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An ecological rewinder, new colours for recycled plastics, sparkling effects, and high clarity polypropylene films - all made a debut at K 2007

The strike by some train workers in Germany during K 2007 did not deter more than 240,000 visitors from attending the show. This year’s event was a host to some interesting debuts and live demonstrations.

A significant launch at the expo was the twin shaft cantilever slitter rewinder from Atlas Converting Equipment and Bobst. Targeted at converters who produce lower volumes of flexible materials, the Titan ER610 Ecological Rewinder can process 1,350mm and 1,650mm web widths at a running speed of 450m/min.

Speaking at the launch, Alan Johnson, head of slitting rewinding product line at Bobst, said: “The ER610 is a one piece compact construction that offers an ecological and cost effective solution”. The minimum slit width is 50mm with a maximum rewind diameter of 610mm on twin cantilever differential rewind shafts. The new machine also features an integral edge trim extraction system and an integral shaftless fixed height unwind stand with a pneumatically controlled braking system.

During the expo, Bobst bagged orders for its new slitter rewinder. The ER610 will be delivered to Turkish flexible packaging materials producer Nural Plastik in December this year.

Also launched in Düsseldorf, was Rotomec’s latest generation duplex laminator – the CL 850. Further development of the machine’s register control is said to enable reading of the longitudinal and lateral register on pre-printed material mark to mark.

Greener choice

Examples of attractive packaging manufactured from recycled materials were on display at the stand of Clariant Masterbatches. The new Enigma high contrast colours and effects are said to bring ‘glamour’ to containers that are made from post consumer recycled (PCR) polyolefin resin. The reflective elements of the new colour system are made to stand out from the base colour. This is achieved by pairing warm with cool colours, aggressive with recessive colours, or pairing complementary colours. The company showed how its new colours – Cayenne Fire, Light on Water and Green Apple – can overcome the gray cast that is typical of PCR.

In response to increased demand for fully biodegradable packaging, Clariant also showcased its recently launched range of fully compostable natural colours, the Renol-natur, which are made entirely from plants.

There were other innovations in the inks and colour market. Colortrend, a subsidiary of Evonik Industries (formerly Degussa), demonstrated two off-line colour mixing systems – Polytrend Color Infusion and Polytrend Color Infusion Plus. The advanced version allows mixing and feeding of the desired colours at the point where the plastics is processed to a semifinished or end product. “With our metering and mixing systems, the customer no longer needs to buy ready-mixed colours, but can mix them himself to produce the desired hue,” said Dr Martin Welp, managing director of Evonik Colortrend.

Nordic appeal

At K 2007, Ciba showed a host of new products designed to add colour and appeal to plastics. The Xymara Nordic is a new range of effect pigments that attracted a huge interest from the visitors. The new pigments reflect the natural shades and effects of frost, gold, heather, ocean, pine and sunset. “Xymara Nordic pigments offer an entire palette of combinations without any limitations,” said Nicole End, marketing manager at Ciba. The pigments are claimed to allow the creation of unique shades and designs, lending brilliance, sparkle and glitter, and increasing transparency or emphasizing opacity, as required.

Another highlight at the company’s stand was the new generation diketo-pyrrolo-pyrrole pigment, the Cromophtal DPP Red TFP. With its high transparency, brilliance and colour strength, this ‘hot’ new red is recommended for polyolefin packaging and PVC applications.

Ciba also showcased its recently launched Quicksilver SF-02, a ready-to-use flatbed screen printing ink that offers pinhole-free mirror effect on a wide range of plastic substrates.

Additives launched by the company included a light stabilizer for thermoplastic polyurethanes and a high performance stabilizer for polyolefins. Irgaclear XT 386, a clarifier for PP, is said to offer “outstanding see-through clarity at low concentration”.

More clarity

Addressing the needs of clarity for PP was the new clarifier from Milliken. Millad NX8000 is said to deliver “previously unattainable levels of clarity”, improving clear polypropylene’s ability to substitute clear materials such glass. The new clarifier offers a 50 per cent reduction in haze, says the company.

Milliken also introduced a hyper-nucleating agent, the Hyperform HPN-20E for both PP and PE. Johnny Netzloff, global market manager for polypropylene nucleation at Milliken Chemical said: “Hyperform HPN-20E’s novelty for polypropylene lies in its versatility. It has a unique ability to improve product (resin) performance and offer many enhancements without negatively affecting the material’s dimensional and physical requirements.”

Borealis presented new materials for advanced packaging applications in Düsseldorf, showcasing what it calls the first polypropylene heterophasic copolymer packaging film grade “offering high ductility and transparency”. The new Borpact BC918CF is said to be ideal for retortable stand-up pouches, label films and carrier films for peelable lidding. The grade’s toughness is said to prevent brittleness on blown film lines. “It allows significant downgauging of the film compared to standard block copolymers, resulting in material and cost savings of up to 20 per cent,” Boreali says.

