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Articles from 2016 In July


Sumitomo Chemical to construct second PES plant in Japan

Sumitomo Chemical to construct second PES plant in Japan

Sumitomo Chemical plans to construct a new production facility for polyethersulfone (PES) engineering plastic at its Chiba Works in Ichihara City, Chiba, Japan. The new facility will have a production capacity of 3,000 tonnes per year.

Commercial production start-up is slated for in 2018. When the facility becomes fully operational, Sumitomo Chemical's total production capacity of PES, combined with the existing facility in its Ehime Works in Niihama, Ehime, will grow two-fold.

PES is a thermoplastic resin with excellent properties in terms of its heat resistance, dimensional stability, flame resistance, and hot water resistance.

Sumitomo Chemical’s Sumikaexcel PES has a long-standing track record of supply to the market as an additive that confers toughness to carbon-fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP) based on epoxy that are widely used in fuel-efficient aircraft. It is also used in dialysis membranes and automotive applications.

CFRP components in aerospace applications are toughened by the addition of PES resin.

In addition to solid demand growth projected for aircraft CFRPs and dialysis membranes, Sumitomo Chemical believes PES is likely to find increased demand in automotive applications in the future.

To meet such increased demand and also mitigate risk, the company decided to locate the new plant it its site in Chiba, Eastern Japan, rather than on the island of Shikoku in Western Japan where the existing plant is located.

Solvay is another supplier of PES resin for toughening applications with its Virantage PESU product range. The company has collaborated with Korea's Hankuk Carbon Co. to improve the toughness, heat resistance and processing consistency of a carbon fiber-reinforced thermoset composite prepreg.

Solvay produces produce sub-75 micron PESU powder at a plant in Panoli, India, that was expanded in 2013.

Milacron has good second quarter in 'soft macro environment'

balance sheet

In announcing results from its second quarter, which ended on June 30, 2016, Milacron Holdings Corp. (Cincinnati, OH) reported sales of $308.1 million, an increase of 3.4% on a constant currency basis (1.6% organic, 1.8% acquisition). Operating earnings (GAAP) were $35.7 million, and adjusted EBITDA (non-GAAP) increased 3.2% to $57.8 million. Milacron Holdings Corp is an industrial technology company serving the plastic processing industry.

Image courtesy fantasista/
freedigitalphotos.net.

“Milacron delivered excellent organic sales growth in the second quarter versus a tough year-over-year comparable and a soft macro environment,” said Milacron CEO Tom Goeke. “The second quarter developed in line with our expectations, as end market and geographic stabilization led to organic sales growth within our Advanced Plastic Processing Technologies (APPT) and Melt Delivery & Control Systems (MDCS) segments. Orders were robust at 8.5% constant currency growth, driven by our APPT and MDCS segments.

“We also continue to make great progress in bringing new technology to the market, as we shipped the first Klear Can system, a revolutionary innovation that delivers the benefits of plastic in a striking, proven durable can design, as well as gained additional commercial traction with our co-injection recyclable coffee pods. We remain on track to deliver our full year commitment in line with our previously stated guidance.”

For the second quarter of 2016, sales of $308.1 million increased 2.3% from sales of $301.3 million in the same period a year ago. Excluding unfavorable effects of currency movements and the impact of the CanGen acquisition, organic sales for the second quarter of 2016 increased 1.6% versus the prior year period. Operating earnings for the second quarter of 2016 increased 82.1% to $35.7 million compared to operating earnings of $19.6 million in the prior period. Adjusted EBITDA for the second quarter of 2016 increased 3.2% to $57.8 million, or 18.8% of sales, compared to adjusted EBITDA of $56 million, or 18.6% of sales, in the prior year period. Net earnings totaled $12.9 million, or $0.18 per basic and $0.18 per diluted share, in the second quarter of 2016 compared to a net loss of $27.2 million, or a loss of $0.51 per basic and diluted share, in the prior year period. Adjusted net income totaled $29 million, or $0.41 per diluted share, in the second quarter of 2016 compared to adjusted net income of $24.6 million in the prior year period.

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Sales for the first six months of 2016 totaled $585.4 million, increasing 0.8% from sales of $580.5 million in the same period a year ago. Operating earnings for the first six months of 2016 increased 150.7% to $67.7 million compared to operating earnings of $27 million in the prior year period.

