Archive for March, 2007

Amcor: Flexible Barico Launches New Lidding Film

Wednesday, March 28th, 2007

Amcor Flexibles Baricol has launched BARIPET FL 45 a new high barrier lidding film for smoothwall aluminium foil containers.
These containers are increasingly being used to package meat, fish, ready meals and vegetables. They are recyclable and popular with consumers as they are very convenient to use in conventional ovens.
BARIPET FL 45 is already performing well in commercial use in the UK and attracting much interest from food packers as a result.
The new lidding film is produced by extrusion coating a PET film with a combination of resins, including EVOH. Extrusion coating is a cost effective and environmentally friendly alternative to lamination, which does not require adhesives or solvents. The new film is exceptionally clear and only 45 microns thick, so offering a light weight alternative to competing films on the market.
BARIPET FL 45 is just one of a range of new and innovative films being developed by AF Baricol at its factory in Highbridge, Somerset (UK). The company offers tailored high barrier solutions for a wide range of technically demanding food packaging applications. These films are produced by extrusion coating or cast coextrusion and used for packaging products such as bread, frozen ready meals, meat and cheese.
AF Baricol is part of Amcor Flexibles, which is one of Europe’s leading flexible packaging businesses with annual sales of €1.5 billion and manufacturing operations in 18 countries across Europe and the Americas, supplying a wide range of markets including confectionery, snack foods, processed foods, fresh food, beverages, healthcare and tobacco.

EDI: Purchase of die coating technology firm

Monday, March 26th, 2007

US technology group Extrusion Dies Industries (EDI) has acquired Liberty Coating Equipment for an undisclosed amount. EDI already supplies a wide range of flat dies for sheet, film and extrusion and the purchase of Liberty will enable it to expand its reach in a number of slot die markets, particularly those requiring very thin or optically clear coatings. EDI’s executive vice president of sales and marketing, ---topher Curtin, said: “We now have more alternatives to offer companies that have relied exclusively on conventional roll coating but are attracted by the advantages of slot die coating.” Slot die systems are used for applying fluids or polymers such as adhesives, inks, electrolytes, and magnetic slurries onto continuous-web substrates. In contrast to roll coating technology, slot dies are closed systems where the amount of coating material is pre-metered using a precision pump. EDI will retain the Liberty product range and trade name. Liberty’s manufacturing systems will be transferred to EDI headquarters in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin.

Battenfeld Gloucester: General Films to Expand Business with 9-Layer Blown Film Line

