Riga, Latvia-based packaging thermoformer N.V. VEGA saw the need to diversify its product line and decided to target ecologically-friendly products that could be completely recycled. As one of the first steps, in August last year it installed a counter-rotating, intermeshing twin-screw Bitruder 92 extruder from equipment builder Reifenhäuser (Troisdorf, Germany).
Latvia-based processor N.V. VEGA
is directly extruding WPC window profiles on its Bitruder 92.
“We are able to produce at a line speed even 20% higher than promised by Reifenhäuser after conducting the preliminary tests,” says N.V. VEGA CEO Nikolay Vasilenko. Following tests VEGA saw it could expect to extrude WPC profiles using the new unit for this particular application at a higher throughput than at first anticipated thanks to the ability of the twin-screws to mix and build up sufficient pressure to move the melt through the die.
VEGA adds conventional firewood pellets, traditionally used for combustion, to the polyolefin melt and directly extrudes hollow-profile windowsills in a single step without first compounding the polymer with the wood flour. Vasilenko says these finished products provide weight and price advantages in his market over traditional wood profiles as well as good heat insulation properties.
Thomas Eisemann, sales manager of Extrusion Center at Reifenhäuser, says the company not only acted as a machine supplier but also as a WPC consultant for VEGA. As a first step, locally available raw materials were analyzed to determine if they were suitable for the WPC application. “The problem of many companies is that they do not know for sure if there is actually a profitable market in their country [for such applications], even if they suppose there is one.” —[email protected]