Sales for the APPT segment for Q2 2016 were $179 million compared to $171.2 million in the same period a year ago. Excluding $1.5 million of unfavorable effects of currency movements, sales increased 5.4% over the prior year period. Operating earnings for the second quarter of 2016 increased 20.2% to $15.5 million compared to operating earnings of $12.9 million in the prior year period. Adjusted EBITDA in the second quarter increased 2.6% to $23.3 million, or 13% of sales, from adjusted EBITDA of $22.7 million, or 13.3% of sales, in the prior year period.

Melt Delivery & Control Systems (MDCS) saw second quarter 2016 sales of $100.5 million compared to $100.5 million in the same period a year ago. Excluding $1.2 million of unfavorable effects of currency movements, sales increased 1.2% over the prior year period. Operating earnings for the second quarter of 2016 increased 14.6% to $24.3 million compared to operating earnings of $21.2 million in the prior year period. Adjusted EBITDA in the second quarter increased 2.2% to $33 million, or 32.8% of sales, from adjusted EBITDA of $32.3 million, or 32.1% of sales, in the year ago quarter.

The Fluid Technologies business segment saw sales for the second quarter of 2016 of $28.6 million compared to $29.6 million in the same period a year ago. Excluding $0.6 million of unfavorable effects of currency movements, sales decreased 1.4% over the prior year period. Operating earnings for the second quarter increased 31.6% to $5 million compared to operating earnings of $3.8 million in the prior year period. Adjusted EBITDA in the second quarter increased 3.2% to $6.5 million, or 22.7% of sales, from adjusted EBITDA of $11.4 million, or 19.7% of sales, in the prior year period.

Milacron reaffirmed fiscal 2016 guidance of 0% to 2% organic sales growth and adjusted EBITDA margins to be between 18.5% and 19%. Additionally, the company expects capital expenditures of approximately $50 million to $55 million, interest expense to be approximately $60 million, cash taxes to be between $30 million and $35 million, an effective tax rate of approximately 30% and shares outstanding to remain flat in 2016.

How is your business doing so far in 2016? Tell us, and find out how your peers are performing, by taking our Quick Poll in the right-hand column of the website.

Blown film extrusion sees advent of intelligent control

Blown film extrusion sees advent of intelligent control

A leading international manufacturer of Blown Film Extrusion Equipment, Hosokawa Alpine specializes in supplying complete blown film solutions ranging from single extruder mono-lines to 11-layer barrier film lines. At K 2016, the company will present a selection of exhibits that will include the company’s new ExVis release, as well as its latest winder and take-off technology for optimized web-handling, supplied by its wholly owned subsidiary Hosokawa Kolb in Niederkassel.

According to the company, the new ExVis release will enable intelligent networking between systems and even more efficient automated line control. Highly complex systems can easily be controlled with precision and intuition. System monitoring provides operators with information at a glance, guaranteeing consistent quality at all times. Moreover, once produced, film structures can be repeated with a simple recipe entry.

All Alpine lines are custom produced. As the global market for flexible packaging shifts from 3-layer to 5-layer film production, the specific requirements also vary from customer to customer. In response to market demand for barrier film lines with 7, 9 or higher layer systems, Alpine is currently offering an 11-layer solution for the highest level of versatility.

Hosokawa Alpine was one of the first companies to specialize in film orientation technology. Alpine MDO film orientation lines have been part of the company’s portfolio since 1997 and have been evolving ever since. During orientation in the transverse direction the film “necks-in”, reducing total width and increasing film thickness at the edges. The thicker edges must be trimmed to achieve sufficient film flatness and thickness distribution to processing on downstream equipment. To minimize the problems associated with necking-in, Hosokawa Alpine has developed the patented TRIO system (Trim Reduction for Inline Orientation), which reduces edge trim by 100%, produces a flatter film profile, saves material and increases net output. The result is a much more efficient and profitable process.

Alpine Hosokawa works closely with customers and raw material producers to develop and find appropriate solutions for new MDO applications. Current examples are breathable diaper linings and full-PE stand-up pouches without a PET layer.

A demonstration of the quality, efficiency, performance and ease of operation of these lines will be provided at K 2016.