Monday, March 26th, 2007

A nine-layer line is unusual for most processors. It represents a big jump in capabilities for General Films, but one that’s necessary for growth and to maintain a competitive edge, says Tim Weikert, president of the Covington, Ohio, processor. ‘Due to an increase in demand for high-barrier structures and our desire to supply more advanced films, we needed to supplement our capacity. We decided to go all the way to a nine-layer produc-tion capability.’
General Films will run a variety of nylon, polyethylene and EVOH grades on the blown film line. In addition to film extrusion, the line can corona treat either side of a web and produce roll stock, tubular films or bags in-line.
General Films produces monolayer, three-layer and five-layer films for bag-in-box sys-tems, modified atmosphere packaging and perishable foods like cheese, produce and poultry. It also supplies films for converting operations, chemicals and industrial packag-ing, plus food-grade tubing and custom bags. The company operates seven blown film lines, including three from Battenfeld Gloucester Engineering (BGE), along with four bag- and pouch-making machines and a profile line for food-grade tubing.
Weikert considered two suppliers for the project, but decided to invest with Gloucester to tap its broad experience in barrier film extrusion. BGE was the first extrusion equipment manufacturer to install an industrial-scale nine-layer blown film lab line at its headquarters in Gloucester, Massachusetts, for customers to work with. BGE will not only custom de-sign and supply all the equipment for the General Films line, but train operators in ad-vanced processing capabilities and provide a full range of technical service and after-sale support. ‘We are offering the whole package of capabilities,’ says Angelo Vissas, blown film project manager at BGE. ‘We build everything throughout the line. Our expertise and commitment to customer service appeals to General Films.’
The equipment for the line, all developed by BGE, includes nine ContraCool ® Extrud-ers-two 2.5-in.-dia. machines and seven 2-in.-dia. units, each at 30:1 L/D. ContraCool ® extruders utilize a highly efficient, air-cooled design that reduces energy consumption and maintenance.
Each 2.5-in. extruder also has a ‘light groove-feed’ design-the barrel grooves are much shallower than those in a conventional groove-feed system, combining the benefits of a smooth bore and grooved feed. The result, says Vissas, is an increase in the coefficient of friction in the barrel, which improves the conveying efficiency of the screw. Because the groove is less aggressive than conventional groove-feed machines, the result is en-hanced and more consistent throughput without the potential to lock up on unlubricated nylons or shear off soft pellets like plastomers. BGE sees great promise for light groove-feed technology in other applications.
The nine-layer Low-Profile die has the Autoprofile™ system for thickness control and Ultracool dual-lip air ring. The compact die stands just over 4 ft. tall and is designed to minimize polymer residence time, which reduces degradation and promotes process quality. Another technological improvement is the utilization of BGE’s encapsulated feed technology or EFT. EFT enhances overall die performance by streamlining flow pas-sages, and also permits quicker, cleaner changeovers of resins and colors.
Very tight layer and gauge control will be maintained in several ways: by gravimetric blending and output control; melt flow symmetry and advanced spiral design of the Opti-flow™ die; and by use of the Extrol process control with APC. A Traversanip oscillating hauloff will assure roll flatness at the winder. Vissas maintains that it’s possible to achieve greater control over gauge and roll weight with Battenfeld’s nine-layer line than with com-petitive equipment.
General Films’ history with BGE began in 1974. While this did not guarantee the sale, the relationship underscores Battenfeld’s engineering and service capabilities. ‘We have a good understanding of what Gloucester is capable of doing when it comes to blown film, and we feel very comfortable that they will deliver the goods as promised on time,’ says Weikert.

Cincinnati Milacron : TE125mm for WPC Launched at Open House

Friday, March 23rd, 2007

Cincinnati Milacron Extrusion Systems and B&P Process Equipment held a joint open house last month at the B&P Process facilities in Saginaw Michigan USA to launch the TE125mm twin screw co-rotating extruder for Wood Plastic Composite. Twenty-six of the world’s largest Wood Plastic Composite manufacturers attended the show to see the TE125mm extruder and see the WPC production demonstration on the TE50 mm Lab machine. The TE125 Twin Screw Co-Rotating machine is the result of two years joint development between Cincinnati Milacron of Ohio and B&P Process Equipment in Michigan. Both companies are market leaders in the twin screw extrusion industry and have come together to develop this new processing technology for high volumes of Wood Plastic Composite production. This extruder encompasses low-shear mixing to minimise fibre degradation and has high free volume — up to 40% more than its competitors — to give more efficient devolatilisation. Other advantages of the TE125 are reduced fibre attrition at low screw speeds with hard wearing screws and barrels. This machine has a patented High Pressure Discharge screw geometry, which removes the need for any Melt Pump or second extruder on the end of the extrusion line — reducing energy costs.

