March/April March/A / pril 2018 /A Volume 20 | Issue 02
Saving time corners
Meusburger cover story Page 12
Plast 2018 and NPE 2018 exhibitor previews inside
Packaged for performance Shortest cycle times, maximum output and highest process stability. Packed in a clean, solid and economical system. That is how the injection moulding solutions of ENGEL packaging secure your productivity. Through the entire range: from 1 gramme caps and closures to over 100 kilogramme industrial containers. Reliable. Global. Committed to partnership. This is ENGEL packaging. Packaged for performance. Through the entire range. From caps and closures to the industrial container. With ENGEL packaging.
IN THIS ISSUE Pg 6
AUTOMATION AND ROBOTICS
One of the highlights of the European plastics industry calendar is Arburg’s Technology Days. EPPM sent Assistant Editor John Carlon to the Black Forest to report on last month’s event. We also explore the sustainability case to be made for both landfill and incineration.
Industry 4.0 is bringing the need for automation to every plastics processor in Europe. We look at the automation technology and software that is revolutionising systems that were once manual.
Pg 12 COVER STORY Meusburger knows how to save customers time without compromising on quality. Once more the Austrian mould and tool making giant is our cover star.
Pg 14 SPRA AWARDS The SPRA Dinner Dance was a great opportunity for EPPM to meet the next generation of plastics innovators. We spoke to the three students of Edinburgh Napier University who have been recognised for their excellence in polymer science.
Pg 16 PACKAGING Packaging needs an image change and Jabil is one of the companies working to improve its PR and that of its clients - some of the world’s biggest brands. We also look at some of the developments sending ripples through this gigantic sector.
Pg 22 PIPE AND PROFILE
Volume 20 Issue 02
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Pg 30 THERMOFORMING Thermoforming technology is part of the manufacturing canon. We share some of the stories that piqued our interest in this corner of plastics processing.
Pg 34 PLAST 2018 PREVIEW Italy’s plastics machinery demand is enjoying a prosperous period overseas, laying solid groundwork for PLAST 2018, the jewel in the corona for the Italian plastics industry.
production art & production robert wood
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NPE PREVIEW Put on your shades because the international plastics community is looking right at the sunshine state in May, as we pack our bags for NPE 2018.
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EUREKA Fancy going plogging this weekend? If you haven’t tried it yet, it won’t be long before you do, as plogging is the new fitness fad that cleans up plastic litter from the environment while you sweat.
Plastic pipe technology has to meet so many challenges, be it scale, corrosion, or sustainability. We look at the champions of this field and their innovations and ideas.
© March/April 2018 While every attempt has been made to ensure that the information contained within European Plastic Product Manufacturer is accurate, the publisher accepts no liability for information published in error, or for views expressed. All rights for European Plastic Product Manufacturer are reserved, and reproduction in part or whole without written permission is strictly prohibited.
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From The Editor
Big waves Welcome to what will be one of EPPM’s most well-travelled editions of the year, as we are on-site at NPE2018 in Florida, the VinylPlus Sustainability Forum in Madrid, and PLAST 2018 in Milan. Whether you are one of our regular subscribers or if this is your first time picking up a copy of EPPM at one of the big calendar events we’re present at, I am sure the topics inside will resonate with you, particularly the matters raised in our spotlight features on packaging and automation. Plastic packaging is in the public consciousness as waste sitting on the surface of the ocean washes in and out of the papers like waves on a beach. A great deal is being said about the unpleasantness of the situation poor waste management has created, but the media is bereft of feasible solutions, perhaps because these solutions come enrobed in controversy? Take landfill and incineration for example. Both are established end-points for waste, but can a sustainability case be made for either of them? These are the questions the plastics industry is sticking its neck out to answer in this edition of EPPM.
The noise being made around ocean plastics hasn’t drowned out the unstoppable force of Industry 4.0
Packaging is also a fertile breeding ground for consumer innovation, and Jabil is one pioneer that is responding to the challenges of a changing landscape as ‘Amazonification’ distorts the traditional consumer thinking process leading up to the ‘zero moment of truth’ of making a purchase. We enjoyed meeting the Jabil team very much at their intimate press event earlier this year. And the noise being made around ocean plastics hasn’t drowned out the unstoppable tide of Industry 4.0, as it brings more automation and connectivity solutions to plastics processors across the board, mechanising systems that would once be manual. Automation and robotics therefore, is crucial for the plastics industry and its customers, which is why we home in on both the software, and the systems that are making the smart factory a reality for many. For those of you attending the big events covered in this exciting issue, I wish you successful and safe trips and maybe I’ll see you there? Rose Brooke, Editor
Moulding mastery and virtual technology in Arburg Technology Days Arburg played host to some 6,300 guests at its 2018 Technology Days - a highlight in the industry calendar. EPPM was there, taking in the latest trends in plastics processing. WORDS | John Carlon
rburg is rightly proud of the eminence of its Technology Days – it has become an annual touchstone for the injection moulding technology sector to discern the direction of one of Germany’s injection moulding pioneers.
The showcase area was alive with moulding action, highlighting the company’s expertise in building ‘smart’ machines that turn out reliably perfect plastic products
For plastics processors, it’s an indulgence akin to a slice of the local Black Forest gateau to join the throng, and taste the cutting edge of mould tech. The firm has plenty to highlight, whether strong demand for the electric machines, a new remote assistance service or triple ISO certification for its in-house training scheme.
6,300 visitors of 54 nationalities journeyed to the misty forests and bucolic pastures of the Schwartzwald, to find themselves in the high-tech glass and steel expansive Arburg plant in Lossburg, southern Germany.
Success story Even as one of the technology pioneers in injection moulding, Arburg has been riding a strong sales year – Finance Director Jürgen Boll declared “our success story keeps on going”, as he announced 2017 secured a consolidated turnover of €680 million (£595 million), compared to €636 million in 2016, and €596 million the year before. On the Technology Day tour, guided by Arburg’s technology director, Heinz Gaub, the showcase area was alive with moulding action, highlighting the company’s expertise in building ‘smart’ machines that turn out reliably perfect plastic products. The Allrounder arena had injection moulding machinery from light to heavy tonnage, producing keyboard keys, automotive parts, harnesses and plastic spoons. Lightweighting for automotive is a clear trend, and the Allrounders, particularly the 630 H, were highlighting the progress in Mucell and Profoam technology - hollow fibre glass and spherical cavities were put straight into the injected material, creating high strength and lightweight components.
Prototyping prestige Onwards from the scale of the Allrounder arena, Gaub continued to show the additive manufacturing specialism in Arburg’s Freeformer area, specialising in 3D printing for industrial applications. The Freeformer centre is where Arburg shows finessed work to develop new products. The room is the epicentre of Arburg’s work on benchmark and prototype products, where the machines run 24/7. In addition to amorphous standard granulates such as ABS, PA and PC, the material spectrum includes, elastic TPU and semi-crystalline PP. The processing of PMMA and a medically approved SEBS with a hardness of 28 Shore A (Cawiton PR13576) was presented for the first time at a Technology Day. From the cutting edge of industrial additive manufacturing, the Arburg Technology Days tour went on to show its historic display, with its industrial heritage and earliest moulding machinery, as the spring sunshine dappled a tranquil pair of Japanese gardens at the heart of the Arburg complex, offering a breathing space among the rapt crowds and dynamic machinery. The Arburg Efficiency area presented six new remote assistance packages: a support package letting the moulding experts view operators’ actions remotely; fast paremeter setting help; safety parameter optimisation; constant monitoring to adapt processes to the right reference curve; a production package for greater programming freedom; and service packaging where Arburg can access adjustment data and provide a release gateway to aid service for operators. The package contains tunnel and encoded data transfer via cloud for remote access.
The extensive plant and heat of technology is enough to work up a hearty appetite, and Arburg even have sausage production covered – its canteen has an Industry 4.0 machining centre delivering Wurst for trainees’ lunches. www.arburg.com > Allrounder injection 2100, fitted with new Gestica controller, producing screw caps which fall direct into the packaging.
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From the Efficiency Packages, Arburg flagged its ‘For Visions Area’. The virtual reality, ‘virtual twin’ machines use machinery CAD to show the operator, on a VR headset, the product set up, drive mechanics and machine parts from all angles and orientations, with larger-than-life viewings. Using augmented reality, Arburg has also developed a virtual system to train its customers, improving the accessibility of process learning. The visor view shows a virtual flipchart next to the machine, to guide the operator through maintenance jobs. From virtual reality, visitors could then see the hard graft of machine assembly on the factory floor, with huge and heavy components which were seamlessly delivered straight into production.
+ 49 821 5906-0 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Think youâ€™re hard enough?
The new instruments are still easy to navigate through all the functionality, making it easy for an operator to learn the machine operating routine.
Intuitive software and digital/optical image evaluation are putting the new generation of the FH Series ahead of the competition for hardness testing. WORDS | Nigel Davies
inius Olsen has introduced a new generation of instruments to its highly successful FH Series of hardness testers, with the launch of the new Micro Vickers, Vickers and Micro Brinell FH3 and FH14.
The machines improve on conventional hardness testing methods, with the introduction of new features such as digital/optical image evaluation and combined intuitive operator software, helping eliminate operator influence on final test results.
Precision, accuracy and repeatability In addition to freeing up technicians for other tasks, the automated system ensures precise sample positioning and imaging, enhanced accuracy, an extremely high level of repeatability and overall increased productivity. It again helps eliminate operator-related errors caused by eye strain, fatigue and inevitable inconsistencies, which can be a common problem in micro hardness testing. "We have six models in the FH14 segment with a load range of 1gram to 31.25 Kgf. The FH14 Series of testers can do micro/macro Vickers, Knoop and by request the FH14 can do light force Brinell testing as well. Itâ€™s a marvellous combination of testing in one package," said Malloy.
The incorporation of a unique force actuator system, which utilises an electronically controlled closed loop system and advanced force sensor technology, also allows for forced feedback data to achieve absolute accuracy, reliability and repeatability on each of the forces used for a specific test.
"The FH3 series carries many of the same attributes of the FH14 series but increases the amount of space to accommodate the larger than normal samples. This is done with two different models and a load range of 200 grams to 62.5 Kgf â€“ not only is the sample accommodations increased from the FH14 series but the load range is expanded to higher Vickers and Brinell testing.
