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Double from Davis-Standard

Two new developments from Davis-Standard are an upgraded version of its Euro Blue extruder and a gusseting unit for blown film bubbles up to 18m.

Recently launched, the upgraded Euro Blue model, the Euro Blue II, is already said to be selling well. The new extruder is claimed to offer higher specifications and processing rates at a reasonable cost.

In its standard form, the new unit includes a double reduction gearbox with helical carburized gears, an integral thrust bearing, cast iron feed section, four zone DS1000 bimetallic barrel assembly with heated clamp arrangement, DSBM-T barrier mixing feed screw, AC motor and drives, integrated control cabinet with four barrel and three die zones, digital speed and ammeters.

This machine, like its predecessor, is engineered for custom profile and tubing applications, as well as basic wire and cable processes. The range currently includes sizes of 50, 60, 75, and 90mm in 24:1 configurations.

The new extruder is available through D-S Brookes, Davis-Standard’s UK based subsidiary. The company is offering a two year warranty and support on the new model.

During K 2007, Davis-Standard will display the new equipment, along with an HPE extruder, on stand 16A43 in hall 16.

The new gusseting unit for blown film bubbles up to 18m is said to simplify installation and minimize overall tower width by reducing the space required for the support and retraction mechanism. Specially designed for the industrial and agricultural markets, it consists of seven sections that the company says can “conveniently fit into shipping containers for product protection and reduced shipping costs”.

“We designed this unit with size requirements, installation time and shipping economics in mind,” says Rick Keller, vice president of sales for Davis-Standard’s Converting Systems Group. “It’s a good addition to our large scale blown film line for the agricultural films market including 80in (2,032mm) multilayer dies and 8in (200mm) extruders.”

The new unit has an adjustment mechanism that is mounted directly on the upper nip frame, replacing the traditional separate steel supports beyond the tower structure and eliminating excess building width.

Operationally, the upper nip mounted arm swings under the nip unit, which is used for motorized adjustment of the gusset’s top position, enabling a processing range from full depth gusseting to complete retraction without requiring additional plant space or bulky adjustment equipment.

The tetrahedral shaped gusset is fabricated from multiple tubular steel skeleton sections.

Collation shrink film market set to grow

The collation shrink market is a €1.2B business in Europe accounting for nearly 800,000t of PE resin in 2006, says a new report by Applied Market Information (AMI). The study predicts the market to grow in terms of square metres of film used, however it says that further downgauging will mean relatively little growth in terms of weight of film and volume of material used.

The report, entitled ‘The European market for polyethylene collation shrink film: Application development and changing industry structure’, predicts the growth of metallocene resins. Although metallocene was hardly used in 2000, it has been growing at rates of over 60 per cent per year, the study points out. Volumes of metallocenes used remain modest even today, accounting for less than three per cent of the market in 2006, but are expected to continue growing at annual rates of nearly 20 per cent to 2011.

To enhance print quality, there has been considerable development of coextruded shrink films in order to use metallocene resins in the outer layers. This has the triple benefit of providing a high gloss printable surface, producing a film with improved transparency and the potential to downgauge by selection of appropriate resins for the core layer. This last, non cosmetic, benefit will become increasingly important as environmental initiatives gain momentum in the coming years with the aim of minimizing raw material usage, says AMI.

According to the report, the largest end use sector for collation shrink films is the beverage market, which accounted for 46 per cent of all PE collation shrink demand in 2006. This sector is expected to offer most growth potential, driven by the increase in production of multipacks of canned drinks, while other sectors are expected to show only marginal or zero growth in tonnage terms, as any increase in the use of collation shrink film will be negated by further film downgauging.

The report adds that development of the market will be driven primarily by the growing share of food and beverage purchases through supermarkets in southern and central Europe, combined with further concentration of sales through supermarkets in northern Europe.

Supermarket shopping supports the sale of products in multipacks, particularly in the beverage sector and this in turn is leading to growing demand for printed collation shrink films.

Colines lines installed

Recent projects by Italian supplier Colines include a new 4,500mm Polycast line at Tuscany based B-Pack Due with a production capacity of approximately 30,000t/year. The line is the second one of large dimensions installed at the company. The first line, of the same width, was installed in 2004.

Colines says the new line is equipped with technology that allows for production speeds up to 350m/min. The extrusion zone is made up by four high capacity extruders, two with 180mm diameter and two with 130mm diameter, with a trimmed edge recovery system with forced hopper.

“Such a configuration allows gross output of 3,000kg/hour,” says the company. The new line is also said to optimize some multilayer structures such as those for the production of twist film.