American Maplan: Entire Scope of Equipment for Corrugated Pipes

Thursday, March 22nd, 2007

As the PE pipe market grows, American and European municipalities are looking to HDPE corrugated pipe as the most technologically ad-vanced product to handle storm water and wastewater; and American Maplan is leading the market with extrusion technology.
There is a growing demand for PE pipe extrusion, especially for industrial, agricultural and municipal piping applications. To meet this growing market segment, American Maplan Corporation, McPherson, KS, has over 20 years of experience designing, engineering, manufacturing and installing HDPE extrusion lines capable of producing pipe up to 60 inches in diameter. Teaming these advanced extrusion lines with corrugated pipe manufacturers; Maplan’s presence in this market is strong.
American Maplan provides the Total Extrusion Solution for PE Pipe. The single-screw grooved-feed extruder with optimized screw geometry for output/mixing and melt temperature control is produced entirely at it’s McPherson, KS, facility. Several models of grooved-feed extruders, which are used for producing pipe ranging from 4 inches to 60 inches in diameter, are offered. The extruders have a throughput range from 450 lb./hr. up to 4500 lb./hr. American Maplan extruder combinations can be designed to meet any output requirements of today’s corrugated processes.
AMC’s grooved-feed extruders yield greater output for their diameter size than conventional smooth-bore extruders. While throughput rates depend on factors like resin, tooling and downstream equipment, the average decrease in melt temperature for a grooved-feed model over a conventional smooth bore extruder allows the producer higher line speeds and gives them a competitive advantage. HDPE pipe are replacing concrete, ductile iron and corrugated metal in gravity drain-age applications. Manufactured from the highest quality materials, HDPE corrugated pipe’s resistance to abrasion and chemicals and a service life of approximately 100 years makes it one of the most reliable materials for this market today.

Battenfeld Gloucester: New Advanced Die Designs Benefit High Barrier Package Applications

Thursday, March 15th, 2007

At a time of continued growth for the high barrier films market, the leader in supplying equipment for the production of these specialized products has launched an innovative improvement. Working from the traditionally reliable Battenfeld Gloucester barrier blown film die designs, BGE has added new technology to improve temperature, flow rate and gauge uniformity and control. As a result a manufacturer of specialty high-barrier film & bags located in Miami, Florida recently purchased a Battenfeld Gloucester Engineering 5-layer retrofit blown film line and a complete 7-Layer blown film line to increase their capacity. Seeing a growing demand for custom high barrier multilayer film and bags has also meant an expansion for the company with a new plant underway in the southern states.
After 20 years of production only a hurricane can stop a Battenfeld line
After 20 years of outstanding production and only after damage incurred from Hurricane Rita the company is upgrading their 5layer line. The line retrofit includes all new ContraCool® extruders, dies, air ring and an Autoprofile® control package as well as a new Extrol® 6032 Microprocessor Control System.
‘Gloucester Engineering is well known for its innovative designs and robust manufacturing,’ states Carl Johnson, Blown Film Senior Group Product Manager. ‘We have numerous lines installed in the 1980’s that still offer high production and superior quality film for our customers.’
High demand for high barrier calls for new designs to improve efficiency and quality
According to the Freedonia Group, the US barrier film market will continue to grow at a healthy rate. It is expected that demand for barrier films reaches $3.7 Billion in 2010 which represents a 5.5% annual growth from 2005 levels.
Responding to this growth and always concerned about customer’s profitability and quality of products, Battenfeld Gloucester has included its new Encapsulated Feed Technology (EFT) in the new die designs. According to Johnson, EFT enhances the overall die performance by streamlining flow passages; it allows quicker cleaner changeovers when changing resins or colors.
At the end of the day and with the current cost of raw materials, this represents more efficiency, less downtime, cost reduction and increased profits for film producers.
With demand for multilayer products growing the customer also needed to add new equipment to their plant. The 7-Layer turn key system from Battenfeld Gloucester includes a 12′ 7-Layer Optiflow LP® Non-Rotating Radial Fed IBC Die offering advanced stiffness and thermal homogeneity. The result is a uniform die temperature, flow rate, and gauge control with very tight layer and film thickness control. The computer modeled flow channels provide low residence time, high shear rates, and maximum versatility. The 12′ UltraCool 900 Series Patented Dual Lip Air Ring design provides converging air flow between the bubble and forming cone for increased output and reduced film chatter. Its design offers finished internal flow surfaces for lower pressure drop, less heat generation and quieter operation.
The system also includes an Extrol 6032 Microprocessor Control System, 50mm Gravimetric Feed Hopper ContraCool® Extruders, a 12′ Internal Bubble Cooling (IBC) Air Exchange System, and the Digisonic® IBC Layflat Control System with the patented use of non-contact sonic sensors for measuring all types of film with accurate control under the most demanding circumstances. Also included in the system are a Layflat Bubble Cage and Guide Assembly, a Collapser, Traversanip® (Oscillating Primary Nip Roll Assembly), the Tower and a Model 1001-D Dual Turret High Speed Shaft Type Winder with Automatic Indexing and Cut-Off.
‘Our business philosophy is really quite simple offer machinery that consistently delivers superior performance and at a competitive price. Our customers include some of the very largest film and bag manufactures in the world. Our ability and willingness to ‘custom tailor’ our equipment around their particular needs brings a tremendous value-added benefit to them,’ states Johnson. ‘Battenfeld Gloucester is an integral partner to our customers supporting their growth and ability to provide the highest level of customer service.’