Superior quality, innovative software "In addition to the advanced electromechanical force application system, the FH-3 offers superior quality mechanical and optical components, as well as innovative software functions of I-Touch workflow control," said Sean Malloy, Hardness Application Testing and Technical Specialist at Tinius Olsen.
"These two models will complement each other with their excellent load range and advanced technology, notwithstanding the exceptional value they will bring to the testing industry that demands testing equipment, technical support and service excellence all from the same company - a one stop shop if you like."
"This allows file storing, test program setting and storing, limit settings, conversions to other hardness scales, system setup and convex and concave test settings that contribute to the high reproducibility of test results." "The new instruments are still easy to navigate through all the functionality, making it easy for an operator to learn the machine operating routine. Therefore training is simplified. There is also the ability to store results with pictures, which enables recall of those pictures for re-evaluation of the measuring process."
The new FH3 and FH14 Series are also designed to be incorporated within an automated system, which collects data from multiple machines performing tests simultaneously. This can be a combination of tensile, dimensional, hardness and flexure testing, with all samples being robot-fed.
The e-mobility trend is gaining momentum, particularly in view of issues such as resource preservation and climate protection. With our innovative materials, we are already contributing to the ongoing process of making motor vehicles more lightweight and therefore eco-friendly. Our high-tech Durethan® and Pocan® thermoplastics and Tepex® nylon composite sheets open up new possibilities in structural engineering and design. With our flameretardant product grades, we offer custom solutions specifically for plugs, connectors, mounting elements and housings in electronic components. In this way, quality from LANXESS is helping to shape future mobility. e-mobility.lanxess.com
Landfill or incineration: Is there a sustainability case to be made? Today, unrecyclable plastics face a fork in the road in the waste stream: incineration or landfill. EPPM Editor Rose Brooke explores if a sustainability case can be made for either of these options. WORDS | Rose Brooke
urope has to slash its waste to landfill volumes to just 25 per cent of all municipal waste by 2025 - and with the Chinese ban on importing waste from other countries, this presents an enormous challenge for the region. When it comes to plastics and any other materials that have reached the end of their usable life, there are three likely routes for them to take: they can be recycled, incinerated or landfilled. Of these three, recycling is the most environmentally attractive and is held as the ideal outcome to close the plastics circular economy loop. Landfilling is - to many - the most undesirable and must be greatly reduced. Indeed, landfilling is widely considered beyond even a last resort to zero waste lobby groups. Then in the middle, we have incineration or waste-toenergy - an environmentally ambiguous endgame for plastic waste.
Energy recovery can be the more sustainable solution, and it is definitely the better option than landfilling plastic waste, which should not happen at all
region. There are far fewer in Eastern Europe where landfill is still the most-utilised form of waste management and recycling systems are still being developed. Landfilling has been widely declared an unsuitable waste management route, with the European Commission describing landfill as "the least preferable" option. There are numerous public and environmental health reasons why landfilling is undesirable and unsustainable. Just as coal is being scraped from the mines of the world like the last ice cream in the tub, the rubbish bins of the world are overflowing, pushing the earth up to as much as 150 metres high across sites spanning hundreds of acres, such as the Puente Hills landfill in Los Angeles, US.
'Zero waste to landfill' is an admirable target for any country or organisation to set out, but if that is the case then unless a product can be reused or repurposed, the product reaches a fork in the road: recycling or waste-to-energy. There are many reasons why the recycling path may be blocked for that product. Perhaps the product is made of mixed materials that cannot be separated chemically or mechanically and therefore it cannot be recycled effectively, or the infrastructure for recycling and processing the materials as a recycled material simply does not exist. If it cannot go to landfill, then the item is bound for waste-to-energy.
In these vast rubbish sites, toxic chemicals are leeching into the soil, poisoning groundwater,
Waste for heat and electricity We are taught early on that burning plastics is unacceptable because plastic releases toxins into the atmosphere when burned. But waste-to-energy converts the heat generated in the incineration process into energy.
'The least preferable option' In Europe, nearly a quarter of all municipal waste (90 million tonnes) ends up being directed to waste-to-energy facilities. There are some 450 serving European countries altogether and according to current CEWEP (Confederation of European Waste-to-Energy Plants) data, the highest concentration of these plants is in France (126 facilities), Italy (40 facilities) and the UK (37 units), with clusters in Scandinavia and the Benelux
According to CEWEP, 90 million tonnes of waste that cannot be recycled in Europe is taken to waste-to-energy plants, where it is incinerated to produce the 39 billion kWk of electricity supplying 18 million homes, and 90 billion kWh in heat for 15.2 million homes. Burning plastic may be environmentally reprehensible in principal, but the fact that waste-to-energy plants prevent between 10 million and 49 million Puente Hills landfill in Los Angeles, US via Wikimedia Commons.
while the decomposing waste within releases landfill gas comprising 50 per cent methane and 50 per cent carbon dioxide.
tonnes of fossil fuels from being consumed annually is a sustainability counterweight to this.
substances of concern embedded in the waste should not re-enter the cycle and waste-to-energy takes care of them.
Modern waste-to-energy plants, CEWEP states, filter the emissions generated in incineration and between 1990 and 2000, dioxin emissions generated by Germany's waste-to-energy plants dropped to less than 0.5 grams per year from 400 grams. The amount of thermally treated waste more than doubled over this timeframe. Older facilities are also being retrofitted with these filters in order to meet clean air targets.
"For some [plastics], recycling is already today the way to go. For others, recycling might not always be the sustainable way and in these cases energy recovery can be the more sustainable solution, and it is definitely the better option than landfilling plastic waste, which should not happen at all."
Incineration provides an alternative to landfill for difficult-to-recycle plastics such as multi-material pouches, wrappers, contaminated plastics and polystyrene packaging. These materials are extremely slow to break down in the environment and cannot be repurposed as a recycled plastic material. Where landfill space is limited, incineration is preferable, while plastic makes a better fuel than most other materials as it generates a lot of energy.
Unregulated landfill There are concerns that allowing incineration a place at the table will inhibit recycling, leading to more chemistry being lost. Indeed, there are fears the Chinese waste import ban denies Europe the luxury of time to fully develop its recycling technology and infrastructure, particularly as 51 per cent of the world's exported waste used to end up in China. However, rather than being overrun with surplus waste, Managing Director at CEWEP Ella Stengler told EPPM that there is hardly any more waste arriving at European incineration facilities, prompting fears the waste is being sold on to other countries in Asia and Africa where it is likely to be landfilled at poorly-regulated sites. Far better, she said, that the waste is sorted and what can be recycled is recycled and what has to be incinerated goes to waste-to-energy. "Waste-to-energy fulfils a hygienic task for our society," said Stengler. "This means
Balancing incineration with recycling Stengler is not in favour of incineration over recycling, rather finding the right balance and using all the technologies available. The European Commission's January 2018 interface between Chemicals, Products and Waste Legislation states that the two main objectives of the circular economy are recycling, and to reduce the presence of substances of concern. Only quality recyclates, Stengler stated, are accepted by the market. "We cannot emphasise enough the importance of quality for recycling," she said, nevertheless, Stengler does not believe waste-to-energy threatens the incentive to recycle plastics. "Capping waste-to-energy would not incentivise recycling because it deals with the rejects of recycling and waste that are not good enough for recycling. Quality recycling is only possible if waste-to-energy takes care of the components in the waste that are not suitable for recycling."
Rethinking landfill Materials that are not good enough for recycling for whatever reason may have a different fate altogether, however. Keith Freegard, Director at Axion Polymers, believes that if we take a fresh look at how we approach landfill, there is no need to ever lose valuable chemistry from burning polymer products instead of reprocessing
The Rinterzelt waste incineration facility, built in Austria in 1980
them - even if we cannot yet reprocess them using today's technology. Freegard is not staunch anti-incineration but believes burning long-life carbon such as plastic products is inefficient, as the molecules will end up in the atmosphere. Unlike landfill, where the materials can be mined and recovered at a later date, 'skyfill' - as Freegard calls it - loses that chemistry into the atmosphere with devastating environmental consequences. There is a subset of waste, he believes, that should be directed towards incineration, predominantly short-life, renewable carbon such as paper, cotton wool, nappies, paper food packaging with food waste contamination and sanitary products. "Right now, it might only make sense to separate out PET bottles and HDPE bottles and turn that into a recycled material, but all the stuff I'm left with I should accept some sort of stewardship for. "It might be better separating the plastics and storing them in a controlled cell in a landfill site ... creating your own oil well that you can got to in the future to drill the oil out when the economics and technology suits down the line." By separating the short-life carbon, the food waste and the organic waste for incineration, directing the plastics to landfill will not have as many hazardous side effects, Freegard explained.
Zero plastics to incineration "I sometimes think landfill gets a really hard time," he said. "Uncontrolled landfill, rotting away, producing gas is bad, but if we sort the long life carbon from the renewables and only combust the renewables, locking the long term carbon molecules into landfill cells, you're creating your oil field of the future. If it's 90 per cent plastic in a landfill cell, it wouldn't be a methane risk." By 2020, the European Commission dictates that member states must prepare 50 per cent of its waste for re-use and recycling, with landfill tax incentivising recycling schemes. However, established waste-toenergy contracts with local authorities runs the risk of pushing materials into wasteto-energy that could be mined for their chemical properties later on. Nevertheless, Europe has to meet waste management targets of cutting waste to landfill to just 25 per cent by 2025 and CEWEP states that this will not be possible looking at all the data available to us today without waste-to-energy. "When I look at Eurostat figures, none of the Member States who landfilled less than 25 per cent of their municipal waste achieve this without waste-to-energy," she explained. "Waste-to-energy is a prerequisite for both landfill diversion and quality recycling."
Saving time corners
At Meusburger the range of products and services is continuously adapted to meet the customers’ needs. The industry leader talks to EPPM about several product innovations in the areas of mould making and die making. WORDS | Norman Jussel, Business Develop Manager, Meusburger
The plug-in type bridges are now also available as E 2828 for the RPL-Stäubli system and E 2390 for the US system. This saves time during mould assembly and enables easy deflection of cooling channels on the mould. The extension tube can be easily cut to length and individually adjusted to the bridge length.
The largest range of temperature regulation solutions for mould making
Shortest tool change times and highest process reliability
Meusburger is constantly expanding its range of temperature regulation solutions, which leads to a higher level of safety in operation as well as design and usage time savings. New in the range are temperature regulation components with sealant, plug-in type bridges and the Stäubli RMI Multi coupler system.
