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Articles from 2018 In February


Industry first: ITW Pillar Technologies receives patent for corona treatment system on-board maintenance indicator

Patent stamp

ITW Pillar Technologies (Hartland, WI) reports that it has been granted a patent for an on-board Maintenance Indicator for corona treatment systems. The device alerts maintenance personnel of contamination to the corona treater’s ground roll, which otherwise can go undetected for a significant amount of time, resulting in product rejects.

Image courtesy Stuart Miles/freedigitalphotos.net.

"This breakthrough development is critical, since it is well-known in the converting industry that when a certain level of contamination accumulates at the ground roll surface, treatment level sub-optimization effects will occur in the form of back-side treatment,” explained Steve Helker, Treatment Systems Sales Manager. “This deterioration in surface treatment level can go undetected by packaging converters for extended periods of time and result in significant amounts of non-performing and rejected product.”

By the time the Maintenance Indicator signal goes off, other key internal components such as electrodes will exhibit a similar level of contamination and also will require attention, added Helker. “This is why this innovative technology can provide our customers immediate payback and significant cost savings—from avoiding major ground roll replacement costs to [achieving] significant reductions in rejected materials and downtime.” 

Maintenance Indicator technology is immediately available for all new and existing corona systems, said the company. Adding the system to ITW Pillar Technologies corona systems will extend customers’ ground roll warranty by one full year. 

Panel to debate virtues of 3D printing versus injection molding at ADM Cleveland

3D printing

Can high-volume parts be made via 3D printing, bypassing the mold and molding machine and disrupting an entire industry? That is a big question that injection molders and moldmakers have just started asking themselves. As 3D printing takes its place alongside traditional manufacturing equipment, just what does the future portend for injection molding?

At Advanced Design & Manufacturing (ADM) Expo in Cleveland, you’ll want to listen in on a panel discussion devoted to this topic. Panelists Thomas Davis, Applications Engineer for Protolabs North Carolina; Scott Kraemer, Production Development Engineer for Carbon Inc.; and John Budreau of PTI Engineered Plastics will hash it out on March 8 at 2 PM. The expo runs March 7 and 8 at the Huntington Convention Center of Cleveland.

Some people argue that 3D printing is not disruptive to the injection molding industry, especially when it comes to high-volume parts. According to Kraemer, though, the “most disruptive” thing about 3D printing is that “we can make parts on the fly without any cost for tooling and engineering changes.”

As far as what has been the greatest enabler of this technology, Kraemer said, “it is the fact that we can start running production within a day or two, not six to eight weeks after kickoff, to make the tooling.”

Davis notes that metal 3D printing has been disruptive to the approach of the aerospace industry. “Combining complex assemblies and lightweighting have changed the way these engineers approach parts that have a high value proposition and low part-quantity need,” Davis said. “The most enabling consideration would be the design freedom the technology provides.”

The role that 3D printing can play in the injection molding industry doesn’t appear to be in high-volume parts, but rather in low-volume, high-value parts, as Kraemer pointed out. Davis agreed. “I believe that 3D printing will have an impact on the low-volume production industry in the near future,” he said. “With the elimination of tooling costs, this reduces the overall tooling package spend. Not every part will be a fit for this technology, but some parts will,” said Davis.

Davis commented that 3D printing is just another tool for engineers to work with. “It is a consideration for production when the parts have a high value proposition, are too complex to manufacture with traditional methods, and part quantities are on the low end,” he said. “It also is vital for prototyping, of course. Injection molding has not existed in a vacuum for the last 20 years and has been able to adapt to technology advancements. Automated software helps design tooling quicker and cheaper aluminum tooling cuts costs and mitigates risks against costly and time-consuming tooling rework for iterations.”

Does 3D printing also play a role for moldmakers? According to Kraemer, it’s analogous to what the EDM machine did more than 25 years ago. “It did not replace the CNC machine, but now it sits next to it,” he explained. “The EDM machine is another way to remove metal from a solid block. 3D printing is another way of making parts. Engineering changes can be done in minutes or hours without the need for welding or cutting of steel. Time to production is much faster. This enables moldmakers to offer mold options for total tool packages.”

