Archive for October, 2006

Clariant: Focusing on High-Performance Pigments and Celebrating a New Joint Venture in Hangzhou

Tuesday, October 31st, 2006

From November 7-9, the ChinaCoat 2006 will be held at the International Convention & Exhibition Center in Guangzhou, China. This internationally renowned event offers the coatings sector an ideal platform to feature new products and trends. In Hall 1D, Stand 525-534, Clariant’s Pigments & Additives Division will show its „70s“ brands. These high-performance pigments are a perfect alternative to conventional pigments containing lead, and they can be used both for industrial coatings and OEM automotive coatings.
The “70s” brands are established organic pigments whose individual properties make them especially suitable for decorative, industrial, and automotive applications. They stand out by high opacity, excellent rheological properties, and good dispersibility. They are also an ideal substitute for pigments containing heavy metals, whose use is increasingly restricted by stricter environmental legislation. The latest members of the “70s” brands are bright red—they are pigments based on diketopyrrolopyrrole (DPP) chemistry. Two high-performance grades are available in Colour Index Pigment Red 254. Hostaperm® Red D2G 70 is a high-value red pigment that is particularly suitable for OEM automotive paints and refinishes. Hostaperm® Red D3G 70 has high color strength and opacity, which makes it an ideal addition to Clariant’s range of pigments for industrial coatings, but also for automotive refinishes.

Davis-Standard: Acquisition by management and investor group

Tuesday, October 31st, 2006

Davis-Standard, LLC is pleased to announce that the Company has been acquired by management and an investor group led by Hamilton Robinson LLC, a Stamford, CT based private equity firm. The acquisition supports Davis-Standard’s strategy to grow its global converting and extrusion systems businesses as well as Chemtura Corporation’s decision to divest of a non-core business and focus instead on their specialty chemical business. “Chemtura has been an excellent partner. We especially appreciate the support and counsel of Bob Wood, Chemtura’s Chairman and CEO as well as the guidance and advice of senior Chemtura executives, Greg McDaniel and Arthur Wienslaw, who served ably on the Davis-Standard Board of Directors,” said Charles Buckley, President of Davis-Standard, LLC.
It has only been eighteen months since Davis-Standard and Black Clawson Converting Machinery, Inc. merged. “By any measure, the integration of these two companies has been a tremendous success and has paved the way for this transaction,” said Buckley.
Management’s outlook remains extremely positive as they continue executing strategies to reduce lead times, win market share and expand the business globally in support of existing and new customers. The new Davis-Standard will be more focused than ever on satisfying our customers. “When someone goes into Home Depot to buy a half-inch drill we understand their real need is a half-inch hole. Likewise, Davis-Standard will continue expanding its technological leadership position to fulfill its vision of ‘Converting Customer Ideas into Successful Products,’” Buckley explained.
The new ownership structure will continue to be led by the existing Davis-Standard management team and the Company’s enviable financial strength will be preserved under the new capital structure. “Not only will the existing management team remain in place, it will also have plenty of skin in the game owning more than 20% of the common equity,” said Buckley. “This is a very important ingredient for the future success of the Company. A management team thinking and acting as owners is an empowered leadership team,” he added. The management ownership ranks are not limited to just a few senior executives but include dozens of managers,
and the Company intends to offer the rewards of ownership to even more managers in the near future.

