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Industrial packaging: Mauser welcomes upturn, works with Sabic on improved HDPE

Officials at industrial packaging power Mauser Group say that over the past 12 months, the company, which blowmolds drums, intermediate bulk containers and other industrial packaging, has experienced increasing demand in all product areas and all countries. Mauser worked recently with plastics supplier Sabic to develop an improved grade of HDPE especially suitable for blowmolding these large containers.

Officials at industrial packaging power Mauser Group say that over the past 12 months, the company, which blowmolds drums, intermediate bulk containers and other industrial packaging, has experienced increasing demand in all product areas and all countries. Mauser worked recently with plastics supplier Sabic to develop an improved grade of HDPE especially suitable for blowmolding these large containers.

Mauser CEO Clemens Willee
Clemens Willée, CEO at Mauser Group.
Mauser (Brühl, Germany) has annual revenue of about €1 billion, with 4000 employees and facilities around the globe. Its plastics division is the company's largest but it also makes and distributes metal and paperboard drums and industrial containers.  The bulk of the plastics divisions' processing facilities are in Europe though it also has ones in Brazil, the U.S. and Thailand. Last month it notified its customers of plastic packaging and IBCs that an additional €150/ton will be charged to recover recent HDPE price increases. Mauser also makes and markets extrusion blowmolding machinery for industrial packaging applications.

The improved business situation is global and across all of its business UN its, reports Mauser, but particularly strong demand is coming from the chemical and oil/lubricants industries. "As one of the first links in the supply chain, the packaging industry is a leading indicator for economic development and I am optimistic that order volume will continue to remain stable at a high level in 2011," says Clemens Willée, Mauser Group's CEO. "We are expecting demand to be strong, especially from the chemical and oil/lubricants sectors. However, the sector still faces greater challenges in terms of rising electricity, transport and freight costs as well as volatile raw material prices."

The industrial packaging processor has worked recently with Sabic (Sittard, the Netherlands) to help the plastics supplier develop its new ICP 5602 grade of high-density polyethylene. This grade is designed for blowmolding of tight head drums with a capacity of 25-220 litres. Characteristic of the material are its very high impact resistance and rigidity, plus ease of processing and resistance to stress cracks and chemicals, says Sabic. Most significantly, this material delivers improved melt flow for higher productivity and reduced energy usage. It is offered in a granular form—a departure from traditional powders—and, reports Sabic, this change of form helps prevent waste, increase machine efficiency, and permits safer product handling. Mario Scholle, business manager HDPE for Sabic in Europe, says the completely new product line was developed in just 18 months.

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