Should moldmakers be wary of 3D-printed molds, given the capabilities of 3D metal printers? Davis noted that 3D printed molds can help with faster, less-expensive design iterations; however, the surface finish is still limited and the number of shots per mold is low. “The space that it occupies is rather narrow,” Davis said. “If the part quantity needed is low, it’s best to print; if it’s on the order of, say, a hundred, then it’s best to proceed with fast, cheap aluminum tooling.”

When asked about the future of 3D printing in the molding and moldmaking industry, Kraemer, again, pointed to the EDM machine. “In the beginning, most shops did not have an EDM machine. Now, just about every shop has one. Similarly, you will need a 3D printer to make certain parts moving forward,” he commented. “The next big step in adopting this technology comes from OEMs deciding to use newer materials being developed for additive and incorporating them into their designs up front. Once this happens, you will see large-scale mold shops buying 3D printers for production work, sitting near their injection molding machines.”

New processing technologies are out there—Carbon, HP Multijet, 3D Systems’ Figure 4 Desktop Metal—noted Davis, “and as they mature, material availability will increase to close the gaps in overall material properties (mechanical and thermal), costs and colors. This will enable printed parts to be seen as more fit for end-use and low-volume production.

ADM Expo will feature five zones on the show floor—packaging, automation and robotics, design and manufacturing, plastics and medical manufacturing. Hundreds of suppliers and numerous conference sessions, such as the one previewed in this article, await attendees on March 7 and 8, 2018, at the Huntington Convention Center of Cleveland. Visit the ADM Cleveland website for more information.

Nanotubes permit transparent PE blown plastic film with permanent conductivity

TUBALL nano-tube film

Anti-static bags, flexible intermediate bulk container (FIBC) liners, static shielding bags and films, protective tapes and conductive films are the types of packaging that have all been designed to protect certain goods and products from static electricity.

Conventional alternatives have drawbacks. Permanent anti-static additives, such as carbon black, lead to the degradation of mechanical properties and a darkening effect, and migrating anti-static additives result in non-permanent conductivity at various humidity levels. These problems can now be avoided with single-wall carbon nanotubes, which offer the best value proposition in terms of price per property, making them an exciting new option for the industry.

A European manufacturer (the company’s name is covered by a Non-Disclosure Agreement) has recently succeeded in producing high-performance polyethylene anti-static film with TUBALL nanotubes produced by OCSiAl (Leudelange, Luxembourg) by using blown-film extrusion.

By introducing 0.01 wt.% of TUBALL nanotubes via the easy-to-handle TUBALL MATRIX 810 concentrate, a surface resistivity in the range 5×10^9 to 10^11 Ω/sq was achieved, which meets the ANSI/ESD S541-2003 and IEC 61340-5-1-2007 standards on protection against electrostatic effects for packaging materials.

PlasticsToday has learned from a company representative that three other OCSiAl customers in China have successfully completed laboratory and industrial tests of TUBALL MATRIX 810 application in PE blown films. All the tests have confirmed the effective concentration of 0.01% of nanotubes for achieving  resistivity level of 10^9 Ω/sq.

The commercial launch of these products is scheduled for 2018. 

EastPack 2018 highlights two industry mega-trends: smart manufacturing and 3D printing June 12-14 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. There you’ll find the latest cobots, a dedicated 3D Printing Zone, hundreds of exhibitors and a 3-day packaging conference. For more information, visit the EastPack website.

The light transmittance of these anti-static PE blown films is 90% in comparison with neat film, which is not achievable with carbon black. Moreover, the stress at break in the perpendicular direction is increased by around 60%, which improves the durability of this PE film. 

These findings demonstrate one of the key features of TUBALL nanotubes—their ability to create a 3D conductive and reinforcing network even at very low loadings. In contrast to other conventional additives, nanotube-formulated films also show promise in terms of thermal stability.