The RMI multi coupler system from Stäubli consists of a mould side and a machine side. The E 2830 Multi coupler on the mould side is mounted on the mould base and connected to the individual fittings. This spares the user the time-consuming task of connecting every single cooling circuit for every startup of the mould. The E 2833 Multi coupler on the machine side offers different connection options for coolant hoses. It connects to the temperature control unit and ensures quick and trouble-free coupling in one work step. The automatic locking during the coupling and the anti-twist design guarantee highest safety during the operation.
Save time using temperature regulation components with sealant Ready-applied sealant ensures shorter assembly times, since the user is spared the laborious application of the sealing bands. In addition, thanks to reliable sealing, leakage is prevented up to 150°C. The new temperature regulation components are available in the standard coupling system as E 2000 D fitting with free flow and as E 2020 D in the shut-off variant. For reliable sealing of cooling circuits, Meusburger offers the E 2074 -tapered screw plug with sealant.
Plug-in type bridges
wice a year, Meusburger launches several product innovations in the areas of mould making and die making. Our first products highlight in mould making this year were the hydraulic cylinders. Meusburger presented further innovations in this area such as the ejectors and electrical components, slide systems and marking stamps, temperature regulation components and centring units, as well as blocks for eroding.
As usual with Meusburger, all temperature regulation solutions described above are available from stock. The CAD data is available in the web shop with just a few clicks.
CO M PA N Y P R O F I L E Being successful with standardisation The Meusburger Group is the leading international manufacturer of high-quality standard parts, hot runner and control systems and selected workshop equipment. More than 18,500 customers all over the world make use of the numerous advantages of standardisation and benefit from the company’s over 50 years of experience in working with steel. The permanent availability of products makes the Meusburger Group the reliable and global partner for making dies, moulds, jigs and fixtures.
A reliable partner
High-precision standard parts by Meusburger optimise the entire process chain. With the consistent use of highquality standard parts, you can benefit from a large cost-saving potential in die, mould, and jigs and fixtures construction and the subsequent production of parts. All plates and bars by Meusburger are heat treated for stress relief and therefore provide a reliable basis for high-grade moulds, dies, and jigs and fixtures.
At Meusburger, the range of products and services is continuously adapted to meet the customers’ needs. Through easy ordering options, continuous availability of the products, short lead times and a reduced number of suppliers, the customer can save time and money. Clearly arranged and informative sales documents as well as top service provided by a competent team of in-house and field sales staff perfectly complete the service package.
FACT BOX Turnover in 2017
86,000 – 97 per cent availability
Standard parts and workshop equipment for making dies, moulds, jigs and fixtures; hot runners and control systems
More than 18,500 in 72 countries all over the world
Sales branches in
India, China, Turkey, the US and Mexico
Members of staff
Meusburger offers the largest range of temperature solutions for mould making.
Sustainability inspires SPRA award-winning students Sustainability, bioplastics and recycling were the inspiration behind three talented students' work. EPPM caught up with the bright sparks recognised by the SPRA. WORDS | Rose Brooke
he Scottish Plastics and Rubber Association (SPRA) annual dinner dance is a fantastic opportunity for the established innovators and decision-makers in plastics to come together, while it is also an excellent place Iâ€™m certain some to introduce the next lecturers thought generation of plastics stars to the industry.
I was bonkers
This year's event took place in Glasgow on March 9th, where the SPRA Scholarship Prize was handed to Leonardo Binetti, MSc Advanced Materials Engineering, while Highly recommended Prizes were awarded to Polly Wong, MSc Advanced Materials Engineering and Craig Bean, MEng Tons Polymer Engineering. All three are students of Edinburgh Napier University and were invited as guests of Impact Solutions. The students were kind enough to take a break from their studies to speak to EPPM. EPPM: Describe the work that led you to being recognised by the SPRA? LB: My project was based on producing a recommendation to the board of a large supermarket chain on how they should proceed with bioplastic instead of normal plastic, identifying the entire life-cycle and their true environmental impact. I'm also working on a project that involves the understanding of corrosion under insolation and I'm working on a plastic coating that could resist degradation induced by stagnant water in pipework for the oil and gas industry. PW: My initial approach was to think about a passion of mine. I vividly recall that the idea of coffee flashing
through my mind - I'm certain some lecturers thought I was bonkers. We decided to investigate coffee ground waste as a renewable reinforcement in a biopolymer composite. In the UK alone, 500,000 tonnes of coffee ground waste are produced a year. To be able to convert a valueless by-product into a cost worthy investment was my goal. CB: As part of some of my modules it's been necessary to study the different recycling processes and the environmental impact plastics are having specifically in the ocean. I hope to apply what I've learned in my future career to make improvements to existing practices and methods in the field of plastics manufacturing. EPPM: Do you apply your work to the plastics stories you see in the news? LB: Plastics exceed most other man-made products [in volume], contaminating the natural environment. My work is related to everyday stories because it explains to supermarket chains how to proceed with biodegradable plastic, which right now the global amount is less than one per cent in the plastic market, but this is expected to increase over the next five years. PW: It often frustrates me that the benefits of plastics are left unmentioned in the news. As a student, I understand that plastic materials are unavoidable and the only way approach the matter is to work with it. Alongside an increasing interest in cellulose nanomaterials development, my project was fascinating to me and I feel like I've only touched the surface of the topic. CB: Looking at the news it stands out to me that the main reason for plastics polluting the oceans is the mismanagement of plastic waste. One of the
main advantages of plastics is its inert properties and resistance to corrosion, this is the main reason plastics can be negatively portrayed on the news even though the use of plastics has become vital. EPPM: Do you believe your generation will be the one to solve some of the biggest challenges facing plastics right now? LB: Well, I am really confident to say that, because of information-sharing, our generation will be able to invent, manufacture and redesign new ways to have a better future. Innovative ideas and open minded people are inspiring to me, owing to the fact that it is possible for me to learn and then develop new ideas to have a better, a greener, cleaner world. PW: We currently exist in a Silicon Age where composite materials are often the primary options for advanced engineering applications. This exciting age opens a channel for many opportunities for research and development. In my humble opinion, bio-nanomaterials linking hand-in-hand with polymer materials is the future. CB: The plastics industry is only about 1.5-2 generations old and it has made great advancements. I see no reason that in my generation some if not most of the current challenges can be solved, whether that's by securing alternate sources for plastics e.g. bio-polymers to improve sustainability, or by developing new plastics with superior mechanical properties to replace existing materials to provide a better result. I'm inspired by the thought of the industry I am entering being integral to the success of many cutting edge scientific and engineering ventures and the improvement of existing projects. www.napier.ac.uk
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Zero moment of truth
EPPM sat down with Jabil Packaging Solutions, the biggest packaging innovator youâ€™ve never heard of, to find out how this champion of modern packaging is futureproofing brands as living spaces shrink, social media reigns, the population ages and â€˜Amazonificationâ€™ takes over. WORDS | Rose Brooke
he zero moment of truth: that crucial point in time in which a consumer puts a product into their basket.
What decides that a product will be chosen by a consumer at that zero moment of truth? And how does the consumer's thinking process differ when their shopping experience isn't Our jobs are to on the high street or in a supermarket, but browsing on a smartphone or a laptop? connect with
our customers in packaging to understand how they connect to the consumer in a meaningful way
One company that is considering the changing way people shop and respond to packaging is Jabil Packaging Solutions, a division of Jabil Inc. Jabil Packaging Solutions is an innovator that will freely admit it has lain slightly under the radar for many years. The company started out as Nypro Packaging in 2005 and has developed into an organisation that provides packaging solutions that address the challenges facing brands in a changing shopping environment. From appealing to the millennial consumer, to developing packaging that can automatically call for replenishment when supplies are running low, to sustainable solutions as the 'green' dollar/euro/pound reigns, Jabil is focused on squaring up to the real challenges facing brands both on the shelf and online across the entire consumables spectrum and beyond.
Jabil Packaging Solutions invited a clutch of industry journalists to a central London hotel to introduce themselves and their unusual work in the field of packaging in February. Nypro founding member and Jabil Packaging Solutions COO and Global Business Unit Vice-President Joe Stodola explained that rather than tell brands what they need, or how they ought to evolve their packaging, Jabil Packaging Solutions instead takes a brief or challenge and then develops the packaging solution that addresses it. "We take on the biggest challenges our customers have in terms of understanding consumers, designing products that meet their needs and then delivering those products," Stodola explained. "We don't have a stock portfolio solution. We run an end-to-end product offering where we help our customers with innovation. Whether that product is a computer or food packaging, we understand the customer's needs and we pull from capabilities that we invest in intensely." There isn't a trend that the team at Jabil Packaging Solutions hasn't explored for its customers but the overwhelming need for connected packaging and for smart packaging is something the company is proud to be able to lend its expertise to.
The nerve centres of the company are at its Blue Sky Innovation Centers in San Jose, California, and in Tortosa, on Spain's Balearic coast, supported by its optical communication and Blue Sky Center in Marcianise, Italy, and its Digital Lab in Singapore. The company operates some 100 sites in 29 countries around the world, serving the biggest brands on the planet. In all, the parent company, Jabil is an estimated $19 billion (â‚Ź15.3 billion, ÂŁ13.6 billion) company - the biggest packaging innovator you've never heard of.
Zeroing in "Our jobs are to connect with our customers in packaging to understand how they connect to the consumer in a meaningful way," Stodola said. He explained that the 'zero moment of truth' is the most important point to remember when relating packaging to a customer. It is the single moment in time when a customer puts that product in their basket - online or otherwise - and the lead-up to that decision is vital to understand in a changing shopping environment. There are lots of trending factors that can contribute to the desired outcome at the zero moment of truth and all of these were discussed at length by Jabil Packaging experts at the London press meeting, which included insights from CPG and CHP Business Unit Director Isabelle Orhan, and Neil Court-Johnston, Business Unit Manager for Food and Beverage.
