Archive for October, 2006

Cincinnati Extrusion: RAPIDEX Doubles Output

Saturday, October 21st, 2006

The Austrian machine manufacturer Cincinnati Extrusion recently introduced the two new single-screw extruder series: Monos and Talos. Now the Viennese engineers have also developed a new high-speed extruder. ‘The results we have achieved with this prototype in our technical lab are very impressive,’ said Josef Dobrowsky, Product Manager of Pipe Extrusion Technology at Cincinnati Extrusion. The traditional definition of a high-speed extruder is an extruder that reaches a peripheral screw speed of more than 1 m/second. As prototype for the test runs, Cincinnati Extrusion chose an extruder with a screw diameter of 60 mm and a processing length of 37 D. The geometries of the screw and the barrel feed zone were modified to suit this special task; the extruder’s drive capacity and its screw speed were doubled. Running at maximum screw speed, an output of 1,000 kg/h was reached in processing PE 100, and an output of 800 kg/h in processing PP, which means the performance was more than doubled compared to conventional extruders. An interesting aspect of this extruder concept is that high output becomes possible with machines substantially reduced in size, which saves space as well as allowing easier handling. A special benefit is that the thermal stress on the melt is kept extremely low, thanks to the short dwell time in the RAPIDEX and the consistently constant melt temperature. Moreover, the high-speed extruder RAPIDEX has proved extremely rigid during the tests, even at its top speed, resisting to back pressures of up to 500 bar. Another important feature of special benefit to processors in daily extrusion practice is the extruder’s linearity, that is its direct proportionality between screw speed and output, which is remarkably consistent across the entire screw speed range and consequently the entire output range.

Wavin: Refinancing after share offering

Saturday, October 21st, 2006

Wavin Group has signed a multi-million euro credit facility which the pipes company says boosts its finances after its initial public offering in the Netherlands last week. The financing involves a €750m facility, consisting of a €400 million committed term loan facility and a €350 million committed revolving credit facility, and an uncommitted €100m term loan facility. The company said the deal has considerably reduced its financing costs. Wavin chief financial officer Pim Oomens said: “Following the IPO, Wavin has significantly strengthened its financial position. We have reduced our interest bearing debt by issuing new shares and converting preference shares into ordinary shares.” He said the company now has net debt close to the target of €655m it announced at the IPO. The underwriters of the credit facility were ABN AMRO Bank, Fortis Bank, ING Bank and Rabobank.

Linpac: Purchase of Allibert returnable packaging business

Friday, October 20th, 2006

Linpac Materials Handling has signed an agreement to buy Allibert from the US group Myers Industries for an undisclosed amount. Linpac said the combination of the two companies will result in a wider range of returnable transit packaging products being supplied, as well as a better service to customers on a local and international level.
Allibert is the European part of Allibert Buckhorn, and the Buckhorn operations based in the US will be retained by Myers Industries. Allibert has factories and distribution operations in the UK, Spain, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal and Benelux. Its headquarters are in Nanterre, France. Also included in the deal is the Raaco plastic toolbox business. Managing director of the Linpac Materials Handling division, Laurence Tanty, said: “The merger will allow us to create a dynamic business that will have the ability to deliver innovative, quality products and services to our customers.” Chief executive of Allibert, Mohsen Eskander, said: “We are very excited about this opportunity. Allibert and LMH are two well-respected companies with brands recognised in the market place.” The takeover agreement is subject to regulatory approval in a number of European countries.