The 5,500mm die and the five layer feedblock by Cloeren are said to provide good stratification of the material and a high pressure resistance during high speed production. Thickness control is effected by an Electronic Systems double scanner with reading system and tolerance correction, while a Mero system is used for the corona treatment.

The Refesave trimmed edge recovery system, developed by Colines, works on two different cutting stations and allows the recovery of the side trimmed edges without regranulation. The final part of the line is a Jumbowind winder which allows the winding of mother reels 4,500mm wide, with maximum diameter and four tonnes weight.

The test run of a Handrollex 1000 cast stretch line for the production of manual and automatic reels with 2 and 3in shafts has also been completed in Colines’ Azzate facility. This line will be used for production of stretch film for the Italian market. The production speed measured during the test was of 500m/min, processing film thicknesses ranging from 13 to 25 micron over different product runs.

The reels, each 500mm wide, have their scrap recovered in line ands are wound up in continuous cycle, through the rotation of the four axes of the automatic winder.

Colines has also completed the test run of a new Unicast line 2,100mm wide for the production of stretch film and CPP film at its workshop in Novara, Italy. This particular line is equipped with three extruders, one with a diameter of 130mm and two at 80mm, an automatic die, thickness measuring system by Electronic Systems, corona treatment station by Mero, the Refesave in-line recovery system for trimmed edges without re-pelletizing, and an automatic winder with 3 and 6in shafts for stretch and CPP film.

Sabic to produce metallocenes

Sabic Europe is planning to foray into the metallocenes market by 2009.

Although the penetration of metallocene PE has not developed as rapidly as some early participants in the market expected, Sabic predicts the material will play an important role in the future in the stretch film market. Speaking at the AMI Stretch and Shrink Film Conference in Barcelona, the company said it believed that the demand growth for pallet unitization stretch films will be 3.8 per cent/year to 2010.

The AMI conference also addressed other issues. In a presentation on the cast LLDPE stretch film market in the former USSR states, Dr Andrey Zagorsky, of the National Packaging Confederation in Russia, said the industry was in danger of overcapacity in Europe due to new stretch film installations in Russia, the Ukraine, Turkey and other East European countries. He highlighted the fact that capacity in these countries was expected to nearly double between 2006 and 2010, to about 250,000t while demand would grow by 60 per cent, to an estimated 200,000t.

This, he said, is likely to present challenges for the investments that are taking place in the region, resulting in consolidation amongst players.

The strategic challenges facing the stretch and shrink film markets in Europe were further addressed by AMI’s John Campin, who pointed out that collation shrink will grow at around one to two per cent per year, stretch films will average four to five per cent, while the stretch hood market is expected to grow over 20 per cent/year in up to 2011.

Software to monitor continuous processes

A new software that can monitor and control continuous processes such as sheet, profile and blown film extrusion, compounding and thermoforming has been launched by Mattec.

The new ProHelp EPM 7.1 monitors the connected machines in a processing plant and alerts users to critical changes in process conditions, such as speeds, temperatures or pressures. Through machine interface units on the plant floor, operators can log reasons for downtime, scrap or maintenance, giving management a more complete picture of production and productivity.

“Manufacturers can integrate all the processes within a factory,” says Mattec president Mick Thiel. “Even companies operating very different kinds of machinery can now get total continuity in production and process monitoring, and reporting. In addition, because ProHelp EPM integrates so well with corporate ERP systems, management has total access to all shop floor data in a timeframe and format that can help it increase efficiency.”

The ProHelp EPM Version 7.1 includes a full SPC/SQC program that provides process exception reporting, real-time voice and email alarms, linear regression analysis associating part dimensions and weights to machine processes. It also provides management tools including real-time scheduling functions, capacity planning charts, production reporting, labour tracking, a documentation library, and a process journal.

Additional functions allow the shop-floor control system to communicate to corporate ERP systems in real-time or whatever timeframe the user selects. Inventory and WIP updates can be made in the ERP system as often as product lots are made on the shop floor.



Contacts

Applied Market Information
Tel: +44 (0) 117 924 9442
Colines
Tel: +39 0 321 48 63 11
Davis-Standard
Tel: +1 315 598 7121
DS Brookes
Tel: +44 (0) 121 522 0030
Mattec
Tel: +44 (0) 1909 561544
Sabic Europe
Tel +31 (46) 7222222





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Applied Market Information
Colines
Davis-Standard
DS Brookes
Mattec
Sabic Europe