Davis-Standard: Equipment at Interwire

Thursday, March 15th, 2007

Davis-Standard, LLC will exhibit equipment from all of its wire and cable product lines at the upcoming Interwire Trade Exposition in Cleveland, Ohio, May 7-10. Located at booth #3400, Davis-Standard will show a 2.5-inch (64mm) 24:1 Super Blue® air-cooled extruder, MESA III process control system and a 1.5-inch (38mm) 24:1 high temperature MX Series Merritt extruder along with a Clipper model PA-24 dual reel parallel axis take-up, Davis Electric 72-inch (1,828mm) shaftless payoff and 48-inch (1,219mm) CatTrak linear capstan. All of Davis-Standard’s key personnel will be available to discuss this technology with booth visitors.
The combined technologies of Davis-Standard, Merritt Davis Electric and Clipper Machinery have created a powerful force in the wire and cable marketplace. Several designs are available for high speed wire and cable extrusion systems and components for datacom, construction/building, optical fiber and automotive as well as power cable, high temperature and specialty wire applications. Systems can be equipped with a wide range of extruders, payoffs and tension brakes, take-ups, and auxiliary equipment including cooling troughs, capstans, caterpillars, and accumulator systems. Laboratory equipment, customized feedscrews, and control systems are also available.

Jindal Poly Films: World’s Most Powerful 8.2m BOPP Line

Wednesday, March 14th, 2007

Jindal Poly Films Ltd., one of India’s leading film producers, and Bruckner have crowned their long lasting partnership with yet another milestone: based on a net output of 6.000 kg per hour, Jindal’s brand new, cutting-edge 8.2 m BOPP film production line (the third supplied by Bruckner) sets a new benchmark in high performance.

More remarkable still is the fact that this output was fully achieved in less than three months after start-up. As a result of the fruitful co-operation between Jindal’s team and Bruckner’s specialists, the entire commissioning process ran extremely smoothly and proved to be an immediate success. High line speeds were achieved earlier and at higher speeds than contracted: four weeks after start-up up to 400 m/min and eight weeks after start-up up to 475 m/min at a remarkable production quality.
Higher productivity with Speedy Threader
Jindal’s new line is the first production line to be equipped with Bruckner’s fully automatic system for film feeding from TDO onto winder, ‘Speedy Threader’. The benefits are:
• Maximum safety
• Minimum waste
• Faster film threading
• Standardised, repeatable film threading process
The bottom line: from the moment of commencement of production, Jindal has been able to produce extremely efficiently, within a wide range of 20 and 40 µm, on a constantly high quality level, thus giving them a real running start towards reaching new production and performance highlights.