Johns Manville: New Production Line

Monday, October 30th, 2006

Johns Manville (JM), a leading manufacturer of premium-quality building and specialty products, opened a new polyester spunbond production line at the Johns Manville GmbH operation in Bobingen, Germany. Adoption of the latest technology allows the production line to achieve faster manufacturing and the production of denser and lighter carrier materials for roofing systems. In addition, the new production line requires less energy and resources and also reduces noise and exhaust gas pollution.
The new production line, which represents an investment of more than 30 million Eros, has a capacity in excess of 10.000 tons per year and is increasing spunbond capacity at the Bobingen site by more than 30 percent.
‘Apart from the increased production capacity, the new production line allows for an expansion of our DuraSpun® product range by a new generation of differentiated polyester spunbond products with reduced area weight and optimized application properties,’ said Dr. Enno Henze, European business manager for Johns Manville’s Construction Materials & Systems business. ‘As a result, we considerably strengthen the leadership position of JM as a provider of premium spunbond solutions to the European roofing systems marketplace.’
‘The new production line was implemented as a result of the increased demand for long-life roofing systems, especially in Central and Eastern Europe,’ added Zain Mahmood, vice president and general manager-Construction Materials & Systems. ‘We observed a rapid carrier conversion from low-end bitumen-coated ragfelt to long-life polyester spunbond-based roofing systems. Our technology enables polyester spunbond products with reduced weight that, at the same time, are more resistant to damage and provide superior moisture barrier and higher heat and fire resistance.’
The new production line is based on unique technology developed by Johns Manville. Improved laydown systems for the extruded polyester fibers enable a more even structure of the fibers, resulting in reduced area weight and thinner spunbonds. Additionally, the use of highly concentrated binders - also an innovation - reduces water consumption and the subsequent cost for vaporization. Outlet air cleaning is also superior: Exhaust gases are burnt residue-free in ceramic ovens.
Johns Manville, a Berkshire Hathaway company, is a leading manufacturer and marketer of premium-quality building and specialty products. In business since 1858, the Denver, USA-based Company has sales in excess of $2.5 billion and holds leadership positions in all of the key markets that it serves. Johns Manville employs approximately 8,500 people and operates 43 manufacturing facilities in North America, Europe and Asia.
The Engineered Products Group (EPG), one of Johns Manville’s four strategic business units, produces glass fibers, glass fiber nonwoven, polyester spunbond, meltblown and glass fiber wall coverings at 14 manufacturing locations worldwide: Spartanburg, SC, Waterville, OH, Richland, MS and Etowah, TN, USA; Berlin, Bobingen, Karlstein, Steinach and Wertheim, Germany; St. Helens, UK, Oskarstrom and Helsingborg, Sweden; Trnava, Slovakia and Shanghai, China.

Eurofilms S.A.: Polish Stretch Film Producer Takes Off

Monday, October 30th, 2006

Production capacity tripled, enormous increase in sales to 138 million PLN and successful debut at the Warsaw stock exchange - these three catchwords describe the success achieved by the young Polish stretch film manufacturer Eurofilms S.A., Olawa, in the highly competitive European stretch film market since its foundation only six years ago.