Application of the TUBALL MATRIX concentrate has enabled a standard clean manufacturing process without the powder or dust associated with using carbon black. All these developments and advantages have encouraged the company to continue testing TUBALL nanotubes and to discover their potential for producing other anti-static parts from polyolefin polymers by various processes, including extrusion and injection molding. 

Baltimore bans EPS foam carry-out containers

EPS foam coffee cup

Baltimore seems to have a littering problem. But rather than encourage citizens to discard waste appropriately—say, in recycling containers—the city is finding it easier and more convenient to ban EPS foam carry-out containers outright. And not just ban these containers, but actually make restaurant owners criminals if they dare defy the ban! Using EPS foam carry-out containers is a misdemeanor that carries a $1,000 fine.  

The ban was instigated by Baltimore City Councilman John Bullock, who told the Baltimore Sun that he doesn’t “expect anyone to go to jail because of this. There is a fine attached to it. We want to change behavior.”

If Councilman Bullock wants to “change behavior,” I say he should begin by fining litterbugs! If people were fined $100 for littering—remember those signs we used to see around our cities?—the municipality could fill its coffers and maybe, just maybe, people would think twice before throwing trash into the waterways. After all, we’re not talking just about plastic—glass, metal, textiles and more are thrown into waterways. Most of that stuff sinks; plastic—especially EPS foam—floats. That makes the material an easy target because it’s visible.

Betsy Bowers, Executive Director of the EPS Industry Alliance (Crofton, MD), told PlasticsToday that Baltimore has a program to collect floating trash in the city’s waterways. “Baltimore’s Mr. Trash Wheel collects a lot of polystyrene on top of the water because it floats,” she said. “The Mr. Trash Wheel program released a great report on the various materials it is able to collect because it picks the trash off the top of the water. What drops to the bottom doesn’t get collected.”

Bowers said she believes that the ban is a result of public opinion and many of the misperceptions and misinformation surrounding EPS foam. “Restaurant owners don’t support [the ban on EPS] because there’s no environmentally good alternative,” Bowers said. “We know that coated paper is not a good alternative.”

Bowers is right about that. As I’ve written before, paper coated with polymer is not recyclable, which means it must be put into landfill.

The citizens of Baltimore have eight drop off locations, including a convenience center where they can drop off recyclables that aren’t picked up through regular pickups. Additionally, Bowers noted that there is “quite a large dumpster dedicated to EPS that is picked up regularly.”

Two years ago, the city of Baltimore applied for the EPS Industry Alliance’s EPS Excellence in Recycling award, but it came in second place. Perhaps there are some sour grapes among city council people?

Council President Bernard C. “Jack” Young told the Baltimore Sun that he was once against the ban but after talking to some elementary school children about the ban, he was convinced it was the right thing to do.

“It’s challenging for cities when they have an activist who is well meaning but not necessarily well informed,” said Bowers. “School children don’t know any better. They think they are doing something good. We would like to see cities do a better job of looking at information they are basing their policies on, making sure it’s accurate. EPS is very popular to ban, but the EPS industry continues to thrive.”

If city or state environmental policies regarding plastics are going to be determined by 8 year olds, then I’m convinced more than ever we in the industry need to get into the schools and begin teaching the science of plastics. We need to educate youngsters about the value of plastic, its benefits over other materials, and why banning plastic can have the unintended consequence of harm from other materials such as paper, which also carries negative environmental impacts.

BarrierPack Recyclable pouches and film support a circular economy

Mondi BarrierPak Recyclable

BarrierPack Recyclable, an innovative new polyethylene plastic laminate for premade pouches, provides positive environmental outcomes and value creation through a sustainable material with performance properties equivalent to conventional materials. It was developed in direct response to the need to reduce plastic waste without compromising on quality or functionality, and it supports a circular economy.