Plastic Pressure Pipes 2007 conference

Friday, October 20th, 2006

Plastic Pressure Pipes 2007 will be held at the Renaissance Hotel in Dusseldorf from 25-27 June 2007 (cocktail reception and registration on the first evening followed by a 2-day programme of presentations). We are looking at all aspects of pressure pipes and the call for papers includes topics such as:

Applications and specifications for pressure pipes
Plastics and additives for different pressure pipe applications
Pipe extrusion technology, manufacturing and design
Regulations, standards and testing
Case studies, including durability and longevity of plastic pressure pipes
Troubleshooting and failure analysis
Overviews of the markets for pressure pipes

If you would like to offer a paper, please let me have speaker details, a title and a short summary by the deadline of 29th December 2006.
There are more details on the web site at:
http://www.amiplastics.com/ami/AMIConference.asp?EventID=97

DR-Pack: New cooling unit to enhance stretched film production

Thursday, October 19th, 2006

The Hungarian plastic processing equipment manufacturer DR-Pack that is notably a specialist of blown film machinery has developed and patented an innovative intensive air-cooling system specially designed to enhance the quality and the production speed of stretched films. The DR-Pack system is based on the reduction of the amount of cooling air by closing the conical section of the bubble that is not involved in air flow. The new cooling unit can be combined with an especially planetary gear with integrated bearings, an infrared heating ceramic heaters for extruder and a die with a rotating core. That allows to offer material saving thanks to a better monitoring of film thickness.

Cincinnati Extrusion: Expertise in PVC sheet technology

Thursday, October 19th, 2006

Cincinnati Extrusion, Vienna, Austria is not only one of the global leaders in manufacturing pipe and profile extrusion lines, but also extremely successful in the production of PVC sheet extrusion equipment. For further development of its business in this important market segment, the machine manufacturer has now engaged ---tian Rebhan, one of the most renowned specialists in the industry, as a consultant. PVC sheet is used in building construction, in the furniture and chemical industries and in the production of advertising materials. During his almost 30-year career, Rebhan has acquired extensive knowledge in all of these fields. In particular, he worked for Krauss Maffei GmbH, Munich for a number of years, and, most recently, for the Austrian extrusion equipment manufacturer Theysohn. Rebhan has now been engaged to work exclusively for Cincinnati Extrusion world-wide. A major part of his work will be process technology consulting for customers, especially assistance with the planning and choice of equipment and with the devel-opment of material composites.

Deceuninck: Benefits from recovery in German construction

Wednesday, October 18th, 2006

Deceuninck’s third quarter turnover increased by 1% year-on-year to reach €180.3m, the PVC windows group said.
The UK market has showed a “sharp decline” in demand for windows in the renovation sector, but this was offset in the quarter by a “clear recovery” in residential construction in Germany, where turnover has double-digit growth, it said. France and Belgium also delivered substantial turnover increases.
A building boom in Russia and Ukraine contributed to an 11% turnover increase in the eastern Europe region. Excluding Poland, where there has been a construction downturn this year, Deceuninck’s turnover in the region rose by 25% in the third quarter.
Turkey is also proving a successful market for the company, providing turnover growth of 20% versus the same quarter of 2005.
Polymer price rises led to Deceuninck raising its product prices. In the third quarter PVC prices were 25% higher than the third quarter of last year and the company said it does not expect the recent decrease in oil prices to have any impact on PVC prices until the end of the year.

SMS Group: Pepyn Dinandt will be expected to maximise opportunities for the group

Wednesday, October 18th, 2006

SMS Group announced today that Pepyn R Dinandt has been appointed to the company’s managing board with responsibility for its Plastics Technology business unit. Dinandt was president of the Mannesmann Plastics Machinery group from 2002 until July of this year. Before that he was responsible for the transformers business unit within Siemens. SMS chairman Heinrich Weiss said Dinandt’s responsibility will be “to further develop the Plastics Technology business area within a limited time frame in order to maximise potential for further options for the SMS group.” Top of SMS’s priority list will be its Battenfeld injection moulding business. After attempts to sell the business in 1999 collapsed, the company’s public statements have failed to convince that it has a strategic position within a group predominantly focused on extrusion.The decision late last year to close the loss-making German injection machinery plant in Meinerzhagen and focus production at its Austria plant, effectively ending large machine production, followed by the sudden departure of former business unit MD Wilhelm Schröder has only fuelled speculation.