Ostomy patients: You’ve got a brand new bag

Sezy colostomy bag

Unless you have to wear one, or know someone who does, you probably haven’t given much thought to colostomy bag design. The pouches collect waste that has been redirected from the colon or bladder through an opening in the stomach. It's a topic that typically does not come up in polite conversation: “People do not want to talk about poop, stool or gas,” writes Feza Remzi, MD, Chairman of the Department of Colorectal Surgery at the Cleveland Clinic, in the organization’s Health Essentials. Not so for Stephanie Monty, a recent graduate of Brunel University (London): She has designed a colostomy bag for “intimate moments.”

Source: dezeen.

The less obtrusive and more appealing design is available with tattoo- and lingerie-inspired patterns that are embossed on the device’s silicone cover, writes architecture and design magazine dezeen. The flexible, waterproof device has a natural feel and can be color matched to the patient’s skin.

Aesthetics are not a consideration in the design of conventional colostomy bags. Moreover, they are often uncomfortable and may cause skin infections. Monty’s design includes an anti-bacterial flange to protect the user from inflammation and infection and contains vents to allow the release of gas while containing odors, writes dezeen.

Monty was inspired to design the product by her own family’s struggle with Crohn’s disease, a condition that causes inflammation of the lining of the digestive tract. The inflammation often spreads deep into the layers of affected bowel tissue. There is no known cure.

According to the United Ostomy Associations of America, approximately one million people in the United States alone have an ostomy, the surgically created opening in the body that allows waste to be eliminated. There has been a growing movement to remove some of the stigma associated with wearing a colostomy bag. Famously, a picture of aspiring model Bethany Townsend posing in a bikini with her colostomy bags on her Facebook page in June 2014 went viral.

Monty’s pouch was displayed at the 2016 New Designers exhibition in London, and she is now looking for collaborators and investors to take the device beyond the prototype stage.

Global plastics packaging market to hit $375 billion by 2020

Global plastics packaging market to hit $375 billion by 2020

According to a recent report, global demand for plastic packaging was valued at $270 billion in 2014, and is expected to reach $375 billion in 2020, growing at a CAGR of 4.8% between 2015 and 2020. In terms of volume, the global plastics packaging market stood at 81,750.0 kilo tons in 2014.

Published by Zion Research (Deerfield Beach, FL), the report titled, “Plastic Packaging (Rigid Plastic Packaging and Flexible Plastic Packaging) Market for Food & Beverages, Industrial, Household Products, Personal Care, Medical and Other Applications—Global Industry Perspective, Comprehensive Analysis and Forecast, 2014-2020,” said among all applications, food & beverage was the largest application segment for plastic packaging market in 2014. It accounted for over 50% share of the entire volume consumption in 2014. Moreover, pharmaceuticals and medical applications are also projected to have growing demand from the end-user application during the years to come.

Rigid packaging was by far the most important product segment, which accounted for largest market share in 2014. Rigid packaging is believed to continue this trend due to the increasing demand from pharmaceutical sector. Flexible packaging is also important type of packaging that is expected to have promising market during the forecast period.

Superior aesthetic value and excellent barrier properties of plastic against moisture and air are another important factor driving demand for plastic packaging. However, fluctuating prices of raw materials is one of the major challenges for plastics packaging manufacturers.

With more than 30% shares in total volume consumption, the plastics packaging market was dominated by Asia Pacific in 2014. This region is expected to be the fastest-growing market in near future due to emerging markets in China and India. The second largest share of the plastic packaging market was accounted by North America in the year 2014. However, plastic packaging market in Europe is likely to witness robust growth during the forecast period due to high demand from food packaging industries.

The key players for the plastic packaging market include Amcor Ltd., Crown Holdings Inc., Bemis Company Inc., Basf SE, Huhtamaki Oyj, Mondi, Sealed Air Corp., Sonoco Products, Saint-Gobain and amongst others.

Plaxx, a clean substitute for fossil-based heavy fuel oil?

Plaxx, a clean substitute for fossil-based heavy fuel oil?

Research is currently underway to test whether a fuel made from mixed plastic waste can be used as an alternative to crude derived fuels in industrial and marine engines. Known as Plaxx, the low sulphur hydrocarbon that was developed by UK-based Recycling Technologies based on residual mixed plastic waste is being considered as a potential replacement for the HFO (Heavy Fuel Oil) currently used in diesel engines in marine vessels such as tankers, ferries and other nautical machinery. 