Coperion Werner & Pfleiderer: Melt pump for polyolefin lines of own design

Tuesday, March 13th, 2007

After 1 ½ years’ development and preparation, Coperion Werner & Pfleiderer & Co. KG, Stuttgart, is now equipping its well-proven twin-screw compounder (ZSK) with melt pumps of its own design. Depending on design and layout and range of products, a polyolefin compounding and pelletizing line may require a melt pump to build up the pressure for the melt filtration and pelletizing processes with particularly low energy input. The new Coperion Melt Pump (CMP) now bridges a gap in the production line that had hitherto existed downstream of the polymer melting and homogenizing processes: Coperion Werner & Pfleiderer now covers
the entire process chain from melting to pelletizing with equipment of its own. And in order to maintain the high standard of quality associated with its name, Coperion Werner & Pfleiderer manufactures the core components of the melt pumps in its own production facility.
Three Coperion Melt Pumps have already been sold. The first one was successfully put into service by a Russian customer. It will be used in conjunction with a ZSK extruder in an HDPE line with an output rate of 33 tonnes/hour. The same customer will be receiving a second line around the middle of 2007, again with a ZSK extruder and a Coperion Melt Pump. The third Coperion Melt Pump is being used by a South American customer for the purpose of increasing the output rate of an existing ZSK extruder by 20%. This cost-effective solution is possible because the main drive of the ZSK has sufficient power reserves for an increase in screw speed. As energy input into the melt is lower when using a melt pump for pressure build-up, the temperature of the melt remains below the given limit.
The Coperion Melt Pump has been engineered according to a well-known and proven concept: a pair of gears with straight involute toothing rotates in polymer-lubricated hydrodynamic bearings. These components are enclosed in a housing and sealed against the outside by threaded shaft seals installed in cover plates mounted on either side of the housing. The technical design – e.g. the type of cooling system and the gear clearance – is rated and determined according to the actual application and product. The melt pump is optionally available with either a single or double shaft drive featuring approved components. Despite Coperion Werner & Pfleiderer’s own melt pump development and manufacture, the gear pump specialist Maag Pump Systems Textron AG, Zürich, will still remain the company’s strategic partner when it comes to the supply of melt pumps for world-scale production lines that
already have to meet output requirements of up to 80 tonnes/hour. Moreover, many operators of such high-capacity compounding lines basically demand components that have been approved by the licensor.

Profine: Eastern Europe with fastest growth

Tuesday, March 13th, 2007

The Profine Group has posted a 2006 turnover of €848m, having achieved sales growth of 18%, against a budgeted 10%, and up on the 4% achieved in 2005.
Eastern Europe has been the fastest growth area for Profine group, with 41% sales growth in the region, followed by China with 34% growth. South Eastern Europe sales also grew strongly 17%, as did “new markets” with 13%.
Earnings (EBITDA) were also above the budgeted 8% increase, preliminary figures indicating growth above 10%. Profine’s chairman Gerhard Sommerer said: “We had initially forecast this encouraging situation for 2008.”
The three profile brands grew in volume by 21% to 297,000 tonnes, with Berlin-headquarted KBE doing best with 30% higher sales, followed by Trocal (formerly a HT Troplast brand) at 12% and Kömmerling at 10%, the latter’s sheet making up 13% sales growth, close to the group’s 12% sheet volume sales growth of 12% to 38,000 tonnes.
KBE’s growth is being supported by the start-up of eight extruders in 2Q 2007, boosting capacity in Berlin to 135,000 tpa.
Having reached almost 23,000tpa in 2005, rising to 40,000tpa in 2006 and forecast last year to reach 60,000tpa in 2007, capacity expansion at the Russian extrusion plant in Voskresensk near Moscow will now in fact rise to 90,000tpa in 2007, the group states, while extrusion operations in Khabarovsk, 800km east of Vladivostok, are scheduled to start in 2Q 2007 at an initial 3,000tpa. Sommerer says that a final decision on Siberian and Ukrainian plants will be made in 1H 2007.