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New melt filter venture in India, improved remote diagnostics, and bioriented PLA

German tenter frame producer Brückner (Siegsdorf) has formed a joint venture with Seebach (Vellmar, Germany) to produce melt filter elements for its and competitors' lines with the creation of Brückner Seebach Filter Solutions India (Pune, India). According to Uwe P. Thönniss, co-managing director at the company's service subsidiary Servtec, production has already started and the first supply of a range of filter products should be available from the company by autumn.

German tenter frame producer Brückner (Siegsdorf) has formed a joint venture with Seebach (Vellmar, Germany) to produce melt filter elements for its and competitors' lines with the creation of Brückner Seebach Filter Solutions India (Pune, India). According to Uwe P. Thönniss, co-managing director at the company's service subsidiary Servtec, production has already started and the first supply of a range of filter products should be available from the company by autumn.

Brueckner new remote diagnotic unit
Brückner's TRAVIS Callisto remote-service unit, on the market starting next January, will be available to other industries for maintenance work via communications lines, thereby eliminating the need for a technician to travel to a customer.
Local market is served by the new Indian-based company, whereas all other markets for these products will be handled by Brückner Servtec. Previously Brückner assembled such elements for its lines itself but saw an advantage of producing with an established melt filter partner in a low-cost country at European standards, Thönniss says. In the next three to five years he expects up to 5000 filter elements to come out of the plant in Pune.

The product spectrum includes filter candles either pleated or unpleated, filter discs, screens, gaskets, and special design filter elements. The filter media are supplied by European and North American brand owners. Running the new company are co-managing directors Thomas Grimm-Bosbach from Seebach Germany and S.V. Amiekar, who represents Brückner Machinery & Service India.

In other news from Servtec, the company will be showing at K 2010 in Düsseldorf a more compact, new generation of its TRAVIS (Tools for Remote Audio and Video in Service) devices. The Callisto, available next January, is a lighter device than the present generation and includes a wireless head set with LED lamp and camera located at eye level featuring HUD (Head Up Display), microphone, loudspeakers, and the electronics are in a vest worn by a technician who is connected to a customer needing on-the-spot equipment assistance. The user can see the screen contents and the service-relevant data in front of his eye. The user's hands remain free for working due to this wearable computer concept. Callisto is operated with a compact finger mouse. According to Werner Bamberger, Servtec co-managing director, the company also wants to market the device and its software, which can be changed accordingly, to companies in nonrelated industries for remote diagnostics.

A further new service that the company's Servtec division offers is the possibility to upgrade customers' existing BOPP lines to produce bioriented polylactic acid (BOPLA) film. Present lines need to have modifications for the extrusion system, casting unit, and TDO (transverse direction orientation) unit, and some peripheral components to make them able to process BOPLA.

"The growing demand for BOPLA packaging material is primarily triggered by the food industry, which is looking for the adequate packaging of [their products] . . . by following a trend toward increased awareness of environmental issues," says Thönniss. Servtec is modifying a BOPP line in Italy run by Taghleef Industires (formerly Radici Film), San Giorgio di Nogaro, to produce BOPLA film. The startup is set for the fourth quarter of this year.

Ludwig Eckart, COO sales and product management at Brückner Maschinenbau, told PlasticsToday that Brückner has reintegrated its Formtec division, which produces cast polypropylene (CPP) lines, back into the main company. He says that the market for small-width CPP equipment is at the moment too competitive, so Brückner has decided to concentrate on lines of 4m width and wider as well as units to produce cast PET with pinning.

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