Smart packaging Every Jabil solution that makes it to the consumer is a smart package, offering the Jabil Brand Brilliance standard of packaging that meets the challenges of the modern day. Orhan explained that nowadays, the average Fortune 500 company has a much shorter life expectancy - a sign of changing times. Brand loyalty becomes less bankable, we live in smaller accommodations in urban areas, and we are on the go a lot more; this means we need convenient, compact packaging, as we do not have the space or appetite to bulk-buy, and this packaging has to relate to the consumer. "With smart packaging, you need to ask where is the impact?" she asked. "Is it at home? How will the consumer connect with this product?" With beauty products, Orhan said, the connection is personal a personal skincare regime, a foundation that perfectly matches your own skin tone. The consumer is looking for a personal experience, influenced by social media.
Sustainability Arguably, sustainability is the most pressing issue for any packaging developer in Europe, especially given the recent news reports concerning ocean plastics and their devastating impact on the natural environment. Sustainable packaging by definition is We want to develop packaging that reduces the amount of packaging that uses less unsustainable material needed in the plastic, as well as taking manufacturing process, it is packaging that can be reused, or it is packaging a holistic approach to that can be recycled.
sustainability by looking at giving back to the community
Court-Johnston added that Jabil is focusing on the disposability and reusability of packaging, by creating recyclable products and helping to encourage recycling. As far as targets for sustainability are concerned, Jabil's sustainability goals are set by its customers and are another challenge for its team of innovators to rise to, nevertheless, the company itself is mindful of sustainability and its corporate social responsibility. Stodola explained that Jabil makes green choices in its facilities such as replacing old lighting systems with energy-efficient lighting, reusing pallets and setting up agreements with recyclers while limiting the amount of waste the company sends to landfill. "We do everything we can for sustainability and encourage our customers to reuse their pallets, for example. Our job is to bring capabilities to them to help them realise their roadmap around sustainability," he stated, adding that now more than ever, green promises on paper are being turned into actions.
Aging population As well as having smaller homes, making compact packaging more appealing for the modern kitchen or bathroom, the general population is living longer. This is a crucial thing to consider with packaging, because it has to be easy for an elderly person to open while staying child-proof in some instances. "It has to be hard to open for a kid and easy to open for an adult, so we have to come up with plastic packaging designs that can fit both situations," Stodola stated, noting that packaging solutions that dispense one dose of a product at a time are a good way to ensure usability that is child-friendly.
Industry 4.0 The number one buzzword in plastics in recent years has ultimately been Industry 4.0, a trend that has not passed the innovators at Jabil by. The company uses Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) to form the foundations of its smart factory, with all of Jabil's centres integrating Industry 4.0 capabilities. Automation is the future for packaging, as labour costs rise and the talent pool shrinks. "We've got to get labour out of our systems," said Stodola. "It's just not available and it's getting more expensive so we need automation and we need Industry 4.0." The company is facing the packaging challenges of today head on, trying to find the formulae that work for new environments such as Amazon and remote shopping. Stodola describes 'Amazonification' as an unstoppable force, and Jabil Packaging Solutions is the innovator that is filling in the blanks Amazon disruption has exposed for brands all over the world. "The normal packaging companies of the world don't have the deep capability of the Jabil Packaging Solutions platform," he stated. www.jabil.com
"We want to develop packaging that uses less plastic, as well as taking a holistic approach to sustainability by looking at giving back to the community," Orhan said.
AIMPLAS organise 2nd edition of international seminar
Petcore Europe launches Aerosol Recycling group
AIMPLAS has organised the second edition of the international seminar on new materials ‘Plastics are Future,’ which will be held in Valencia, Spain, on April 24th and 25th 2018.
Petcore Europe has launched its new Plastic Aerosol Recycling Special Industry Group. The group has been launched to anticipate the need to recycle higher amounts of plastic aerosols and increase the recycling volumes of PET products from household waste. By 2020, the European Union’s Aerosol Dispenser Directive (ADD) will allow plastic aerosols beyond 220ml. Johannes Burghaus, Chairman of the group, said: “Currently, the capacity is restricted since the ADD was written in a time when only brittle plastics were available. This led to the approach to treat plastics the same way as coated glass containers.”
Plastic electronics, nanotechnology and smart materials will be areas to show innovations in the packaging, energy, automotive or medical sectors.
“With PET we have today an ideal plastic aerosol material at hand. That is why FEA, the European Aerosol Federation, started an approach to change the ADD and allow plastic aerosols beyond 220ml capacity.”
Sergio Giménez, Business Manager of AIMPLAS, said: “Plastics are Future has established itself as a unique seminar concept between international scientific and technical-commercial events. All the developments to be shown are achievements of research and they are at an early marketing and industrialisation stage.” More than 150 professionals are expected to participate in the event with over 20 industry speakers attending. The seminar will also introduce new transformation processes for new materials, such as 3D printing, painting and injection of plastics in a single step and the sustainability of bioplastics against conventional polymers will be analysed. aimplas.net
Ellen MacArthur Foundation gathers companies to make recycling pledge
The market volume of plastic aerosols is expected to increase, leading to a higher amount of plastic aerosol packages in the collection, sorting and recycling systems in Europe. petcore-europe.org
Wales works towards 80% recycling by 2035
The Ellen MacArthur Foundation announced at the World Economic Forum it had secured the support of 11 global corporations pledging to use reusable, recyclable or compostable packaging by 2025. Amcor, Ecover, Danone, L’Oréal, Mars, M&S, PepsiCo, Coca-Cola, Unilever, Walmart, and Werner & Mertz combined represent more than six million tonnes of plastic packaging per year. They will share practices and change packaging materials to ensure recyclability. Paul Polman, Unilever CEO, said: “It is welcome news that many other major companies are making their own commitments to address ocean plastic waste. Yet as a consumer goods industry, we need to go much further, much faster, in addressing the challenge of single use plastics by leading a transition away from the linear take-make-dispose model of consumption, to one which is truly circular by design.”
The Welsh government is considering raising its recycling target to 80 per cent of household waste by 2035. Wales’ devolved government legislates for the nation’s waste management, and has recorded success in increasing the recycling rate from waste packaging, placing it second in Europe for household waste recycling, after Germany, according to environmental consultants Eunomia. In February the Welsh government also announced an €8.6 million (£7.5 million) funding injection to improve recycling. Environment minister Hannah Blythyn said the social democrat Welsh government is starting a recycling review, and hopes to use high-quality recyclate to “get our own house in order”. She said that an independent evaluation of the Government’s waste strategy a target for municipal authorities to recycle 80 per cent of municipal waste by 2035 and would raise targets for carbon emission reduction.
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Plastic carrier bags ‘have the lowest environmental impact’ Plastic bags that are reused as bin bags are the best shopping bags when considering whole-of-life sustainability, says a new study.
he Danish Environmental Protection Agency has published a study that analyses the life cycle environmental impacts of production, use and disposal of carrier bags currently available in Danish supermarkets.
The study aims to identify the carrier bag with the best environmental performance, best disposal option and the recommended number of reuse. Materials such as LDPE, PP, rPET, polyester, biopolymer, paper, cotton and composite and their variations were analysed in compliance with the international standards ISO 14040 and 14044 for a range of recommended environmental impacts and the study suggests between the types of available bags, LDPE carrier bags with rigid handle are the most preferable and effects of littering for this type of bag were considered negligible for Denmark. While analysing the materials the study took into consideration different end-of-life options including incineration, recycling and reuse as a bin bag before incineration. LDPE lightweight carrier bags provide the overall lowest environmental impacts for most environmental indicators when not considering reuse, with regards to production and disposal. As to the best mode of disposal, the study suggests "reusing the carrier bag as a waste bin bag is better than simply throwing away the bag ... and it is better than recycling. Recycling can potentially offer benefits in the case of heavy plastic bags, such as PP, PET and polyester. Reuse as a waste bin bag is most beneficial for light carrier bags, such as LDPE, paper and biopolymer." eng.mst.dk
Ampacet presents packaging technology to prevent food waste Ampacet is addressing the environmental issue of food waste with a series of additive masterbatches especially for food packaging.
ne third of all food produced is wasted along the supply-chain which is why effective packaging is so important to protect food during transportation and to keep it protected from harmful bacteria. Ampacet tackles these challenges with a range of additive masterbatches for flexible packaging materials that represent a concrete solution to better, longer and safer food conservation. Ampacet’s FRESH+ 358 C2 extends the shelf life of packed fresh produce by capturing part of the ethylene emitted by fruits and vegetables, limiting food waste; while Ampacet UVBLOCK 347 PP for BOPP film contributes to food preservation while keeping the high transparency of the packaging material and avoiding blooming problems. In addition, antifog FRESH+ 97 AF masterbatch is designed for polyethylene food wrap films for both hot and cold packaging, improving film transparency, durability of the wrapping contents and the attractiveness of packed food,
and Ampacet’s high-barrier UVBLOCK 347 is the best existing solution for packaging UV-light sensitive food. Designed for flexible and rigid applications, Ampacet GERMSCLEAN 684 is a silver-based antimicrobial additive technology offering an outstanding longlasting protection against proliferation of a wide variety of harmful microorganisms by blocking growth of bacteria and slowing down fungi multiplication. This additive is highly efficient even at low let down ratio. It doesn’t affect the appearance or physical properties of the end packaging product thanks to the low concentration of silver. www.ampacet.com
PIPE & PROFILE
Asset expertise boosts power potential of biomass plant Lightweight, strong and flexible, Asset International’s Weholite pipes were the best for the job when Denmark’s BWSC needed a new surface water attenuation system for its UK biomass power plant. Simon Thomas, Managing Director at Asset International
ith a growing global demand for energy and an increasing acceptance that fossil fuels and nuclear power are not only unsustainable but irreversibly damaging to the environment, developing renewable and sustainable energy sources has become a vitally important necessity. Asset International is no stranger to renewable energy projects, offering its expertise to a number of renewable energy schemes across the globe. Asset's Weholite HDPE pipes are at the forefront of innovation within the sector, and have been implemented in a range of projects with great success.
Most recently, Asset provided its knowhow to Danish engineering and contracting company Burmeister & Wain Scandinavian Contractor (BWSC) on a surface water attenuation system for a new biomass powerplant being developed The product by the company in Kent, UK.
provides all the technical advantages of equivalent PE solid wall pipes but with substantial savings in weight
BWSC undertook a project to reduce the region’s carbon footprint and reliance on imported fossil fuels by providing a secure source of renewable heat and energy through a new combined heat and power (CHP) biomass plant.