The research, funded by Innovate UK and ESPRC, will be led by Associate Professor Farid Dailami of the Bristol Robotics Laboratory (BRL), a collaborative partnership between the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) and the University of Bristol, in partnership with Recycling Technologies and is aimed at determining whether it can be used efficiently in these diesel engines without increasing engine wear. If so, this could be a long term application that could help create a useable resource from waste which cannot be efficiently recycled mechanically. 

The waste plastic derives from commercial, industrial and municipal waste streams that is mixed, laminated, contaminated and otherwise not available to conventional plastics recycling techniques - the bulk of plastic waste produced today.

Plaxx is the product of the depolymerization of plastic and is made up of a mixture of hydrocarbon monomers similar to crude oil. It is however very low in sulphur and other organic/inorganic contaminants, and complies with new emission rules. Currently, it is a soft wax at room temperature but a low viscosity liquid at 70°C. As with crude oil, it can be further refined and could be used as an input to plastics manufacturing.

The research will develop the use of Plaxx by testing engine performance, exhaust emissions and engine wear on different engines over a broad range of test conditions. Also, software tools will be developed that will monitor these three aspects to enable engine users to achieve optimum performance from Plaxx. 

According to Associate Professor Farid Dailami the new fuel could offer an alternative to HFO, which would provide huge environmental benefits. 

“HFO is a fossil fuel which needs to be extracted and refined and therefore has environmental costs and consequences, whereas Plaxx™ is very low in sulphur and is made from a waste product which otherwise would have to go into landfill or be incinerated,” he said.  

Recycling Technologies CEO Adrian Griffiths added: “This research will allow Recycling Technologies to characterize the use of Plaxx for use in diesel engines, thus opening up a global market for an important new innovative material to replace fossil fuels with a product derived from waste.”

Minco first company to achieve SPI Zero Net Waste recognition

Zeronet logo

Injection molding companies have always been keenly aware of the waste plastic in their business, such as non-conforming parts and runners. They know the value of plastic materials, and often regrind the runners and non-conforming parts for re-use in parts, if a certain percentage of regrind is allowed. That is good for both the molder and the customers. Material that can’t be reground and put back into parts, in cases where only virgin material is specified, for example, is sold to a reprocessor for repelletizing and is sold as regrind. But there are many types of waste in a plastics processing plant. What about that?

The Zero Net Waste program started by SPI: The Plastics Industry Trade Association (Washington, DC) earlier this year has just announced its first Zero Net Waste recognized company: The Minco Group, a company headquartered in Dayton, OH, comprising Minco Tool & Mold Inc. and All Service Plastic Molding (ASPM), a provider of thermoplastic solutions.

Under the leadership of SPI’s Senior Director of Recycling and Diversion, Kim Holmes, the Zero Net Waste program was created to encourage the plastics industry to focus on sustainability. It recognizes companies that have taken steps to eliminate waste in plastics manufacturing through every step of the life cycle. The self-reporting initiative requires companies to meet qualification and verification requirements that demonstrate their goals in pursuit of zero waste. Companies are asked to submit information annually for ongoing verification, which allows them to use the Zero Net Waste program logo.

Dan Norris, Vice President of the Minco Group, the company’s custom molding operation, said that the Zero Net Waste project at ASPM began with the manufacturing production people. “This was truly an effort and a vision of the people in production, who began asking what we were doing with all this waste and learning about the Zero Net Waste initiative,” Norris told PlasticsToday. “It was really a bottom-up initiative rather than a top-down plan.”

Norris said that ASPM’s project actually began with a “dumpster dive” to see the various types of materials that were going to the landfill. “About 15 to 20 employees participated in the dumpster dive and did an analysis of one week’s worth of waste to see what we were throwing away and separating the waste into 26 different categories,” said Norris. “It became a way to see what better use we have for what we were throwing away. As a result, we have diverted 88% of total manufacturing waste from the landfill.”

The project was headed by Andy Brewer, Program Manager at ASPM. Under his leadership, ASPM organized a Green Team, which leads the Zero Net Waste program at its facility. The team also monitors company progress. Other achievements include a 46% decrease by weight in landfill-bound waste and a projected increase in revenue of approximately $20,000 for 2017 based on recycling efforts.