Pressure Pipes 2007 International Conference: Plastic Pipes under Pressure

Friday, October 13th, 2006

Pressure Pipes are used in many areas from gas, potable water, sprinkler systems and sewage transport to high end applications such as the chemical industry and oilfield. Plastics are generally lighter, more flexible and less susceptible to corrosion than traditional materials. New grades of plastics are being developed and tested for pressure pipe use and new designs and manufacturing technologies are arising at the same time. Some pipes are single layer; others are multilayer sometimes with the same plastic in different forms to reinforce the pipes. For example, an HDPE core might be wound with an HDPE fibre and coated.
The environment for pipes can vary from domestic interior to exterior, to burial in soil and underwater pipelines. The pressures that pipes are subjected to cover different ranges and may be constant or cyclic. In the case of buried and undersea pipes the pressures are external as well as internal. Drinking water pipes must not contaminate the water supply and there are additional regulations in this area.
Hydrostatic pressure testing is used to predict the safe performance window for new pressure pipes. Testing during pipe development has shown that failure occurs in a variety of ways: ductile failure (ballooning through the weakest point in the pipe wall), brittle mechanical failure (slow crack propagation), and chemical degradation of the pipe material that makes the material brittle and liable to split, often accompanied by discoloration. Specific standards cover critical pipe properties such as creep rupture strength and resistance to stress cracking and rapid crack propagation. (Due to the pressures, cracks in pressure pipes can grow very quickly – rates of propagation of hundreds of meters per second have been recorded.) The standards and testing requirements for pressure pipes are very extensive and ensure safety of pressure pipes in use.
Pipe extruders aim for uniform wall thickness and select cooling methods that minimise residual stresses. New developments by the machinery manufacturers and expert companies working in this field.

Polyethylene (PE) is the dominant material in this market (including HDPE, MDPE, crosslinked PE (PEX), and raised temperature resistant PE (PE-RT)). Historically the density of PE was used as an indication of its strength. Now there are International Standards that give more precise indications of hydrostatic strength, thus PE100 has a minimum required strength (MRS) of 10 MPa and PE80 of 8 MPa. A variety of other plastics are also used in pressure pipes including polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and polypropylene (PP). Higher performance polymers are found in harsher environments, such as polyamide 11, PVDF, ABS and glass-reinforced plastic (GRP).

Additives are used in pipe compounds for a variety of reasons. Colorants are used to code pipes by their contents. Antioxidants are used to slow degradation. Anti-UV agents are needed for above ground exposure. Heat stabilizers are used in high temperature environments and to stabilize materials during processing. Process aids can assist the flow of viscous plastics and improve efficiency.

AMI is pleased to announce a new international conference for the plastic pipes industry. Pressure Pipes 2007 will be held at the Renaissance Hotel, Düsseldorf, Germany, 25-27 June 2007. The conference aims to cover developments in materials, processing technology and applications of Pressure Pipes.

Cereplast: Expansion of bioplastics capacity

Friday, October 13th, 2006

US bioplastics company Cereplast has added a further 10,000sqft (8500sqm) of manufacturing space at its Californian production unit in anticipation of accelerating demand from US customers.
The company, which claims to manufacture 100% bio-sourced plastics from a combination of PLA, starch and nano-composite additives, says the expanded facility will house a new production line lifting its production capacity to 40m pounds a year (18,000 tonnes).
When operational, the new line will make the company the second largest US producer of bioplastic resins. Natureworks, which supplies PLA to Cereplast, holds number one position with its 140,000 tonne plant in Nebraska.
“This expansion allows us to continue to meet the growing demands from our new customers and the ever increasing orders from our existing clients,” says Cereplast Chairman and CEO Frederic Scheer.
Interest in bioplastics in the US marketplace is growing fast. US research group Freedonia’s latest study of the sector predicts demand to increase by 20% annually to 185,000 tonnes by 2010.
Latest developments in the global bio-sourced plastics marketplace will be discussed at the 8th Bioplastics conference in Germany in December. The event will look at the latest developments in packaging and technical markets and explore critical supply chain issues. http://www.bpevent.com/