The new combined heat and power (CHP) biomass plant is set to create a secure and sustainable supply of energy for the area. Powered by locally sourced virgin wood, the plant will generate approximately 27.8 MW of green electricity, capable of supplying up to 50,000 homes. Having already supplied smaller diameter pipes to the site for general drainage purposes, and with our extensive experience working on successful renewable energy
schemes, Asset was the obvious choice for BWSC when looking for a manufacturer to lend its expertise in bespoke water management solutions for the project. Due to the site’s poor ground conditions, BWSC was looking to integrate a surface water attenuation tank to store surface water drainage and avoid ground settlement in the overlying log storage area. The result was a multi-leg attenuation tank; a 940m³ six-leg tank of 2.2m diameter HDPE pipes with fabricated manifolds at each end and a fully welded system to ensure resistance to impact. With welded joints, the HDPE Weholite pipe becomes a homogenous pipeline, capable of withstanding any ground settlement without compromising its structural integrity. To further combat the issue of poor soil modulus, a geo-grid was installed to increase ground stabilisation and minimise settlement. With the tank being positioned under a log storage yard, where it would be subjected to heavy loads, it was also important for it to be able to withstand a worst-case load of 420kN on a single wheel of a Liebherr LH50 log loader. Weholite was the ideal solution for this added complexity thanks to its natural ability to ‘flex’, which enables the pipe to adjust to different loading conditions, vibrations, stress and soil movements, without causing damage to the structure. The product’s versatile nature saw the project delivered in two weeks. Opting for Weholite HDPE pipes and attenuation tanks for the project, BWSC
benefited from a lightweight, durable, and abrasion-resistant product that is tolerant of ground movements. "The Kent scheme is BWSC’s eighth turnkey biomass power plant project in the UK within the last five years, and the close cooperation with key industry partners, including Asset, has contributed to the successful delivery of the projects," said Simon Collins, Contracts Manager at BWSC. "This is a highly successful project and has really cemented a strong working relationship between Asset International, our client BWSC and the installation company NBC Construction UK," added Asset International Technical Sales Engineer Matthew Thomas. “Weholite was the ideal solution for BWSC’s project requirements thanks to its superior performance in poor ground conditions, long service life and reliability. The product provides all the technical advantages of equivalent PE solid wall pipes but with substantial savings in weight, combining greater ease of transportation and installation, with increased cost effectiveness. We look forward to working on further opportunities with BWSC in the future.” www.weholite.co.uk
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PIPE & PROFILE
Molecor pipe innovator marks water awareness 25th World Water Day Molecor’s pipe extrusion innovation is improving water delivery systems all over the world, and the company was raising awareness on World Water Day. WORDS | John Carlon
Molecor, the Spanish pipe group, marked the United Nations World Water Day with a focus on its research to improve TOM PVC-O pipe technology, which enables civil engineers to build infrastructure that protects the vital resource.
By 2050, water demand is expected to have risen by a third, but in rapidly urbanising cities such as Dhaka in Bangladesh, Surat in India and Luanda in Angola, funding and ability to adapt water infrastructure is very limited.
Molecor's team works daily with the aim of achieving innovative developments that allow a secure and profitable exploitation of the water resources.
Other future water management issues, as precarious urbanisation and climate change effects compound, will leave a fifth of the world exposed to heavy flooding by 2050.
By orientating its product development on sustainability, the company has achieved many advances and has made important contributions to water protection and conservation throughout its trajectory. Its innovative and exclusive Air Based Molecular Orientation System was a milestone in the sector, as it launched its most eco-friendly pipes; PVC-O TOM pipes. As infrastructures develop across the world, the price of human development on water networks is paid little attention – almost 70 per cent of natural wetlands have disappeared since 1900 through draining and irrigation, yet one in nine people lack clean drinking water, according to the World Health Organisation.
More than 80 per cent of sewerage water is released to environment without being treated and re-used, spreading diseases far and wide for both natural habitats and human populations. Molecor hopes the focus on World Water Day will show the benefits of low-cost, high performance pipes. The anticorrosive property of PVC, the raw material of which TOM pipes are made, are resistant to impacts, and to high nominal pressures at short and long term, display excellent characteristics at extreme temperatures and response well to water hammers. Strong PVC pipes eliminate water loss and protect the clean
water, making the essential liquid more accessible and purer to many more millions of people. The 3163 and 3180 Systems turned Molecor into the first company capable of manufacturing PVC-O pipes of DN 630mm and DN 800mm respectively, the largest ones available in this material. This year Molecor launched ecoFITTOM, the first fittings manufactured in PVC-O in the world, the milestone for which Molecor has notably pioneered PVC pipe development in its sector. Thanks to ecoFITTOM, the company can offer a continuous solution in PVC-O, guaranteeing a perfect watertight seal for high standards in distribution of the water resources. Molecor is aware there are still numerous pending barriers to overcome and that the effort required to confront the water drought challenge is big. Nevertheless, the company is sure that through collaboration and the implementation of appropriate corrective and preventive measures, the challenge is more than reachable. www.molecor.com
TEPPFA Forum 2018 presents Discover:Plastics TEPPFA, the leading European voice of the plastic pipe and fittings manufacturers, will hold its 2018 Forum on April 10th 2018 at the Sofitel Brussels, where the theme will be Discover:Plastics. The biennial gathering will bring together European policymakers with leading industry stakeholders - all through the plastic pipe value chain to discuss selected topics that might
impact the plastic pipes and fittings sector in the EU. It is an ideal opportunity to raise awareness about the solutions that TEPPFA members are offering to meet major EU policy priority targets. These targets include climate change, circular economy, drinking water, sustainable building, resource depletion and clean energy.
The TEPPFA Forum 2018 Discover:Plastics campaign was launched last year to promote the benefits of plastic pipes throughout Europe. Dr Paul Toyne, one of the industry’s leading sustainability thought leaders will chair and moderate this year’s Forum. He is a London Sustainable Development Commissioner as well as Chair of Constructing Excellence's sustainability group. He is also a
member of the Infrastructure Working Group of the UK Government’s Green Construction Board. Ludo Debever, General Manager of TEPPFA, said “I am very pleased that Toyne has accepted our invitation to chair and moderate our TEPPFA Forum 2018. His role as chairman will be a crucial contribution to a successful 2018 TEPPFA Forum." www.teppfa.eu
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AUTOMATION & ROBOTICS
Banishing plastics waste through supply chain software With supermarkets and big brands like Unilever pledging to cut down on plastics waste, supply chain software specialist Access Group looks at the innovations that could help drive this change. WORDS | Lucy Pamment, Head of Product, Access Group
liminating waste in the supply chain, while responding to changing market trends, is nothing new in manufacturing – but concerns about the environmental impact of plastics mean big companies are stepping up their efforts even further. Last year, for instance, British retailer Marks & Spencer set out plans for a ‘zero waste’ model across its operations, products and supply chains. The war on plastics waste has become more urgent since the EU’s first European Strategy for Plastics in a Circular Economy was published in January. Having already announced that it was working to ensure ‘all plastic packaging is recyclable by 2030’, the new strategy is a vision for a ‘new plastics economy’ that promotes greater sustainability in design and production.
Green credentials When consumers assess the green credentials of a product, they normally look at whether the packaging is recycled and recyclable. These, along with the energy used to make and transport it, are the most obvious factors, but how do they know what is happening further down the supply chain? Retailers and big manufacturers can only provide the assurances customers want if they have full transparency at every stage in the supply chain. They must be able to demonstrate that their immediate suppliers, along with the Tier Three or Four manufacturers they may only deal with indirectly, also operate lean production models, which is generally only possible using supply chain software.
Reducing waste Before manufacturing even begins, production managers can help keep waste to a minimum through materials requirements planning (MRP) systems. This enables them to order precisely what is needed for each batch, ensuring there is little if any waste. It also means manufacturers are able to respond quickly to changes in customer orders, including switching to more sustainable materials. The same benefits can be derived from enterprise resource planning (ERP) software, which factory teams can use to carefully manage orders according to customer specifications. It’s another way to make sure processes such as procurement and production generate as little waste as possible. Plastics manufacturers are reaching a critical point where they cannot afford to ignore the waste reduction targets set out by the EU, national governments and businesses, driven by customer demands. To do this, they will need to have agile systems in place to manage every aspect of planning and production, so everything that comes off the assembly line matches the orders they receive. Ultimately, this is key to avoiding over-production, which leads to unwanted parts or materials being discarded.
2nd International Exhibition for Polyurethane Solutions on an s n o i t a v t inno c u d o r p als nd n a o i s s n s o e i f t o u r m sol and p e t s t s r y e s p r x u e e yo ustry d n i U P Showcas r rm fo o f t a l ! p w l a o n n o i t d a n n r inte ur sta
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Live presentations of product highlights, integrated seminars and networking events
Trade visitors from a great variety of industries
26 â€“ 28 March 2019 MOC Munich, Germany ++++ Raw materials and auxiliaries ++++ PU systems ++++ Services ++++ Processing machinery, systems and equipment ++++ Products and materials ++++ Organisers: Mack Brooks Exhibitions Ltd
AUTOMATION & ROBOTICS
Carl Green, M orris Quality Bakers
A bright future for SMEs who embrace automation Automation need not be out of reach for SMEs with semi-automated solutions providing a good middle ground for many smaller companies. WORDS | Malcolm Vale, Food Specialist, Automated Packaging Systems.
ontinually adapting to change when it comes to technology can be difficult, and for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) the challenge can be even harder.
Automation is one of the biggest step-changes in the manufacturing industry and while large organisations and conglomerates have been using robotic assistance for many years, the opportunity for SMEs could seem out of reach. But for SMEs, complete automation is not necessary. Instead semi-automation can be utilised to support workforces, streamline processes and boost growth. Morris Quality Bakers, a 100-year-old business, is testament to that. Although the company had enjoyed continued growth throughout the years, it was still relying heavily on manpower for packaging its products.
Speed and quality "We were packing our teacakes by hand," said Carl Green, Bakery General Manager. "Although it limited throughput, it gave us flexibility and a guarantee of quality. I hadn’t found a system that was right for our levels of output and could increase packing speed without compromising pack quality until I spotted the FAS SPrint Revolution on Automated Packaging Systems’ website." Automated Packaging Systems' FAS SPrint is tailored for food manufacturers, enables speed and versatility to high-productivity environments requiring a daily wash-down. Semi-automated, it allows businesses looking to increase production, while maintaining manual supervision.