‘The unparalleled success of our company has only been possible with a highly efficient and motivated team, and it could not have been achieved without the excellent partnership provided by the machine manufacturer Battenfeld Gloucester and the material suppliers Sabic and Exxon’, Grzegorz Kedzierski, President and CEO of Eurofilms, summarized his experience during an official Open House event in September. With an annual production capacity of 27,000 tons of LLDPE stretch film and about 7,000 tons of PVC shrink film, Eurofilms is one of the largest film producers in Poland today. Eurofilms is also active as a distributor of BOPP film. The company’s main market is the domestic market which absorbs 70 % of the company’s sales; most of the remaining 30 % are exports to Germany. ‘It is our philosophy to serve not just a few major customers, but to win as many new customers as possible, including small customers, a target which has once more been reached in 2006. Within one year, we have increased our customer base from 470 to 580′, Kedzierski explains his company’s success, and he is certain that Eurofilms will continue to grow. He expects further growth to come about either by acquisitions or by an extension of the product range supplied to the existing distribution network, or both.
Complete line concept for a difficult market
‘Since the introduction of the new Cast 2020 line concept, we have sold eight lines of this type within two and a half years’, the new sales director for Europe, David Finnemore proudly reports. ‘Within the past 18 months, Battenfeld Gloucester has even sold a total of 18 lines worldwide, which produce film up to a net width of 4m’.
Finnemore estimates that the stretch film market in Europe will grow by about 6% annually within the next few years. He plans to increase Battenfeld Gloucester’s sales with the target of realizing about 40% of the company’s total sales in Europe, the Middle East and Russia by 2009.
In his opinion, two basic trends have emerged in the cast film market. There is an increasing demand for high-grade barrier film for fresh food packaging, consisting of as many as nine or more layers. At the same time, there is a growing demand for film with less emphasis on functionality and more on competitive pricing instead. ‘We want to cater to both trends in future by offering tailor-made line concepts’, Finnemore promises. He and his team are engaged in continuous further development of the machinery supplied by Battenfeld.
Immediate production start-up
The great advantage of the Cast 2020, designed for manufacturing film in widths from 2 to 3 m, is its flexibility and quick, easy start-up process. ‘Our flexible complete lines are the ideal equipment for companies like Eurofilms that want to supply high-quality film to many small and medium-sized businesses in the growing stretch film market’, Finnemore emphasizes. Thanks to their plug-and-play concept, these lines are not only very quickly installed on customers’ premises, but also ready to start production immediately after their installation.
Modern standard equipment
The scope of delivery of a standardized production line to manufacture 3-layer stretch film 2 m wide includes two 75 mm and one 150 mm Contracool extruders. Each plastication unit is equipped with a gravimetric blending and material feeding unit for 3 or 4 components and a screen changer. A throughput of up to 1,300 kg/h is guaranteed. The feed block and extrusion die, both supplied by Cloeren, with whom Battenfeld Gloucester has successfully co-operated for many years, ensure optimal layer thickness distribution and extremely narrow thickness tolerances. The 700 model casting roll is 2,750 mm wide, with a chill roll diameter of 1016 mm. Ultra-modern measuring and control equipment is also incorporated in the casting unit as standard. Casting roll tempering and film thickness gaging by means of NIR (Near Infra-red) sensor are integrated as well. Additional features are an electrostatic edge pinning system, an electrostatic discharge system for the film and automatic feedback of edge trims. The Cast 2020 is laid out for film thicknesses between 10 and 70 m with line speeds of about 560 m/min. The adjustable cutting device splits the web into either 4 x 500 mm wide or 5 x 400 mm wide reels, as required for both automatic and manual stretch film applications. Thanks to the fully automatic Battenfeld 1027-S turret winder, excellent geometry reels with a diameter of up to 500 mm can be produced on 76 mm cores. Finally, handling is facilitated by an automatic core feeding and reel removal system as well as the central EXTROL control system of the line.
Innovation built in
‘Of course we have worked continuously on improving this new machine concept ever since its introduction, and the improvements achieved are now included as standard. One of the latest adjustments involves the electrical equipment of the line, which is now completely installed in what we call the E-house, a temperature-controlled compartment’, Finnemore explains. ‘Moreover, we are currently the only machine manufacturer in the industry to offer such equipment with dimensions measured either in metric or in imperial units, to meet any of the global market requirements.’ The latest-generation EXTROL Plus control system also includes some recent improvements: a graphical interface with touch screen control allows simple, intuitional operation. ‘Intensive co-operation with our customers and material suppliers is particularly important for the further development of our machinery concepts, since this is the only way for us all to survive in the growing, yet highly competitive packaging market’, Finnemore concludes.

Krauss-Maffei: Extrusion business helps to boost sales

Wednesday, October 25th, 2006

Krauss-Maffei said that a strong extrusion business will see its 2006 year end sales figures reach around €560m, up by 10% on last year’s result.

Chief executive Josef Märtl said this is the fifth year-on-year gain the company has recorded, an achievement underpinned by its strong international business and high technology systems sales.

While the overall demand for injection moulding machines has seen steady growth, Märtl said the optical disc market has been disappointing. “The optical disc market is weak right now and it is getting weaker,” he said.

“A new technology is coming – the memory chip. The optical disc was the data carrier of the 1990s. It will still be a business for the future but not a big business. We are not investing anymore in this sector.”

In geographical terms, Western and Eastern Europe along with North and South America, showed steady demand growth. But in Asia and China, injection moulding machine market growth slowed.

