Embalcer doubles PET strap extrusion capacity

Embalcer, the only Portuguese company producing plastic strap, invested 3 M€ in a new PET strapping extrusion line, reinforcing its position as one of the main European industries in this area.
This investment allows Embalcer to duplicate its production capacity, to reinforce its response ability with short delivery time and to present new references and new products to replace the stainless steel strapping.
image_thumb[1]New references include strapping with 19, 25 and 32 mm width (tensioning capacity up to 1500kg) for average/high loads for application in industries such as wood and furniture, ceramics, bricks and tiles, blocks and paver, corrugated, paper, aluminum profiles among others.
Embalcer has a strong position as a strategic partner in the packaging area, providing complete strapping solutions (strap, equipment ans service), and otlher end of line solutions for all kind of industries.
Embalcer will exhibiting in INTERPACK next May.

EUROMAP energy recommendations and label

imageA broad alliance of many injection moulding machine manufacturers has succeeded in developing the EUROMAP energy measurement standards EUROMAP 60.1 and EUROMAP 60.2 for this category of machines. EUROMAP 60.1 (ckick to read) provides an initial overview of machinery-related energy consumption. EUROMAP 60.2 also enables complex, customer-specific injection moulding applications to be compared in relation to the product.With these standards for measuring specific energy consumption, manufacturers are facing up to their responsibility: the transparency the standards provide requires them to develop technologies that are increasingly more efficient in their use of energy. The EUROMAP Energy Efficiency Label is a voluntary label with a common technical base for machine comparison.
There are also energy measurement standards for extrusion blow moulding machines (EUROMAP 46 part 1, EUROMAP 46 part 2), and others, for thermoforming for example, are under development.

Torninova shows new 3250 mm bubble wrap line

imageThe new COEX BUBBLE™ line will be demontrated by Torninova (Perugia, Italy) during a "open house" show from 29 to 31 january. With maximum production speed  of 135 m/mim, and a output of 1250 kg/h, this new line works with a new and patented twin-screw system and produces bubble wrap film with 10 layers, including a polyamide barrier layer.
Acording to Torninova, the new big line has the ability to produce 30 g/m2 bubble wrap with 100% recycled material. Raw materials with extremely different melt indexes can be mixed thanks to the new patented twin-screw extruder technology. Another feature is the new TRIPLEX winder, with full automatic core loading, the ability to produce coreless rolls in line and to switch from core to coreless without sopping the machine.
Bubble wrap films, with large and diverse applications, can be coextruded and formed at high speeds, while keeping bubble resistance and roundness. The new COEX BUBBLE™ has its cast cylinders placed between the die lips and forming cylinder.

Renewables and regulations in the PVC industry

The PVC compounding industry has been shaken up in recent years by changes in chemical regulations that have removed some traditional additives from the marketplace and put new emphasis on renewable aspects including bio-based plasticisers and recycling.  There have been many voluntary agreements within the PVC associations to make advances ahead of any legal requirement and this has made them a leader in areas like recycling.  This year in Europe there will be more changes in recipes as standard biocides used in protecting many outdoor applications such as waterproof covers will have to be replaced with alternatives.  There are also discussions as to whether some bio-based ingredients require a biocide to prevent degradation. 

Applied Market Information (AMI) has organised a forum to discuss the changes at the 5th international compounding conference PVC Formulation 2013, held from 12th-14th March 2013 in Dusseldorf, Germany.  This event brings together the global vinyl industry to review new PVC additives, recipes, technology, legislation and market drivers. Vinnolit has presented a review of the PVC market in Europe, followed by a look at the PVC market in the growing Turkish economy by Mr. Ali Murat Ayar.

The profile producer Deceuninck gave a keynote paper on the advances in responsible action on the theme reduce, reuse and recover.  Reagens is part of a group aiming for the sustainable use of additives and the CEO Dr Ettore Nanni will outline this project.  The European Union has legislated against the use of heavy metals and this has affected PVC stabilization with moves away from very effective lead formulation in profiles, to new products such as Ca/Zn.  Baerlocher is showing stabilization systems in the construction industry. Naturally occurring minerals are useful not only as fillers but also as active ingredients like flame retardants and this will be demonstrated by Minelco.  Phosphate esters have flame retardant effects and plasticising properties: Lanxess points to the effect of these additives on PVC compound properties in combination with antimony trioxide, zinc borate and fillers.

The status of the current plasticisers market will be presented by the European Council for Plasticisers and Intermediates (ECPI).  There is a growing trend in the plastics industry for bio-based and natural materials. In the PVC industry this is mainly seen in the bio-based plasticisers.  In the US this gives a high percentage of renewable carbon for the USDA Biopreferred programme.  The South Americans have vast land areas for crop development and have taken a lead in supplying bio-plasticisers.  Varteco Quimica Iberica from Argentina will give an overview of this market, while PETROM – Petroquimica Mogi Das Cruzes of Brazil with its partner Proviron Functional Chemicals will show some of the new plasticisers. Hallstar has also developed natural products for this market. However, what are the effects on the rest of the recipe of this substitution?  Are these materials so biodegradable that they need microbicides to preserve the vinyl?  