ROI within a year Morris Quality Bakers made a return on its £75,000 (€85,000) investment within a year. "This was largely because it has enabled us to increase throughput significantly," added Green. "We’ve been able to produce up to 2,500 packs of 12 teacakes in a day, which is substantial increase in what we could achieve beforehand." Previously a team of four could bag and label 200 packs of 12 teacakes per hour. Today they can pack twice as much product in a bag, twice as fast, and with half the number of people – freeing up staff to concentrate on other aspects of the business such as quality control and customer service. The bagging system has also led to cost-savings for Morris’ clients. By switching from non-resealable six packs to easy-open zip-lock packs of 12, the firm has made it easier for caterers. The zip-lock bags mean they can easily keep rolls fresh overnight, reducing catering waste and helping them to cut costs. Such was the benefit to the bakery, Morris ordered a second FAS SPrint bagging system just three months after the first. The FAS SPrint Revolution has been designed for small to medium food manufacturers. As such the entire system is mounted on castors for mobility and has a compact footprint for space saving in small production areas. Automation is a hot topic right now, but it is not something to be feared. The Morris Quality Bakers case study is a prime example that automating even just a small part of a business, can have huge benefits.
Fanuc welcomes long-arm M-10iD/10L into handling robot family
AUTOMATION & ROBOTICS
The M-10iD/10L robot offers customers the ability to handle bigger pieces within a larger working envelope. The new handling robot also offers outstanding axes speed and ultimate precision within its class.
© ty - stock.adobe.com
Fanuc has welcomed the new long-arm M-10iD/10L handling robot into its growing family of handling robots.
Compact and fully articulated to reach narrow spaces in machine tools or jigs, the slim-design M-10iD/10L is a good fit for small spaces, and to ensure maximum precision the robot has a very rigid arm and can be mounted in a variety of different positions. “Made specifically for narrow installations, this highly versatile robot is ideally suited to working on relative large parts thanks to its very generous horizontal stroke. It can also be installed upside down or angle mounted for utmost flexibility”, said Matteo Ferrari, Robot Product Manager at FANUC Europe. In order to prevent snagging and interference, sensor, camera cables, air pipes and other utilities are routed through the robot’s hollow arm, wrist and body. Fully integrating the hose pack in this way translates to easier integration, extended cable life and the reduced risk of downtime. To minimise dirt and dust collection, the M-10iD/10L also comes with smooth surfaces. As standard, the M-10iD/10L supports intelligent functions including the builtin proprietary FANUC iRVision system. Software options include FANUC Dual Check Safety as well as a host of other useful additions. To improve cell design and the efficiency of engineering processes, the M-10iD/10L can also be modeled using the ROBOGUIDE offline simulation PC tool.
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Films and sheets made from CFRTP can be combined in a very variable way, giving designers completely new creative freedom.
Thermoformed CFRTP composites incorporated into premium air conditioner design Using Covestro’s continuous fibre-reinforced thermoplastic (CFRTP) composites, Haier has launched a new premium air conditioner. WORDS | Grace Nolan
sing Covestro’s novel thermoformable continuous fibrereinforced thermoplastic (CFRTP) composites, Haier has launched a premium air conditioner under its Casarte brand.
They are compatible with a wide range of coatings and decoration processes for designing unique surfaces, logos and other signature details. Laser-etched patterns transfer easily from steel moulds.”
These composites are used to house air conditioning units and are artistically designed in the form of two standalone cylinders, which provide structure and premium aesthetic qualities.
The company says CFRTP offers new applications and user experiences with its modern, cost effective and easy to form thermoplastic composite material.
It is only natural that an innovative material with premium qualities like CFRTP becomes the ideal choice for this premium air conditioner
“As an award-winning high-end consumer appliance brand owned by Haier Group, Casarte is known for its high-quality design and materials,” explained Xiongwei Li, Head of Marketing of Casarte, Haier Group.
David Hartmann, co-CEO of Covestro CFRTP, added: “Not only does this mark a pivotal step into consumer home appliances for CFRTP composites, but it brings a new premium material and exciting new design opportunities within the reach of designers.”
Performance and aesthetics
“In this context, it is only natural that an innovative material with premium qualities like CFRTP becomes the ideal choice for this premium air conditioner.”
For the Casarte design team it has been possible to specify a highperformance composite material with unique aesthetics in its range of premium air conditioners.
“Up until now, we have been quite limited in terms of material selection, typically relying on metal to provide the performance and aesthetics that we require,” explained Shao Qingru, one of the CMF designers in the Casarte design team.
Made from ultrathin, unidirectional tapes that are laminated together at specific angles to form sheets, CFRTP composites can be customised to specific performance criteria. A plastic with a metallic effect is created with the long strands of fibre which provide strength in the lengthwise direction but has the flexibility of a thermoplastic material. Michael Schmidt, co-CEO of Covestro CFRTP, said: “Based on thermoplastics, CFRTP composites can be thermoformed with existing thermoforming tools at high yield rates and short cycle times.
“CFRTP is a very attractive material for us in that it has a natural, unidirectional surface pattern right from the start, unlike metals such as aluminium that requires some combination of finishing processes like sandblasting, brushing and anodizing before it is ready to go into the product.” The Casarte air conditioner features sensors that can detect the location of people in a room and perceive temperatures in humans, which can intelligently control the air flow and temperature in different zones based on the needs of people. www.covestro.com
SPE names Robert Porsche Thermoformer of the Year
Robert Porsche has been awarded Thermoformer of the Year by SPEs thermoforming division.
he Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) Thermoforming Division will honour Robert Porsche as the 2017 Thermoformer of the Year at the SPE Thermoforming Conference, taking place 24th26th September 2018 at the Omni Fort Worth Hotel and the Fort Worth Convention Centre.
has chaired SPE Thermoforming Conferences as well as finance, machinery and processing committees.
The 2017 conference, scheduled for Orlando, was cancelled due to Hurricane Irma.
Under Porsche’s leadership, General Plastics has grown from eight full time employees to 70, and expanded its facilities to a 93,000 square-foot building, which contains single station, rotary, and twin sheeting formers, as well as two 3 axis and six 5 axis CNC routers.
Porsche has served in several leadership roles as an SPE Thermoforming Division Board Member where he
Porsche began his career working in sales for Profile Plastics in 1975 and in 1987 purchased General Plastics, where he remains President and owner.
General Plastics says it houses some of the largest forming equipment in the industry, allowing the company to address a diverse range of product demands, including point of purchase and OEMs in the bus, rail, truck, marine, office, lavatory, medical, health and wellness industries. Eric Short, SPE Thermoforming Division Chair, said: “His lengthy list of accomplishments and contributions to our industry deserve proper recognition, and we’ll do that this year in Fort Worth.” thermoformingdivision.com.
Multilayer thermoformed pot from RPC extends shelf life of dips Multilayer thermoformed pot from RPC Bebo Deventer is enabling a Dutch food company to offer a range of preservative-free dips with an extended shelf life.
PC Bebo Deventer’s multilayer thermoformed pot with High Pressure Processing (HPP) treatment is enabling a new and successful Dutch food company to offer a range of preservativefree dips with an extended shelf life. Lazy Foods, based in Ridderkerk, is an up-and-coming business specialising in the production of 100 per cent fresh guacamole, hummus and tomato salsa, all of which use only natural ingredients and are manufactured without any preservatives. The products are being filled in the RO 115 cup from RPC Bebo, which features a multilayer polypropylene structure to prevent oxygen ingress, which gives the products a shelf life of at least 30-40 days. In order to provide a natural preservation process, the cups undergo HPP treatment, whereby they are placed in a container and put under 6,000 bar water pressure, this eliminates harmful bacteria and mould enabling the contents of the cup to remain fresh. The RPC range of cups are sealed with a specially
developed multilayer polypropylene foil to maintain product freshness and is available in three sizes, 175cc, 250cc and 500cc. RPC says the attractive and colourful outer sleeve ensures effective branding with onshelf appeal as Lazy Foods’ products are stocked in many retail and foodservice outlets. The company is currently developing new additions to the range suitable for cinemas in the Netherlands. www.rpc-group.com
industry 4.0 From automation and smarter machines, to predictive maintenance and increased efficiencies, NPE2018: The Plastics Show covers everything driving Industry 4.0â€”bringing together all of the machines, technology, products and solutions advancing plastics manufacturing today. Make plans to attend and discover new ways to maximize your operations and achieve success.
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The spotlight on Italy’s plastics industry The jewel in the corona for the Italian plastics industry, PLAST 2018 will be making the most of the opportunity for international business. All eyes are on Italy's plastics sector as the buildup to PLAST 2018 reaches fever-pitch. The triennial showcase of the Italian plastics processing industry is an international highlight, with FieraMilano hosting the May 29th-June 1st event once again alongside MEAT-TECH, Print4All, IPACK-IMA and INTRALOGISTICA ITALIA together forming the 'Innovation Alliance' and bringing greater value to visitors. Some 120,000 visitors are expected to explore these events over the four action-packed show days, which for plastics processors includes every facet of polymer manufacturing from blow moulding to thermoforming, and every possible application, from aerospace to personal electronics.
Complementing the exhibitions across 52,000 m sq of floor space will be a programme of technical seminars and other events that serve to encourage business with the Italian industry, which is thriving as an international business partner. The Italian Institute of Statistics and Amaplast, the Italian plastics industry association, have reported that Italian exports are in recovery, with German demand for Italian plastics manufacturing machinery up by 19.7 per cent year-on-year, while exports to the US rose by 20.4 per cent. It is this international appeal will be the jewel in the corona for the plastics machinery manufacturers at PLAST 2018.
"Participants at PLAST 2018 are particularly confident that they will be able to do significant amounts of business and expand their order books directly at the fair. Several thousand operators have already pre-registered for their visit and our office is working to organise delegations of buyers from some thirty countries." www.plastonline.org
Arburg will be presenting a special highlight at Plast 2018 marking the 25th anniversary of Arburg’s Italian subsidiary. International trade visitors will be able to see the hybrid Allrounder 820 H with a clamping force of 4,000 kN in a new design and with the innovative Gestica control system for the first time outside the company headquarters. When it comes to digital transformation and Industry 4.0, a practical example of multi-variant injection moulding will be presented, involving “on demand” manufacture of elastic tension straps, as well as the Arburg host computer system (ALS) and numerous features for integrated plastic parts production. In addition to two other injection moulding applications, stand C25 will also feature industrial additive manufacturing with the Freeformer. “We look forward to being there for our customers, providing them with comprehensive support and continuing to grow with them. At present, this particularly applies to digital transformation and the topic of Industry 4.0, which has gained a lot of momentum thanks to state subsidy programmes in Italy,” said Björn Noren, Managing Director of Arburg Italy.