While there is a monetary value to reducing and recycling waste, Norris said that it’s not really a cost savings initiative. “We feel it’s the right thing to do for our company and our community,” he said. “It just happens that there are a lot of benefits to doing the right thing.”

Brewer commented that he has been working with Kim Holmes’ Recycling Committee and knew that the company was capable of doing its part to make the industry more sustainable.“We are thrilled to be recognized by SPI and hope that our work helps make the business case for savings costs while saving the planet.”

Cube mold technology well represented at K 2016

Cube mold technology well represented at K 2016

Foboha, Europe’s premier company for the development, engineering and production of high quality injection molds for the plastics industry, has garnered international recognition for its proprietary and patented multi-component mold systems - systems that are currently marketed to more than 30 countries around the world.

The company has developed advanced cube mold technology that not only enables an enormous reduction in cycle time, it streamlines the manufacture of mass-produced parts, and that of parts with additional integrated assembly steps (In-Mold-Assembly). Highly complex parts can be manufactured on a single machine.

The technology is characterized by mold parts that rotate not horizontally, but vertically around the axis. A patented two-part turning stack system forms the heart of Foboha’s cube technology. The lower section of the mold runs on the machine base and the lower machine tie bars; the top part on the upper machine tie bars. Using this technology, parts are processed within the turning system at different levels. The pre-injection moldings are molded in a cavity of the first parting line. As soon as the mold is fully open, they remain on the side of the movable middle block and can be turned into the range of the second parting line by a 90° or by a 180° turn of this middle block. After the mold closes again, the second component is injected into the cavity of the second parting line in which the pre-injection moldings are located, to mold composite parts. The finished parts are removed at the 4th station. The process is characterized by parallel running mold fill, cooling phase and parts removal, which   are essential advantages of the technology. According to Foboha, the cycle time for a one- or two-component product can be reduced by up to 30 %.

Blow molding pilot at K

While Foboha has been manufacturing injection blow molds for decades, at this year’s K Show a pilot injection blow molding application in which a cube mold is used for the first time will be running at the Engel booth in Hall 15. Polypropylene containers are being produced on an all-electric ENGEL e-motion 740/220 T WP injection moulding machine in an 8-cavity cube mould built as a proof-of-principle prototype. The containers were developed by Alpla for a customer in Asia. A considerable reduction in production costs and packaging weight is achieved by swapping out glass – the original material used for the container -  for polypropylene, which significantly reduces unit costs.

In order to achieve short cycle times, the previously produced preforms are inflated in the opposite mould position parallel to injection moulding. The narrowest tolerances are achieved both in the thread area and container body.. At the same time, the ENGEL easix six-axis robot integrated in the production cell removes the finished containers from the fourth station and places these onto the conveyor belt with the opening facing upwards. The entire handling thus occurs in phase with the injection blowing and does not increase the cycle time. An insulating cover in position 2 prevents the preforms from cooling off. The shot weight is 8 grams per container.

Two-component preforms on a cube mold

At the Milacron booth in hall 15, two-component preforms will be produced using MuCell technology on a 2 x 4-fold cube mold. The preform consists of a MuCell foam core that creates a metallic effect after blow molding without actually adding metallic pigments. This would allow, for example, silver colored bottles to be recycled normally, as the sole material used is PET.

On the opposite side, the foam core is sheathed with compact PET, generating the outer shape and the thread of the PRE-form. The shot weight for four Preforms is 124 g.

32-fold closure mold in cube technology

A packaging world premiere  - a 32-fold film hinge cube mold  - will be showcased at the Arburg booth in Hall 13. The mold demonstrates a specially implemented solution for a film hinge. The capping of the seals is also carried out automatically at the mold, at the fourth station of the cube mold. This occurs simultaneously without any loss of cycle time.

With the most efficient mold processes it is possible to reduce the usual cycle time of 12 to 13 seconds down to under 9 seconds. The additional cycle time generates a 35 % increase in production, which represents an enormous output increase.

Visit Foboha at K 2016 at booth B23, in hall 01.

PennEngineering diversifies into engineered plastic fasteners with Heyco acquisition

Puzzle

PennEngineering (Danboro, PA) announced today that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Heyco Products Inc. (Toms River, NJ). Terms of the agreement were not disclosed and no changes are anticipated regarding Heyco’s operations, facilities, and employees.   