The EU Biocides Directive is going to affect a commonly used ingredient: OBPA antimicrobials which are widely used in outdoor applications as a preservative will be banned. Akcros Chemicals will review the changes and the alternative formulations, and some of the provisional data on the potential need for biocides when using bio-sourced ingredients.  From Switzerland, Sanitized has studied antimicrobial protection for PVC with bio-based plasticisers.

PVC is widely used in food packaging particularly as film, and a producer and expert service provider Polycomply Hoechst will review the current standards.  From the flooring manufacturer’s viewpoint, James Halstead/Polyflor will outline the industry requirements. 

Many factors affect PVC compounding: Chemson will examine the effect and regulation of humidity. Impact strength alongside thermal stability will be the topic of Dow. Foaming is a growing technology to reduce material use and weight: Kaneka Belgium is looking at more foam with less additives.  Processing aids like PE waxes will be discussed by BASF.  Product appeal is enhanced with a good colour range and Holland Colours specialises in the PVC area.

What are the alternative additives for formulations?  What are the requirements of end-users? Are there improvements in PVC processing? How are PVC markets developing?  Is it feasible to incorporate recyclate?  These are some of the debating points at PVC Formulation 2013 conference.

Onex to acquire KraussMaffei

Onex Corporation, a North American private equity firm, has agreed to acquire KraussMaffei Group from Madison Capital, the owner of KraussMaffei Group since 2006, for €568 million. The transaction is anticipated to close by March 31, 2013 subject to customary conditions und regulatory approvals.
KraussMaffei is the first European-based investment for Onex Partners III. In 2012, KraussMaffei made successful steps to strengthen the business in its core markets as well as to expand its global presence in growing markets, particularly the BRIC countries and Asia.
The KraussMaffei Group is among the world’s leading suppliers of injection and reaction molding and extrusion machinery and systems, under the KraussMaffei, KraussMaffei Berstorff and Netstal brands, with a strong reputation the automotive, packaging, medical, construction, electrical, electronics and home appliance industries. The international KraussMaffei Group currently employs around 4,000 people. With a global network of more than 30 subsidiaries and more than 10 production plants, supported by around 570 sales and service partners, the company is close to customers around the world.
Onex is one of North America’s oldest and most successful private equity firms. In total, the company manages approximately $14 billion, of which $9 billion is third-party capital. As well, Onex invests its own proprietary capital of approximately $5 billion directly and as a substantial limited partner in its Funds. Onex’ businesses have assets of $39 billion, generate annual revenues of $34 billion and employ approximately 235,000 people worldwide. With a Onex acquired Husky International Ltd in December 2007 for $622 million. On June 2011, Onex completed the sale of Husky International for $2.1 billion.

WPC with 20 % annual growth

image[3]Plastics with natural fiber additives are booming worldwide. Decking profiles in WPC now have annual growth rates of around 20 percent and are among the biggest expansion segments in the plastics industry. The decisive factors apart from sustainability (due to the high proportion of renewable raw materials) are above all the technical advantages this material offers. The construction industry in particular is finding constant new applications for it. Gruber Extrusion (Pettenbach, Austria) claims to be the leader in the development of new and innovative products in this field.

WPC/BPC solutions

“We are expecting to see even further growth for WPC products soon. The incredible diversity and extension of the product range – such as the innovative housing systems or wall paneling – give this material enormous potential”, Richard Füsslberger, CEO of Gruber Extrusion said. The Upper Austrian extrusion experts see themselves primarily as contact partners for new WPC (Wood Plastic Composite) / BPC (Bio Plastic Composite) solutions. The so-called “biobased materials” (natural fiber composite materials) are ever-more important in a wide range of industries and not only because of their resource-saving sustainability. The decisive factor is above all in the technical advantages these materials offer. The modern and environmentally friendly material is – depending on the formula – tougher and longer-lasting than wood.  The product properties – no pre-treatment or painting needed, slip resistant, splinter and crack free, easy to care for – mean WPC products are predestined to take over outdoor tasks. Additional advantages compared with timber include much lower lifetime costs and the possibility for using recycled materials in WPC products. Continuous further development such as the combination of in-line process foamed WPC profiles, down to the use of WPC for pencils is bringing constant expansion to the range of applications.

EDI has acquired Premier Dies

The Chippewa Falls (Wisconsin, USA) flat dies makers join forces. Extrusion Dies Industries LLC, a specialist in flat dies and extrusion coating dies, has acquired Premier Dies Corp., a specialist in slot dies for extrusion coating, flat dies for cast film and sheet, dies for blown film, feedblocks for coextrusion and dies for compounding and pelltetizing.
"The combination of EDI’s global distribution and Premier’s technology will help the company gain new business in existing and emerging markets", said Gary Edwards EDI’s CEO.