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Plastic film extrusion: Nine-layer lines selling well

Plastic film extrusion: Nine-layer lines selling well
The industry-wide trend towards purchasing of plastic film extrusion lines able to process 5 or more layers continues, according to officials at extrusion systems manufacturer Reifenhäuser Kiefel Extrusion, a company that has benefited from the trend.

The industry-wide trend towards purchasing of plastic film extrusion lines able to process 5 or more layers continues, according to officials at extrusion systems manufacturer Reifenhäuser Kiefel Extrusion, a company that has benefited from the trend.

Reifenhauser 9-layer blown film line

Above: One of the company's 9-layer Evoluton lines in operation.

Below: Typical example for the application of multi-layer food packaging film.

typical package requiring multi-layer barrier film
The manufacturer (Worms, Germany), born of the marriage between the blown film extruder manufacturing operations of Reifenhäuser and Kiefel, the onetime competitor it acquired in 2009, ran a 9-layer blown film extrusion system at last October's K trade show, and says that since then it has been able to sell six new 9-layer blown film lines worldwide.

Moving to a higher number of layers in multi-layer film production improves flexibility and can help a processor save raw material costs, as we've reported in the past. Although a multi-layer line requires a higher initial investment, processors with the right mix of products will save enough on materials in the long run to justify the higher upfront capital cost.

In addition to down gauging of film, often a film's mechanical properties can be improved through the use of more layers, even as less material is required.

Reifenhäuser Kiefel's Evolution lines include low-temperature screws with combined heating and cooling zones which facilitate the processing of polyolefins and barrier materials such as EVOH on the same extruder. The lines are available with film winders offering clockwise / counterclockwise winding, winding shaft handling systems, and automation systems including start-up and job-change assistants. 

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