In the 2007 fiscal year, Krauss-Maffei’s extrusion division will follow the production reorganisation already undertaken in injection moulding machines and change to synchronized flow assembly for all extruders, from standard to application-specific machines.

American Maplan: New Profile Extrusion Line from American Maplan Offers Quality and Economy

Wednesday, October 25th, 2006

American Maplan’s techBEX is a standardized, modular line concept for small profile production that was designed in collaboration with Battenfeld Extrusion Systems Ltd. (PR China). Since debuting at NPE 2006 in Chicago this June, interest in techBEX in recent months has been steady. The line is available with two standard choices for single screw extruders, 45 mm and 60 mm, which are chosen by the processor based on production demand. As an option, American Maplan twin screw extruders can also be used with the techBEX. American Maplan specializes in the design and production of screw geometries to optimize the performance of the extruder specific to the customers’ mate-rial and profile product design. The downstream becomes a single unit or can be arranged as stand-alone unit.
Downstream equipment includes a model CT2500/V1 calibration table with 2.5-m (8.2-ft.) clamping table, manual cross adjustment of +/- 50 mm and length adjustment of +/- 200 mm. The haul off is model B100E with a 90 mm wide belt, 1200 mm contact length, 100 mm maximum opening and 50 m (164 ft.) per minute speed. The model FK63 flying knife cut off delivers up to 600 cuts per minute on profiles up to 50 by 50 mm, at a maximum speed of 30 m (98 ft.) per minute. Also available are the SP 50E Servo Saw with a cross section area 50 x 50 mm/120 x 60 mm and Tip Table model PA 150/3m.
With standardized designs, techBEX lines are available at a competitive price and with short delivery times. Arriving on site preassembled and wired, production on the complete downstream package can start as soon as the line is connected to the compressed air, water and electrical supply systems.

Hayes Industries: Purchase of Three More Merritt Extruders

Monday, October 23rd, 2006

Hayes Industries, Inc. of Sugar Land, Texas, recently purchased three Merritt extruders from Davis-Standard, LLC, including a 4-inch (100mm) machine at NPE in June. A specialty plastics/custom cabling manufacturer and post-tensioning industry OEM, Hayes Industries installed one of the extruders at its Texas plant and delivered the others to customers as part of complete systems packages. This purchase is typical for the company, which has purchased two to three Merritt extruders annually for more than 10 years. According to company president and owner Norris Hayes, Merritt extruders have been an integral part of the company’s diversified operation as an OEM and manufacturer of cables used in the oil, defense, petrochemical, communication, geophysical, marine, high temperature and fiber optics industries.
“The Merritt machines have held up extremely well for our in-house operation as well as for our customers who manufacture post-tensioning products. These machines are able to run the full range of thermoplastic materials for demanding applications at a maximum of 125 rpms, 100 percent of the time, 24 hours a day,” explained Hayes. “They are straightforward, quality machines with excellent outputs. We’ve also been very pleased with Merritt’s outstanding people and service. Their pricing is fair and delivery times are good.”
The reliability and value of the machines has been important for Mr. Hayes as the company prides itself on manufacturing cables for harsh environments as well as short runs, tight lead times and unique product requirements. There is no minimum cable
length requirement and Hayes Industries can deliver even complex cable assembles in two to three weeks. They also manufacture and stock standard cables, which can be cut to any length, for blanket purchase orders. In addition to cables, the company extrudes tubing with capabilities for single or multiple components and high temperature plastics. In the area of post-tensioning, Hayes Industries has been a leader for more than 20 years, offering a broad range of products and services. Post-tensioning products are used to reinforce concrete, masonry and structures such as roads and bridges.
Hayes added, “I’ve been in the wire and cable business for nearly 40 years, so I’ve been exposed to both Davis-Standard and Merritt equipment for a long time. Both companies have a great reputation and products, so having them under one umbrella is beneficial to us. We look forward to continuing the relationship.”
Hayes Industries supports customers throughout the U.S. and South America. For more information, visit www.hayesindustries.com. For more information about Merritt extruders, contact Sandy Guthrie at [email protected]

