Please point out a couple of ExxonMobil’s recent products in packaging and the applications for which they are most suitable.
West: At NPE we introduced Achieve Advanced PP to the North American market. Achieve Advanced PP represents our latest developments in proprietary catalyst, process and application technology and expands our PP product portfolio. It was created to differentiate it from conventional PP.
Offering high melt strength, Achieve Advanced PP6282NE1 enables customers to economically produce thinner rigid packaging that is easier to thermoform. High stiffness provides downgauging opportunities of up to 15% while excellent processing can improve cycle times and offer higher output. Achieve Advanced PP6282NE1 eliminates trade-offs associated with conventional polymers as stiffness and processing efficiency can now be increased together. Packaging is microwaveable, dishwasher safe, reusable and widely recyclable.
In deep-draw applications, the high melt strength and unique molecular design helps to minimize sag, resulting in fewer part defects and sheet variations. And, in thermoforming applications, the processing temperature window is almost doubled, for easier processing.
The high stiffness and increased filler loading contribute to solutions that do more with less. Typical applications include: Retail pre-filled food containers sold at supermarket stores, e.g., filled yogurt cups and baby food cups; and foodservice containers to be filled by the retailer, e.g. take-out food containers, fast food cups and hot drink lids.
So far, Achieve Advanced PP6282NE1 has been very well received in the market with customers reporting exceptional performance, processability and end-of-life handling such as reuse and recycling.
We have also expanded our new Exceed XP portfolio with the introduction globally of a new grade Exceed XP 8784 for high-performance coextrusion films. Offering extreme film toughness and sealing performance with improved processability, it provides more innovation opportunities for brand owners and film converters. This new grade provides:
- Easier processing and higher output for converters, and higher packaging line speeds and a reduction in packaging materials for brand owners.
- Processability combined with enhanced toughness, stiffness and hermeticity deliver value across the supply chain.
- With a lower density, it delivers improved sealing performance while maintaining outstanding stiffness and dart impact at the extreme performance levels of the Exceed XP platform.
- Sustainability benefits including: downgauging opportunities; less package failure and food waste; higher output; and reduced packaging material use.
This makes Exceed XP 8784 ideal for coextrusion films used for food packaging:
- For sachets, the extreme toughness and hermeticity delivers superior compression resistance and high packaging speeds.
- For laminated sacks, the hot-tack and stiffness/toughness/tear balance results in faster lamination speeds and high output.
- For frozen product packaging, the low temperature toughness and low seal initiation temperature improves bag-drop performance and reduces package failures.
- For barrier applications, the formability and stiffness/toughness balance results in easier processing, improved package integrity and downgauging opportunities.
Which of the company’s products or applications caused the most buzz at NPE?
West: NPE proved the perfect platform to introduce our new Achieve Advanced PP portfolio to the North American market—there was a tremendous amount of buzz around this new set of performance products. NPE also provided a great opportunity to introduce the broad Exceed XP portfolio at a major trade show in North America for the first time, and our Exceed XP 8784 grade which is new this year.
As well as new products, the success of Exceed XP has been such that in collaboration with our customers, we are discovering new applications for this extreme performance polyethylene polymer. Two were introduced at NPE: heavy-duty sacks and thermoforming applications.
Exceed XP provides a range of benefits that allow the fabrication of high-quality 3- and 5-layer heavy duty sack films. High package integrity, excellent sealing characteristics, enhanced machinability and outstanding operational efficiencies are all possible.When extreme performance is required, films based on Exceed XP can perform under the very toughest conditions by offering: 45% dart impact improvements; 16% lower creep; and 15% downgauging.
Exceed XP delivers extreme performance barrier films for thermoformed packaging. These high-integrity films protect and preserve food quality and enhance food safety, while delivering cost savings across the value chain. When extreme performance is required, thermoformed barrier packaging films based on Exceed XP deliver the following benefits:enhanced puncture resistance and dart impact; up to 30% PE downgauging opportunities; excellent optical properties including high gloss, clarity and reduced haze; and, the potential to reduce polyamide use by up to 15%.
Case studies and what’s next