“Our new laminate, BarrierPack Recyclable, is a leap forward for sustainable packaging,” said Carl Stonley, Technical Account Manager at Mondi Consumer Goods Packaging. “In addition to being fully recyclable, it offers exceptional mechanical properties and is ideal for a range of packaging style formats. Constructed using two layers of PE film, BarrierPack Recyclable is a highly functional, flexible, packaging material that’s easy to open and reclose for consumer convenience. It’s functional in that the material is stiffer, stronger and lighter than a conventional PET/PE laminate of the same thickness and it can be formed directly on form-fill-seal machinery, as well as used for premade packaging.”

The moisture barrier provided by BarrierPack Recyclable makes it ideal for a wide range of applications, such as dry food, food ingredients, personal care and pet care applications.

It is currently not available in the United States. But as we've seen in the past, many European developments find their way stateside and vice versa.

ADM Cleveland 2018 showcases the latest in robotics, automation, plastics, packaging and design engineering through 5 integrated events including Pack and PLASTEC. For more information, visit the EastPack website.

New sustainable alternative

Sustainable plastic packaging is evolving faster than the general understanding of the related materials and recycling issues. Industry-wide initiatives are driving development of recyclable packaging for a circular economy that maximizes the lifecycle of plastic and minimizes its ecological footprint.

BarrierPack answers the market’s need for sustainable alternatives for flexible laminates by offering full recyclability, validated by extensive trials by CeDo Recyling in the Netherlands, a leader in recycling technologies

Ton Emans, Managing Director at CeDo Recycling & President of Plastics Recyclers Europe, said: “The European Commission announced a strategy in January 2018 to ensure that all plastics packaging is recyclable by 2030. This innovation shows that flexible plastic packaging can become truly circular. Flexible material designed for recycling is key to enabling circularity to safeguard precious resources in Europe.”

“Mondi is committed to developing sustainable plastics using circular economy design approaches, so we are delighted to be able to bring this valuable innovation to market,” Stonley added.

Mondi’s BarrierPack Recyclable laminate is debuting at the Packaging Innovations trade show in Birmingham, UK, February 28 to March 3 in Booth F19.

A year of fundamental change reviewed in annual report from Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries

A year of fundamental change reviewed in annual report from Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries

For 30 years, the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI; Washington, DC) has served as the “voice of the recycling industry." Over the course of that time, few years have brought as much change as 2017. In ISRI’s just released 2017 Annual Report, the impact of these changes and the important role the organization has played in helping the industry navigate the landscape are highlighted in detail.

“Many will look back at 2017 as the year China announced its ban on certain scrap imports,” said ISRI President Robin Wiener. “While this dramatically alters the landscape of our industry, many other changes are also taking place, causing the industry to continue to evolve as it has so many times in the past. Changes in the U.S. administration, shifting global trade policies, new technologies, an overhaul of the U.S. tax structure and more have impacted business, markets and trade. Throughout all of this, the one constant has been ISRI working hard to assist and advocate on behalf of our members and the recycling industry.”

In addition to the industry’s response to China, other ISRI highlights from 2017 covered in the report include successfully advocating for provisions in the U.S. tax reform package to encourage investment in recycling equipment; creation of the MRF Council to help with issues concerning the collection, recovery, and processing of curbside recyclables; and development of guidance for a new NAFTA trade agreement.

“As we have just concluded our 30th anniversary, we can now look back and see how much the industry has changed, and the important role ISRI has played in its evolution thanks to our membership,” said Wiener. “With the start of 2018, ISRI is excited for the future that lies ahead.”

When shopping for a 3D printer, flexibility and versatility should be key considerations

When shopping for a 3D printer, flexibility and versatility should be key considerations

Stereolithography is turning 30 years old this year, and it's come a long way, baby! Jim Reitz, General Manager for UnionTech Inc. (St. Charles, IL), has spent much of his career in the stereolithography field. UnionTech offers open design 3D printing equipment, allowing users to choose the best and most cost-effective software and materials over a wide range of platforms.

Image courtesy Somos/DSM and UnionTech.

Reitz notes that stereolithography (SL) capabilities have advanced significantly over the past 30 years, as new materials and software were developed to increase use applications for 3D-printed parts. Equipment developments have resulted in the broadest range of build envelopes of any 3D-printing technology, while achieving significant increases in build speeds.