Hall 22, Stand C/D.81/82
Alessandro Grassi, Amaplast President, said: "The order portfolio horizon for Italian manufacturers has been considerably extended: many companies are able to plan production at least to the end of the year, and there are quite a few that are actually having difficulty keeping up with customer requests.
Bandera has been preparing its workshops at its facility 15 minutes from the PLAST 2018 fairground by shuttle to its House of Extrusion, where visitors can see working extrusion lines for flexible packaging and thermoformed rigid packaging. The Bandera brand and technologies are acknowledged worldwide for excellence and topnotch performance, reliability and outstanding quality of Technical Service Assistance. Recycling is a crucial issue for Bandera at PLAST 2018, and the company will be promoting recyclable and biodegradable materials for environmental protection. Finally, while watching live extrusion, visitors will be able to quiz Bandera’s highlyqualified specialists, skilled in software programs for Industry 4.0 connections, via the IoE - Internet of Extrusion. On Friday June 1st, the whole Bandera Customer Service team will be available in a day dedicated to Customer Care.
Hall 15, Booth A/B.121/122
Maag Maag will be showcasing a variety of its market-leading products and processes for the plastics industry, including the PEARLO Underwater Pelletizer, the high-performance underwater pelletising system from Maag for making spherical pellets. Maag will also be showcasing the extrex x6 class Gear Pump, a new and unique melt pump design that delivers volumetric efficiency at a high counter pressures. Finally, Maag will present the EBG Belt Conveyor Pelletizing System, which has been designed for the compounding of watersensitive or highly filled (> 60 per cent) or fragile products. “We are happy to show our recently developed and advanced pelletizers for the plastic processing industry during Plast Milan. In addition to our Maag products, Ettlinger who recently joined the Maag family, will be displaying performance-enhanced melt filter type ERF350, introduced to the market at the end of 2017,” said Claudio Bonafede, General Manager.
Consistent quality, permanent availability, maximum output – it takes more than reliable machines to securely achieve these criteria of success. The perfect interplay between injection moulding machine and process technology, automation and periphery, digitalisation and networking is what allows plastics processors to fully utilise efficiency and quality potentials and continuously increase their competitive edge. At PLAST 2018 ENGEL will present challenging injection moulding applications and multiple Expert Corners to demonstrate how this looks in practice. The plastics technology giant will be homing in on in-mould coatings for high-gloss, scratch-proof exterior parts in automotive applications, high-performance and energy-efficient packaging solutions, and integrated production cells for medical manufacturing. In addition, ENGEL will present inject 4.0 in its Experts Corner, demonstrating iQ control technology for efficiency and optimised production.
Hall 24, Booth B/C.81/82
Hall 13, B.31
Friul Filiere Spa will take part in the new edition of PLAST. Established almost 40 years ago as a manufacturer of dies for the extrusion of plastic material, Friul Filiere now sells complete, turn-key systems all over the world to anyone looking for high-quality performance when manufacturing pipes and profiles, from technological extrusion lines, fully customised and guaranteed 100 per cent ‘Made in Italy’. Customers have access to decades of experience and flexibility; and a ‘yes, we can’ approach that reflects an on-going belief in R&D. The company holds several European and international patents and customers look to it for projects characterised by the use of complex materials or the section of the product they require.
Hall 13, Booth C/D.11/12
ML Engraving, a leader of laser texturing on moulds, will introduce its Texture Collection at PLAST 2018, a catalogue of exclusive finishes that represent the state of the art of this technology. “Laser engraving has overcome the limits of traditional methods thanks to a digital, sustainable and flexible technology,” said Andrea Lodetti, CEO of ML Engraving. Surface textures can add value to products both from an aesthetic to a functional point of view. The company is also on-site to discuss SoftSlide, a project developed for the European Commission, with four international partners (SKM Areonautics ltd, Instituto Tecnológico De Aragón, Re Agent and Leibniz Universität Hannover), that will drive the mass-production market of seals for hydraulic and pneumatic industries to a higher level of quality, resistance to friction and durability. The first results of the project will be displayed during the fair. Visitors can receive their copy of the Texture Collection catalogue at the ML Engraving booth.
Hall 24, Booth B12
NPE Preview: Plastics industry set for Sunshine State show-time NPE2018 will bring so much more than the massive array of international plastics prowess on the show floor to visitors, promising thought-leadership and innovation with Expert Super Sessions, dedicated technology zones and the Re|focus recycling feature. North America's largest plastics show NPE will return to Florida this May. NPE2018, held at the Orange County Convention Centre in Orlando, will bring together all the plastics industry sectors, including vertical and peripheral markets, end markets, brand owners and recyclers. 65,000 visitors will flock to Florida for NPE, to take in industry-focused education on offer, meeting leading suppliers of emerging technologies, equipment and materials, in more than a million square feet of exhibition space. Building on its most successful show in 2015, held in Orlando, Florida, the organising agency, Plastics Industry Association (PLASTICS), anticipates even greater participation from the global plastics supply chain in 2018.
approaches to sustainability and automation for plastics companies. The Expert Super Sessions form a new educational component of NPE, with industry experts providing an insider’s look into the latest technical insights and innovations driving next-generation trends. Susan Krys, Vice-President of tradeshows at PLASTICS, said: “We are giving NPE2018 attendees expanded and improved opportunities to learn from peers and thought leaders, maximising their experience in Orlando. Expert Super Sessions were re-named for the NPE2018 show to reflect their true purpose – to give plastics experts a forum to present their industry-changing ideas and insights.”
The show in the Sunshine State may be set among the world’s greatest thrills with the top theme parks nearby, from Disney to Gatorland, but for the professionals dedicated to plastics processing and moulding technology, NPE will be delivering thrills on the show floor with the likes of Milliken, DSM, Milacron and Davis-Standard looking to impress the throng of attendees.
There will be new zones dedicated to bottle design and production, and plastics for medical parts.
In addition to standout exhibits on the show floor, NPE2018 promises informative ‘super sessions’, as processors require deeper knowledge of digitisation in plastics, NPE will present a focus on Industry 4.0,
NPE lands on a three-year cycle, bringing together the hottest innovation in plastics with the biggest and most powerful machinery used by plastics processors. Reaching out from machinery applications,
William R. Carteaux, PLASTICS’ President, said: “Given the increase in consumer demand for plastic bottles in the last year, the launch of the Bottle Zone will provide a platform for bottle manufacturers to take a deeper look at issues important to this segment, such as sustainability and safety.”
discussions on sustainability and recycling will be on the roster, as the Re|focus Sustainability and Recycling Summit includes experts from Procter & Gamble, Purdue University, ExxonMobil and Oliver Campbell of Dell Technologies. Campbell, Director of procurement and packaging at Dell, will present the keynote speech, “Using Dell Innovation and Supply Chain to Tackle Ocean Plastic,” explaining how Dell launched a program to create a commercially scalable supply of packaging plastics recovered from the ocean. Other recycling focused sessions include: The Recycling Game Changer: Moving Beyond Mechanical Recycling, moderated by Robert Render, Commercial Manager at Ravago Recycling Group; Advances in Composite Recycling, moderated by Chris Surbrook, New Business Development at Midland Compounding Company; Under One Roof: Investing in Onsite Plastic Reprocessing at MRFs with Jim Keefe, Group Publisher at Recycling Today Media Group; Additives for Upcycling with Mark Richardson, Engineering Consultant at Series One; and Biobased Bioplastic Polymers and the Future of Bottling, moderated by Patrick Krieger, Assistant Director, Technical Affairs at PLASTICS. Kim Holmes, PLASTICS Vice-President of Sustainability, said: “The speakers at the Re|focus Sustainability & Recycling Summit are pioneers in sustainability and are poised to lead the plastics industry to new heights.” All show previews and news from the exhibition floor will be available via EPPM online at eppm.com/npe2018.
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Arburg will present itself as a trendsetter in the industry and a leader in digital transformation and Industry 4.0. The hybrid Allrounder 1120 H with a clamping force of 6,500 kN, a new design, and visionary Gestica control system will celebrate its American premiere. In addition, Arburg will present numerous innovative technologies and sophisticated applications for all branches of plastics processing. These will include fibre direct compounding (FDC) for lightweight construction, LSR/LSR microinjection moulding, a high-speed IML packaging application, and the freeformer for industrial additive manufacturing. Arburg will present nine exhibits at its own stand, and five Allrounders will be on display at partner stands.
ENGEL’s new e-connect customer portal will be launched in North America in time for NPE2018. e-connect will simplify and speed up communication between processors and ENGEL while providing an overview of the machinery, the processing status of service and support orders and the price and availability of spare parts – any time, anywhere. At the show, the Austria-based injection moulding machine manufacturer and system solution provider will be demonstrating how the new version of the customer portal is also ideally suited to meet the requirements of Industry 4.0.
battenfeld-cincinnati USA will bring new equipment and innovative control system to meet challenges in extrusion to NPE2018. The extrusion machinery manufacturer will present three extruders equipped with the latest Industry 4.0 compatible control system. The solEX NG - a single screw extruder for highperformance PO pipe extrusion from micro ducts to large diameters of 2.6 m; the conEX NG conical twin screw extruder for PVC pipe and profile extrusion; and STARextruder: for the production of food-grade thermoforming sheet will all be on show. Furthermore, all of these machines recently received a letter of non-objection from the FDA.
EREMA will be prioritising quality in every respect at NPE, where attendees will receive information about the EREMA melt filters directly from the EREMA business unit POWERFIL, which will be debuted at the show for the first time. The proven filter systems are now also available as individual components for extrusion plants from other suppliers. Additionally, EREMA will be providing details on the world’s first rPET Inline Preform system at its booth. SIPA, a leading manufacturer of PET packaging solutions from Italy, joined forces with EREMA to develop a flexible, direct processing solution to make food-contact-compliant preforms from rPET flakes – in a continuous process.
