range up to 800 degrees Fahrenheit; and accurate linear roll movement to accommodate multiple roll diameters in any position. The roll stand is available in an upstack, downstack, offset top or offset bottom configuration with roll cooling capabilities for three, four or five rolls. This model is engineered to meet or exceed all current safety requirements and offers the industry’s fastest, most straightforward roll change mechanism. Also included is Davis-Standard’s newly advanced hands-free roll gap system with automatic roll gap control and/or load force control for added operator safety and processing efficiency.
“This roll stand is unique because it combines multiple high-end features in a pre-engineered, cost-effective package,” said Al ---bacher, Davis-Standard business area manager. “We wanted to offer customers a roll stand design that accommodates a range of sheet and packaging applications because many of our customers serve multiple markets. We also wanted to provide something with a reduced delivery time.”
Optional equipment available with the new roll stand includes hot melt laminating
unwinds, protective film let-offs, sheet stress relief systems, post embossing assemblies, web solution applicators, thickness measurement systems, edge trim and multi-lane slitting devices, and auxiliary web cooling systems among others.
For more information about the new pre-engineered roll stand system, contact
Al ---bacher at [email protected]

Huhtamaki: Closing Hong Kong and Australian plants

Wednesday, September 28th, 2005

Finnish packaging company Huhtamaki is closing rigid packaging facilities in Hong Kong and Perth, Australia, as part of its restructuring programme.
The Hong Kong facility will be relocated to southern China – construction of a new site will start in early 2006. The Hong Kong unit will close towards the end of 2007, resulting in approximately 100 job losses, according to the company.
Executive vice president for Asia-Oceania-Africa Tony Combe said: “We have a good market presence in northern China but we need to increase capacity in order to respond to the growing opportunities in southern China.”
The Bayswater, Perth, plant employs 30 people and will close by the end of 2005. Equipment from the plant will be relocated to the Mulgrave facility in Melbourne, Australia.
Closure costs are included in the E80m provision previously announced for the second phase of restructuring, the company said.

Guangdong Plastics Exchange aims for market regularity

Wednesday, September 28th, 2005

Guangdong Province plans to seal its reputation as China’s plastics center by opening the Guangdong Plastics Exchange — the largest facility dedicated to plastics in China. The 20 billion yuan ($24.6 million), 200,000-square-meter warehouse will be able to store 300,000 tons of resin for manufacturers and trading companies.
The facility also will feature some new products designed for both local and international customers: financial guarantees on raw materials contracts and an Internet-based electronic ordering platform. The provider of those services is Guangdong Plastics Exchange Co. Ltd., a subsidiary of the Guangdong Hongda Industrial Group, one of Guangdong province’s largest plastic materials manufacturers and traders.
Located in Guangzhou’s Fangcun District, the exchange hopes to draw plastics and chemicals producers and traders from surrounding manufacturing cities to its opening ceremony and Global PVC Summit on Sept. 26.
Jin said the exchange can support up to 700 clients and expects a combination of trading companies and raw materials suppliers to join. She said membership in the exchange is open to international and domestic companies and individuals. To date, two Japanese companies have expressed interest in joining.

Anchor: Source One facility in Hong Kong

Tuesday, September 27th, 2005

St. Louis-based thermoformer and film maker Anchor Packaging Inc. has opened an office in Hong Kong and will launch manufacturing in China later this year. The Kowloon office is focused on procurement, quality assurance, and engineering. And it will allow the firm to “take advantage of variations in resin and other raw material prices across the globe,” the company said in a news release.
The office is operating as Source One, a name already well-known in Asia, said Michael Thaler, Anchor vice president of marketing. The Hong Kong office is a joint venture between Anchor Packaging and Gregory Glass, the new general manager for Asia.
Glass is a 25-year veteran in the sourcing industry and has been based in Hong Kong since 1991. He will have 12 employees working for Anchor.
Thaler said Anchor will look into manufacturing in China in the next few months. As to the location, he said the firm is “considering the possibilities in Taiwan and the mainland.” The Chinese manufacturing facility primarily will serve European and American customers. In the long term, however, the company aims to supply the Chinese market with locally made products, Thaler said. Anchor makes food packaging.

Polypipe: Sold to IMI

Tuesday, September 27th, 2005

Plastic pipe producer Polypipe of Doncaster has been sold by IMI to American private equity firm Castle Harlan. Castle Harlan says it sees opportunities for growth ‘through greater focus on core businesses, more coordination between business units and new products, including products from China and other low cost sources’. The company also hints at ‘possible complementary acquisitions’.
IMI has sold Polypipe as the last part of a four-year restructure to focus on fluid control products and beverage dispensing equipment. The final price depends on Polypipe’s performance, but could reach £293 million.
Polypipe focuses on rainwater, sewage and drainage products as well as plumbing and central heating pipes and fittings. Operating profit in 2004 was £27•2 million on sales of £372 million. Polypipe employs 2,900 people in 39 plants, mainly in the UK. Its doors and windows business had already ceased operations before the sale.
Former Polypipe Civils managing director David Hall has rejoined the company as chief executive.

Colour Tone Masterbatch: Colouring technology for PVC

Friday, September 23rd, 2005

Colour Tone Masterbatch has been granted a patent on its Vynacol colouring technology, described as ‘the world’s first and only polymer-specific colour masterbatch that makes it as easy to colour PVC as any other plastic material’. The company says that traditional ways of colouring uPVC such as liquid colour, wax dispersions, or universal and flexible PVC-based masterbatches introduce additional components into the compound which may present processing difficulties and/or lead to product failure through plasticiser migration or changes in physical properties. Universal masterbatches may be unsuitable in uPVC because the carrier lubricates the compound while masterbatches based on flexible PVC contain plasticisers, which are inappropriate when the target is to make a rigid compound.

Tessenderlo: Profit down

Friday, September 23rd, 2005

Profits at Belgian chemicals and plastics group Tessenderlo dipped in the first half of the year. While sales moved ahead by 2.4% to E1,076m, operating profit (EBIT) fell nearly 40% to E31.4m. Profits in the plastics converting group – which makes pipes, profiles and fittings – fell by nearly 24%, although business picked up in the second quarter. Tessenderlo said that profiles had “held down the results of the group as a whole”. The chemicals division, which includes PVC resin, posted a 62% rise in profits but saw an erosion of profits in the second quarter.