In recent years, impressively funded startup companies have emerged that are bringing new capabilities to 3D printing, accompanied by substantial marketing campaigns. Whether a new machine purchase is an initial entry into 3D printing or an expansion of current capabilities, there is a lot of information to sort through.

When considering polymer-based 3D printing, there are basically two foundational types: Light-curable thermosetting photopolymers and melt processable thermoplastics.

“A large part of the performance capabilities of a particular technology is shaped by the material,” Reitz told PlasticsToday. “If you look at thermoplastic print systems, such as sintering or fused filament fabrication, there is a well-established commercial palette of materials to choose from. Equipment innovations over time have significantly advanced access to a wider range of performance well beyond the initially available nylon, ABS and PLA type of  materials through advances in processing capabilities of the equipment.”

On the photopolymer side, impressions of early SL materials' aging properties and limited toughness have lingered in some quarters, despite significant advances in stability and mechanical performance. While equipment technology has evolved, many new applications have been developed through material formulation innovations. In 2001, Reitz noted, the industry saw the first optically clear and near-colorless SL materials, which opened new opportunities in fluid flow analysis and functional prototyping.

Composite SL materials came along in 2004, 60 to 65% filled materials that opened up whole new application areas such as rapid tooling and, notably, wind tunnel testing models for Formula 1 and aerospace. “SL patterns have been used to replace wax patterns for the investment casting of metals in low volume or highly detailed parts since the mid-1990s, but formulations advances that improved dimensional stability emerged as early as 2002,” Reitz said.

“In 2007 the first SL thermoset materials to mimic the stiffness and toughness characteristics of thermoplastics were introduced, broadening the range of functional performance to significantly overlap the mechanical performance of thermoplastic processes but with much better surface aesthetics and accuracy,” Reitz added.

Uniquely formulated SL materials from multiple suppliers have continued providing one of the most diverse range of application possibilities of any 3D-printing technology. SL technology today can print parts ranging from micro size to nearly two meters in length; produce patterns for low-volume urethane part production; provide large, highly detailed investment patterns for near-net shape metal casting; serve as patterns for high-volume thermoformed dental appliance patterns; and provide substrates for metal-plated composites that can approximate die-cast aluminum properties.

All of these developments have spawned hype surrounding what 3D printing can do. The over-heated promotion of prospects for consumer markets as recently as 2014 and the resulting market correction remains a fresh example of the danger of hype.

Yet, the marketing campaigns for recent well-funded 3D printing technologies are so pervasive that they’re reshaping peoples’ conceptions of what 3D printing is and what it can do in light of what they’re selling,” said Reitz. “For instance, the term SLA is generically used to refer to stereolithography but has been used to describe variations in light source from 355 nm (industrial SL) to 405 nm (desktop SL) to 405 DLP, while actual build envelopes, material capabilities, processing and post-processing requirements vary significantly.

“So, your perspective of what stereolithography is capable of will depend on the information you are exposed to. There is certainly no intent to mislead anyone; the issue is precision in descriptive terms and the availability of marketing muscle to promote specific equipment,” Reitz added.   

One of the problems companies face when trying to select a technology for additive manufacturing is sorting through the hype to make sound decisions. With all the new 3D equipment and technology on the market, many potential buyers may benefit from carefully detailing their use criteria. Perhaps the most important question when considering either an initial or additional additive manufacturing equipment purchase is, “How can this purchase add to my efficiency, cost effectiveness and overall part production capabilities to meet current and potential future requirements?” suggests Reitz. “Flexibility in processing capability, versatility of application type and bandwidth of material capabilities of the process are key considerations when choosing an additive manufacturing process.”

Reitz said that he has never thought that there’s a single printer technology for every application. “When considering a 3D printer, look through the hype” and look at 3D printing as an enabler for your business today and in the future. Use industrial-strength stereolithography as a lens to compare your needs with other available technologies. A simple filter to evaluate your next 3D printing equipment purchase is the simple question: “Can your equipment do . . . ?