CMT Materials, the leading provider of plugassist materials for the thermoforming industry, will showcase its range of HYTAC syntactic foams at NPE2018. CMT Materials’ plug-assist materials will be featured at the booths of several leading thermoforming machine manufacturers including Germany-based Illig, Kiefel, and Gabler; Italy-based Wrapping Machinery and OMG; along with US-based Sencorp, Brown Machine Group, and Irwin Research and Development. HYTAC syntactic foam is used by the majority of tool-makers and thermoforming processors around the world. HYTAC plugs are designed with specific material properties to optimise plastic parts and provide low thermal conductivity, low specific heat, and low coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE).
Years ago, it broke new ground with Intelligent Process Cooling and now Frigel takes innovation in process cooling to a new level with a host of technological advancements to be unveiled at NPE. Frigel will illustrate Diamond Service advantage through an interactive presentation, as well as unique process-cooling innovations that increase operational efficiencies, save energy and water and improve product quality. The latest Frigel innovations on display include Microgel chiller/ temperature control units (TCUs) with digital control technology and the Ecodry BWR Water Recovery System option.
W193 / S14085
Gneuss Extrusion Technology will show a complete Gneuss Processing Unit (GPU) including a Multi Rotation System MRS 130 extruder, a fully automatic melt filtration system RSFgenius 150 and an online viscometer VIS, for the processing of 2000 lbs/h of undried and uncrystallised polyester (PET). The Gneuss Processing Unit (GPU) has been available for several years now and has proven itself for the reprocessing of bulky PET waste such as post-consumer bottle flake and industrial waste from fibre and film manufacture without pre-drying. The line on the show floor in Orlando will be delivered to a customer in the US after the show to process 2000 lbs/h of R-PET into a thermoforming sheet.
A highlight of NPE2018 will be the presentation of Labtech Engineering’s brand new 36mm twin screw extruder with an output up to 250 kg/hr. This is Labtech’s first entry into designated production twins. Further highlights are Labtech’s high speed 3D filament line, which enables a production speed of up to 100 m/ min, as well as an ultra-modern and compact filter tester. Labtech will also show a 5- layer co-ex film blowing line, a 3/5-layer co-ex cast film line, a downward water quenched film blowing line and an ultra-micro co-ex film blowing line, all running with polymers.
KRAIBURG TPE, the global competence leader in thermoplastic elastomer compounds, will be presenting its TPE technology at NPE2018. “NPE provides us with the best platform to showcase our expertise, technical capabilities and innovative solutions within the TPE sector. We welcome the opportunity to not only network with key OEMs and processors within the industry, but to also address the challenges presented by our customers and demonstrate the unique products, services and global supply options available through KRAIBURG TPE,” said Jeff Frankish, Managing Director for KRAIBURG TPE in the US. The company is also excited to announce its expansion in Buford, GA, which went from 6,000 metrics tons to 10,000 metrics tons of capacity.
The Milacron booth, totalling 18,700 square feet, will be packed with industry-leading technologies, and the widest breadth of plastics solutions in the industry including Milacron injection and extrusion machines, Mold-Masters hot runners and control systems, DME mould components and solutions, Uniloy blow moulding machines, Kortec co-injection technologies, Milacron 4.0 IIoT solutions and a strong focus on Milacron’s unparalleled service and support offerings. “Milacron always enjoys reconnecting with existing and prospective customers at trade shows but there’s something special about the NPE show, we’re in our North America customers’ backyards and we’re the largest North American plastics industry manufacturer,” said Milacron CEO Tom Goeke.
Efficient injection moulding machines and intelligent Industry 4.0 solutions are setting trends for the future. At NPE, KraussMaffei is reinforcing its leading position as a system provider for premium quality injection moulding machines, automation and intelligent Industry 4.0 solutions from a single source. The GX 900 with the new speed option is an efficient and cost-effective solution for the large packaging market. The GXW 450 FiberForm system with multicomponent technology is also premiering at NPE. It offers new areas of potential for thermoplastic fiber-reinforced lightweight construction. Other highlights include the all-electric PX 51, which offers high-precision in LSR processing, and the hydraulic CX 200 with inductive mould heat-balancing.
Milliken & Company will feature its extensive portfolio of additive technologies for improving the clarity, performance and processing of polyolefins. The company will also launch two new products: a unique performance modifier for injection-molded polypropylene (PP) impact copolymers (ICPs), and the latest technology in its Hyperform HPN family of nucleating agents, which is specifically designed to maximise stiffness in PP ICPs. Both of these novel technologies will significantly change the way PP ICPs perform, particularly regarding impact strength, stiffness and melt flow. Further, by improving the physical properties of post-consumer recycled resins, the new performance modifier allows converters to take greater advantage of their cost and sustainability benefits.
Total Corbion PLA
Moretto USA LLC, daughter company of Moretto, the leading Italian provider of materials handling, drying, blending, heat transfer and size reduction equipment, will be proudly displaying its complete product range at NPE2018. One booth located in West Hall, will present innovative solutions for any processor in need of conveying, drying, additive feeding, blending, temperature control and supervisory control products and systems. In the Bottle Zone, Moretto will recreate an area dedicated to innovations targeted for the critical PET sector of the plastics industry. Particular attention will be dedicated to the resindrying process, with the presentation of the revolutionary Moretto EUREKA Plus drying system.
Total Corbion PLA will highlight its Luminy portfolio of PLA resins for the Americas, in advance of its 75 kTpa production plant starting-up in the second half of 2018. The Luminy PLA portfolio includes both high heat and standard PLA grades and is used in a wide range of markets, from packaging to durable consumer goods and electronics. Total Corbion PLA will also be showcasing a number of partner applications based on PLA to illustrate the range of possibilities offered by this versatile biopolymer. To showcase the high heat capabilities of PLA, visitors are welcome to enjoy a fresh cup of coffee served in a PLA-lined cup.
W8545 / S17095
ST Blow Moulding
ST Blow Moulding will showcase its latest technology and products at NPE2018, including the ASPI 400 model. The main feature of this machine is versatility: with 40 ton clamping force and a 4 lt accumulator head, this model is suitable to work both with 2D and 3D technology. It can produce pieces in 2D configuration, and works with parison suction technology. The ASPI 400 machine on show is equipped with a 70mm extruder. The screw profile is suitable to plasticise polyolefin or engineering polymers with high throughput: 170 kg/h of HDPE or 130 kg/h of PA6, while the clamp platens can accommodate largerthen average moulds for parison suction machines.
Leading global supplier of additives to the plastics and polymer industries Vertellus will introduce two innovative technologies for driving increased use of recycled polyester in nylon resins (creating alloys) and enhancing the benefits of recycled PET. By enabling new alloys and compounds containing these recycled resins to deliver improved properties and processability, Vertellus’ new additive solutions will help compounders and OEMs boost sustainability and control costs without sacrificing performance. The first new Vertellus technology to be highlighted at NPE2018 is a novel compatibiliser for creating alloys of recycled polyester and nylon. Vertellus will also showcase a novel, patent-pending technology for upgrading recycled PET.
Starlinger will present two technologies made from 100 per cent rPET bottle flakes that help advance closed loop packaging, and visitors are invited to take a sniff of the input material and the smell-improved regrind at sample stations. rPET FIBC for large product volumes will be on show alongside rPET PP*STAR pinch bottom bags for dry bulk goods. The rPET PP*STAR recently won a WorldStar. Another application for rPET is sheet production: the Starlinger viscotec solution deCON / viscoSHEET can process 100 per cent rPET, in-house waste, and virgin material at guaranteed IV levels for direct food contact.
Wittmann Battenfeld is showcasing two new machines for the first time at NPE, as well as new robots and a number of auxiliaries. The two machines, which have previously been debuted in Europe, are the EcoPower Xpress and the MicroPower. Premiered at K2016, the EcoPower Xpress is a high-speed, all-electric machine, aimed at packaging and other thin-wall products. The MicroPower, which was also unveiled in 2016, is a 15-tonne micromoulding press. The Wittman stand will shine a spotlight on the company’s ‘Pathway to 4.0’, connecting the production line and enabling better control throughout.
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Let’s go plogging Sweating in the name of sustainability could become a new trend, as the Swedish fitness fad of plogging spreads across Europe. Words | Rose Brooke
hile the plastics industry and other relevant stakeholders get busy innovating new schemes and technologies for processing plastics for recycling and creating end markets for recycled plastic materials, the matter remains that plastics are being lost in the environment from improper handling. While kerbside collections and other municipal schemes help sort waste for recycling that has been appropriately disposed of, some pioneers are combining exercise with collecting plastics for recycling that have been lost as litter. ‘Plogging’ as it is known, combines jogging with picking up rubbish for recycling and comes from the Swedish word ‘plocka’, which means ‘to pick’. And the exercise trend is spreading from its native Sweden to other parts of Europe.
Moreover, Roberts agrees that plogging could be supported by the plastics industry as part of its corporate social responsibility efforts.
It would be great to see this type of stewardship, rolled out across a wide variety of outdoor activities
Swedish plogger Anna Christophersen is encouraging people in Edinburgh, where she lives, to take up plogging. Speaking to the Guardian newspaper recently, the 43-year-old said how good it was for your physical fitness to combine cardiovascular exercise such as running, with the repetitive strengthening exercise of squatting to pick up rubbish. “It’s good for both the environment and ourselves,” Christophersen was quoted by the newspaper as saying.
Naturalist, environmental activist and author Sarah Roberts agrees that plogging could help close the circular economy loop for some plastics that are languishing in the environment, which too many of us have grown accustomed to ignoring.
“Plastic pollution is a result of global culture, so it will take a collaboration across all industries and social scenes to change this mindset. The more ways we can get people onboard the better,” she said.
“I think plogging is a great idea,” Roberts stated. “There are so many joggers and running groups out there already, if we can utilise this existing manpower to do something good for the environment then it’s a win-win. If we want to maintain our environment, we all have a duty of care to protect it. It would be great to see this type of stewardship, rolled out across a wide variety of outdoor activities and industries around the world.” Whether plogging will become the new Cross-Fit or Zumba remains to be seen, but as global awareness in plastic waste rises along with our love of fitness, the more ways the two could be combined could spark a new trend for eco-exercise.
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The Expert in Masterbatch Solutions is pleased to welcome you at Plast Milan: stand B151 - Hall 9 & Plastpol Kielce!
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