Battenfeld Gloucester: Advanced Designs Offer Benefits for Silage-Blown Film Applications

Monday, October 23rd, 2006

Battenfeld Gloucester Engineering has applied recent technological advances to its blown stretch film line for silage film. After considerable research and development and lab trial performance testing, Battenfeld Gloucester claims that it has been able to perfect the nip design, processing rates, layer ratios, PIB levels and winding tensions to produce the highest quality film and the highest possible output rates. Silage films help to maintain the nutritional value of grass, corn, grains and vegetables and inhibit undesirable fermentation. Other types of silage films can be used for big bags or for sheeting and covers for storage of products such as grass, hay and grains. The silage film market has been estimated at 150,000 kTon in 2005, with Europe alone representing 110,000 kTon and N. America representing 25,000 kTon. The key components to the equipment for silage blown film include the PIB injection system, screw design for optimal mixing of PIB, the die, haul-off and winder. Battenfeld Gloucester optimised this equipment to produce quality film with the proper film characteristics required. For instance, the design of Battenfeld Gloucester’s Traversanip is modified with special non stick turning bars, ceramic coated steel nip roll and a special silicone rubber roll — all cooled by water. The nip configuration is also changed into an S wrap.

Reifenhäuser: New Blown Film Technology

Sunday, October 22nd, 2006

A three-layer Filmtec 3-1700-IBC blown film line impressed the visitors with an increase in the output of 25–30%. The following new developments are included in a special high performance package: Extruder with direct drive (REItorque) equipped with newly developed low-temperature screw suitable for increased outputs with consistently excellent homogeneity; Blown film die-head optimised for pressure and throughput; and REI2cool air ring system. Three-layer thin shrink film of 40 to 50 µm thickness which was produced on the Filmtec 3-1700-IBC blown film line with very good optical and mechanical properties, aroused the special interest of the company’s longstanding customers. The Filmtec 5-1700-IBC blown film line was presented by Reifenhäuser in conjunction with a newly developed five-layer die-head with spiral mandrels particularly suitable for the production of very thin individual layers, for example, from EVOH, tie resins, etc. The die-head offers high flexibility and performance in the production of polyolefin structures and the processing of barrier raw materials such as EVOH and polyamide. This will allow Reifenhauser’s customers to enter the market for five-layer barrier films in addtion to the production of the classical three-layer structures. The Filmtec 3-1700-IBC-RHS of compact design was the third type of blown film lines presented by Reifenhäuser. This line is characterised by a very favourable price/performance ratio and short delivery times due to its standardised design. The line is especially suitable for the production of high-quality film and stretch hoods.

Dugdale: New Gasket Compounds

Sunday, October 22nd, 2006

Two new nitrile PVC gasket compounds with attractive cost performance profiles aimed at co-extrusion sealing applications in the PVC window systems sector have been launched by Dugdale, a specialist PVC and dry blend compounder. Branded Ducaseal, the PVC/nbr (acrylonitrile butadiene rubber) materials are suitable for static and dynamic applications. Formulated to offer a deflection recovery of 27% the static compound will provide a durable seal between PVC profiles and sealed glazing units. Conversely, the dynamic compound features a deflection recovery of 43% and is designed to provide weatherproof door and window closure seals. Both compounds have been developed for ease of processing on co-extrusion and post co-extrusion processes. Compounds of this type are highly specified and must meet the performance requirements of BPF 345/2. They require considerable technical formulation skills, as well as mixing and compounding capabilities, to enable processors to manufacture end products that will adhere to PVC and offer consistently good surface finish — an important characteristic that minimises the ingress of dust and dirt and so increases product service life. Dugdale has already secured orders from both systems manufacturers and gasket suppliers. Ducaseal will be also be available in a range of colours alongside black, white or grey, the most popular shades in Europe.