Why polymer stents fail

Polymer stent

Different materials behave differently, to state the obvious. Consequently, appropriate tools should be used to evaluate the behavior of materials in a potential application and, ideally, deliver insights on their performance over time. By evaluating polymer stents using procedures borrowed from the development of metal stents, medtech engineers were unable to foresee complications that would arise, according to researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Image of polymer stent courtesy Pei-
Jiang Wang/MIT.

Metal stents implanted in coronary arteries to prevent blood clotting are life savers, but they do have a drawback: Extended implantation can cause damage to the artery. The development of plastic stents made with bioresorbable polymers several years ago seemed to offer an elegant solution.

The poly-l-lactic acid (pLLA) polymer used in this application degrades over time and is absorbed by the blood vessel walls. This worked well initially, but after three years, more than 10% of patients with a polymer stent experienced a heart attack, some fatal, or had to undergo another medical intervention. That is double the rate seen in patients with metal stents, writes Anne Trafton on the MIT news page. The plastic stents subsequently were taken off the market. MIT researchers in the Institute for Medical Engineering and Science and the Department of Materials Science and Engineering have now discovered why these stents failed. Armed with this knowledge, they hope that scientists will be better able to design and evaluate polymer stents as well as other degradable polymer devices moving forward.

The reason polymer stents failed—and why this problem was not discovered during the development process—stems from the evaluation procedures, “which were based on those used for metal stents [and] were not well-suited to evaluating polymer stents,” writes Trafton. The research is described in a paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences the week of Feb. 26.

“People have been evaluating polymer materials as if they were metals, but metals and polymers don’t behave the same way,” Elazer Edelman, the Thomas D. and Virginia W. Cabot Professor of Health Sciences and Technology at MIT, told Trafton. “People were looking at the wrong metrics, they were looking at the wrong timescales, and they didn’t have the right tools.” Edelman is the senior author of the paper.

ADM Cleveland rocks! Advanced Design & Manufacturing (ADM) Cleveland will feature five zones on the show floor—packaging, automation and robotics, design and manufacturing, plastics and medical manufacturing. Hundreds of suppliers and numerous conference sessions devoted to smart manufacturing, battery technologies and much more await attendees on March 7 and 8, 2018, at the Huntington Convention Center of Cleveland. Go to the ADM Cleveland website to learn more and to register to attend.

Using Raman spectroscopy to analyze the microstructure of the stents, the MIT researchers found that the polymer stents have a heterogeneous structure that eventually leads to structural collapse. While the outer layers of the stent have a smooth crystalline structure made of highly aligned polymers, the inner core tends to have a less ordered structure. When the stent is inflated, these regions are disrupted, potentially causing early loss of integrity in parts of the structure. When the stents become deformed, they can block blood flow, leading to clotting and potentially heart attacks, according to the article in MIT News.

When the polymer stents were undergoing pre-clinical tests, which are typically six months, they were starting to degrade at the microscopic level, but the flaws couldn’t be detected with the tools that scientists were using at the time, notes the article.

The method used by MIT researchers “provides a tool that allows you to look at a metric that very early on tells you something about what will happen much later,” Edelman said in the article. “If you know about potential issues in advance, you can have a better idea of where to look in animal models and clinical models for safety issues.”

The research was funded by Boston Scientific Corporation and the National Institutes of Health.

Weekly resin report: Contract polypropylene prices trending lower

Weekly resin report: Contract polypropylene prices trending lower

It was another ho-hum week for spot resin trading. Demand continued to slacken and supply was sometimes limited by grade during the holiday-shortened week, reports the PlasticsExchange (Chicago) in its Market Update. Resin inquiries were limited, and those that surfaced were mostly for truckloads rather than railcars. Completed volumes fell short of average.

Cool Design
Image courtesy Cool Design/
freedigitalphotos.net.