Heyco Products will continue to operate as a separate company under the PennEngineering corporate umbrella. Heyco President Bill Jemison will continue to lead the company with the existing Heyco management team, according to a press release announcing the acquisition. He will report to Mark Petty, CEO of PennEngineering.
 
“PennEngineering and Heyco share a common culture of solid brand recognition and quality engineered products, with a strong R&D and customer service focus,” said Petty. “This will allow for a seamless transition. The acquisition will diversify the PennEngineering product portfolio by expanding into engineered plastic fasteners, components and wire protection products. Additionally, Heyco will benefit from the wide range of resources that PennEngineering can provide.”
 
Founded in 1926, Heyco Products designs and manufactures molded wire protection products, plastic fasteners, molded components and stamped electrical components to meet the needs of industrial, medical, appliance, transportation, alternative energy, lighting and aerospace companies. With a well-known brand name, Heyco also brings with it a modern, globally certified, U.S.-based manufacturing facility with vast expertise in injection molding, progressive stamping, over molding and assembly processes and techniques.
 
Founded in 1942, PennEngineering is the global leader in the development and manufacture of precision fasteners, components and installation systems, specializing in thin sheet attachment solutions. Its brands include PEM, microPEM, PEMSERTER, PROFIL, PennAuto and Atlas, and the  company serves diverse industries across the world, including electronics, telecom, medical, automotive, aerospace/aircraft and general manufacturing. The company operates manufacturing facilities and key sales offices in North America, Europe and Asia and is supported by a worldwide network of authorized engineering representatives and distributors.

Innovative thermoforming sheet lines embraced by customers worldwide

Battenfeld Cincinnati

Innovation in thermoforming sheet extrusion lines has given battenfeld-cincinnati (Bad Oeynhausen, Germany) a global market into which to sell its newest equipment, the Multi-Touch roll stack line, which the company will be showcasing at stand B19 in hall 16 at K 2016 in Düsseldorf, Germany. The event runs from Oct. 19 to 26 at Messe Düsseldorf.

The company has been developing partnerships with customers around the world, including Korean company Dongjin Co. Ltd., a battenfeld-cincinnati customer for more than 20 years. “For us, battenfeld-cincinnati is the most innovative machine manufacturer for thermoforming sheet lines thanks to the high-speed extruder and the special roll stack,” said Song Seok Hwan, President and CEO. Dongjin is the largest producer of thermoformed packaging in Korea, according to battenfeld-cincinnati, and recently ordered a second complete three-layer line with a Multi-Touch roll stack. The line makes PE, PP and PS sheet in thicknesses ranging from 0.35 to 2 mm for thermoforming applications with outputs of up to 1,500 kg/h.

Dongjin operates seven lines from battenfeld-cincinnati: Two seven-layer lines and five simple co-extrusion lines, two of which are for PS, two for PP or PS and one for PET. The new three-layer line for PS and PP sheet with the Multi-Touch roll stack will be added in the near future. “With the first Multi-Touch high-performance line, we can produce 40% of the sheet needed and at lower energy cost,” said Hwan.

Thanks to the new high-performance extrusion line, the processor now needs to buy significantly less sheet from external suppliers. This is a great advantage, particularly as the investment cost of the line is paid off by the energy savings. The complete line uses about 15 to 20% less energy than a conventional sheet extrusion line, said battenfeld-cincinnati.

Equipped with a high-speed extruder and a screw diameter of 75 mm and a 40 D processing unit, the extruder reaches outputs of up to 2,000 kg/h, depending on the material processed. This ensures excellent melt quality even at high screw speeds of up to 1,200 revolutions/minute, claims battenfeld-cincinnati.

The Multi-Touch roll stack has been designed particularly for quality, high transparency, flatness and consistent sheet thicknesses. In contrast to conventional three-roll stacks, it works with a large number of roll gaps that ensure reliable cooling and calibration of the upper and lower side of the sheet. In the Multi-Touch roll stack, the sheet first passes through a pre-calibration unit made up of two large rolls. Then the sheet reaches the re-calibration unit, which is equipped with either three, five or seven small rolls. Thanks to constant contact with the rolls, the sheet shows little orientation and a particularly even thickness profile with an accuracy of +/- 1%. This enhances the efficiency of the line, as significant material savings can be achieved compared with conventional sheet extrusion lines.