German chemical company Wacker presented a range of products at the expo including Geniomer films that can be used to co-extrude protective film and films for labels. The thermoplastics is said to have good release properties and lend surfaces pleasant haptic effects. Wacker also gave live demonstrations of the new Elastosil C system that is said to make it possible to produce reusable, precision fit, fabric reinforced silicone vacuum bags by a spray-up or lay-up method.

Quality inspection

Also on display at K 2007, were the inspection systems from Isra Vision. These not only inspect the printing quality but also document and store all results. This means that it is possible to instantly call up the overall results and, for example statistics, as live trend as well as a complete history. Moreover, Isra’s Quickteach Advanced Classification module is said to facilitate fast and secure defect classification while the Data Mining Tool is claimed to improve the process efficiency.

In Düsseldorf, Erhardt+Leimer focused on Elsis, a surface inspection system for optical, pharmaceutical and food packaging films. E+L says the transparency of the new system has been increased to enhance quality control and process optimization. Roll zoom, single roll protocols, extended statistical functions and the identification of repetitive defects are some of the features of the system. The company also displayed Elscan, a new software for colour comparison with an expanded field of view.

Live demonstrations

Visitors at the show also had a chance to witness demonstrations of many developments in the blown film extrusion market.

The highlight of the Windmöller & Hölscher stand was the Varex blown film extrusion line with a working width of 1,600mm. The line is capable of a film output of 650kg/hour with a 250mm die. It is equipped with the Maxicone C die, which “can handle extreme layer ratios, enhance film quality, allow for even shorter change-over times, and minimized scrap rates”. Varex is also equipped with Multicool D, an external film cooling system.

The second W&H exhibit was the Polyrex BV, a film sealing machine for the production of patch reinforced punched handgrip carriers. The new model was demonstrated with two different bag sizes and wide bags with panoramic prints attracted many visitors. In order to reduce downtime, the machine features motorized positioning of the processing stations and a quick change tool system for the die cutter. A recently developed automation feature, which is available as an option, allows for prepositioning of the handle die cutter, preheating station and patch application assembly based on stored product data.

Amongst many other exhibits, Reifenhäuser presented its five layer blown film line, REI2cool with 1,700mm width for polyolefin and barrier structures. The line is capable of producing films up to 660kg/hour with a 300mm die, at a die factor of 2.2. The second Reifenhäuser highlight was the three layer FFS line with a 180mm die capable of producing tubular film of 550mm width.

Kiefel Extrusion demonstrated the high output capability of its Kirion three layer blown film line. Through a special interior cooling mechanism, further enhanced screw designs, and new high shear and mixing zones, the new Kirion is said to be capable of a throughput of up to 800kg/hour with a 400mm die diameter. Kiefel says its new cooling systems – the Perfect Cool and Enhanced Cooling Package – help in doubling the output.

Davis-Standard showcased an upgraded version of its Euro Blue extruder at K. The Euro Blue II is claimed to offer higher specifications and processing rates at a reasonable cost.

Laem System’s diverse range of high speed secondary slitter rewinders and converting machines for flexible packaging also attracted many visitors. The RB 2 slitter rewinder uses a dual slitting method – razor blades and circular knives – enabling the processing of almost all web materials at widths of up to 1,600mm.

The new developments and interesting demonstrations ensured that the mood among the 3,100 exhibitors and the visitors at K2007 remained upbeat throughout the show. Ulrich Reifenhäuser, chairman of the K 2007 exhibitor council, summed it up in a nutshell: “We’re heading home in the best of moods!”

The next K in Düsseldorf will be held between October 27 to November 3, 2010.



Contacts

K 2007
Tel: +49 (0) 211 4560 240
Bobst Group
Tel: +44 (0) 1527 519 700
Borealis
Tel: +43 (0) 122 4000
Ciba Specialty Chemicals
Tel: +41 61 636 5081
Clariant Masterbatches
Tel: +1 401 438 4080
Davis-Standard
Tel: +1 315 598 7121
Evonik Industries (formerly Degussa)
Tel: +49 201 1 77 38 99
Erhardt+Leimer
Tel: +49 (0) 821 2435 599
Isra Vision
Tel: +49 6151 948 0
Kiefel Extrusion
Tel: +49 (0) 6241 902 117
Laem System
Tel: +39 042 45579
Milliken Europe
Tel: +32 9 265 1136
Reifenhäuser Extrusion
Tel:+49 (0) 2241 481 0
Wacker Chemie
Tel: +49 89 6279 1601
Windmöller & Hölscher
Tel: +49 5481 14 2929





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K 2007
Bobst Group
Borealis
Ciba Specialty Chemicals
Clariant Masterbatches
Davis-Standard
Evonik Industries
Erhardt+Leimer
Isra Vision
Kiefel Extrusion
Laem System
Milliken Europe
Reifenhäuser Extrusion
Wacker Chemie
Windmoeller & Hoelscher