Spot polyethylene (PE) prices were mostly lower last week, while polypropylene (PP) managed steady to a penny higher. Incremental PE exports are still challenged by price, though large quantities seem to be shipping offshore direct by producer, leaving traditional export channels a bit dry and frustrated, according to the PlasticsExchange. 

For the second week in a row, PE trading left something to be desired—demand was off and most grades dropped $0.005 to 0.01/lb. A larger number of widespec railcar offers were made available as the week wore on. While the spot markets, both domestic and export, have been seemingly starved of supply, processors have been able to fill most of their prime needs directly, albeit including the February $0.04/lb price increase. While the market prepares for the next $0.03/lb increase nominated for March, processors are still hopeful that resolution of production issues and new capacity will soon begin to weigh on PE prices. 

Spot PP activity was good, with completed volumes outstripping those for PE, which only happens occasionally, notes the PlasticsExchange. PP prices have been trending lower as participants eye tumbling feedstock costs, while tight resin fundamentals have been limiting the losses. HoPP prices held firm this past week, while CoPP recouped a penny. PP buyers are grateful for the $0.06/lb contract decrease in February and expect a similar decline in March.

PP imports are starting to hit the shores—material was procured as the market began to rally in early January. In general, resellers have shied away from additional inventory purchases, mostly opting for back-to-back deals. Some sellers even seem to be taking orders at prices that appear too low for current conditions, as they believe their lower sales levels will be fine when it comes time to deliver the resin. 

Read the full Market Update on the PlasticsExchange website.

Bandera set for a trio of plastic film/sheet extrusion installs in Europe

Bandera installs east Europe

Three rigid film/ sheet extrusion projects coming up for delivery shortly to key converters operating in Eastern Europe are exemplary of the capabilities Costruzioni Meccaniche Luigi Bandera SpA (Busto Arsizio, Italy) in film and rigid sheet extrusion:

1. Compact, Multilayer PET Rigid Film/ Sheet Extrusion Line for thermoforming and FFS (Form Fill & Seal), for a maximum output of 750 Kg/h, with a net width of 1200 mm, installing a Bandera patented, 2C70 52 L/D co-rotating twin-screw main extruder, a TR65 35 L/D single-screw co-extruder, a single-manifold flat die, a horizontal roll stack.  The line is completed by thickness control, in-line PE lamination and two-position cantilever winding systems.

2. Versatile high-output, Alpha 2 – 185 Rigid Film/ Sheet Extrusion line, mainly for multilayer PET extrusion, but suitable for processing also PP, PS and PLA.  Its maximum output in terms of PET processing is 1600 Kg/h, with a net width of 1580 mm.  This line features a Bandera patented 2C105 52 L/D co-rotating twin-screw main extruder, a TR90 35 L/D single-screw co-extruder, an automatic Bandera single-manifold flat die, a horizontal roll stack with motorized cross axis system for thin film/ sheet processing, a thickness control system and an in-line PE film lamination system.

ADM Cleveland 2018 showcases the latest in robotics, automation, plastics, packaging and design engineering through 5 integrated events including Pack and PLASTEC. For more information, visit the website.

3. Sophisticated, extremely high-tech, high-output, multilayer sheet extrusion line for rigid or foam PET production for thermoforming, form-fill-seal (FFS), printing and industrial applications.  It is designed for a net width of 1500 mm and has a maximum output of 1500 Kg/h rigid PET, and 750 Kg/h in terms of semi-rigid PET.  This line involves two co-rotating twin-screw extruders, a 2C85 52 L/D and a 2C70 52 L/D, a TR90 35 L/D single-screw co-extruder, two flat dies, i.e., a Cloeren flat die for rigid products and a Bandera flat die for foamed/semi-rigid products, a physical foam PET extrusion system, a horizontal roll stack with cross axis system for thin film/sheet processing, besides systems for thickness control and semi-automatic cantilever winding. 

This line also comprises an in-line PE film lamination unit that is a dedicated unit suitable for semi-rigid products as well.  This line represents Bandera technology at its best in terms of design, products and performance. It is the fourth Bandera line commissioned by this customer.