EPPM 22.3

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AUG/SEP/OCT 2020 | VOLUME 22/ISSUE 3

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ENGEL USES CONTACTLESS TECHNOLOGY TO OUTSMART CORONAVIRUS

INJECTION REFLECTION

WITTMANN GROUP MD MICHAEL WITTMANN TAKES A PHILOSOPHICAL VIEW TOWARDS THE POSTPONEMENT OF FAKUMA.

PET PROJECTS

STADLER ACHIEVES HIGH-PURITY PLASTIC FLAKES AND INCREASES PRODUCTIVITY AT RCS’ PET SORTING PLANT.

FLEX-ABILITY

DANA MOSORA OF CEFLEX DISCUSSES SOME RECENT DEVELOPMENTS IN FILM PACKAGING RECYCLING.



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Web: www.eppm.com C.E.O. duncan wood

EDITORIAL

editor rob coker robert.coker@rapidnews.com assistant editor grace nolan grace.nolan@rapidnews.com

PRODUCTION

head of studio & production sam hamlyn sam.hamlyn@rapidnews.com

ADVERTISING

IN THIS ISSUE AUG/SEP/OCT 2020

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FOREWORD

EPSE President Erwin Roovers and Communication Chair Avner Ganem jointly introduce the September edition.

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THE SLEEPER AWAKES

EPPM returns, and with it comes a whole different way of working.

CONNECTED

head of media sales lisa montgomery +44 (0) 1244 952 372 lisa.montgomeryw@rapidnews.com senior sales executive gareth jones +44 (0) 1244 952 360 gareth.jones@rapidnews.com

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FREE on iOS and Android devices subscription enquiries to subscriptions@rapidnews.com Address changes should be emailed to subscriptions@rapidnews.com European Plastic Product Manufacturer is published by Rapid Plastics Media Ltd. Each issue is distributed in print and digital format to 17,845 buyers and specifiers in the European plastic processing industry. © Sept 2020 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. PEFC Certified This product is from sustainably managed forests and controlled sources PEFC/16-33-254

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ENGEL helps its Netherlands-based customer Helvoet master process optimisation despite the contact prohibitions of the Coronavirus pandemic.

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RECYCLING

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INJECTION MOULDING

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Injection reflection Wittmann Group MD Michael Wittmann takes a philosophical view towards the postponement of Fakuma, and remembers the value of the human factor in a digital age.

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Moulded by mountains Vice President and COO of Slovenia-based mould specialist SIBO Group Blaž Osterman spoke to EPPM about the company’s contributions to moulding, injection moulding, and production capacity.

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PET projects Stadler achieves high-purity plastic flakes and increases productivity at RCS’ PET sorting plant.

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Links and loops EPPM spoke to Dr Ron Cotterman, Vice President of Innovation and Sustainability at Sealed Air, about how the right collaborations can help bring about a true circular economy.

TESTING AND INSPECTION

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Running high Eurotec explains how high hydrolysis resistance is best met by polyamide-based engineering plastics.

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FILM AND SHEET

Filming efficiently Optical Control Systems and the Mondi Group discuss their clever use of defects through integrated quality and production monitoring.

CLASSIFIEDS EUREKA

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COLUMN

FOREWORD T

he COVID-19 pandemic is increasingly affecting our daily lives, and recent developments of the second wave’s global spreading have shown to the world that where a problem cannot be eradicated, the necessity of devising new ways to handle it becomes a priority. In this context, a key role is played by EPSE members, and especially polycarbonate solid and multiwall sheet manufacturers. The assistance from these players has shown how important it is to continue to use plastics in protecting people, and minimising further spread. When the pandemic began, it became clear almost immediately that a significant part of our products can be used to protect us from its spread – particularly clear plastic, for which there was a record demand in applications such as thin sheets for masks, sheets for dividers, and for protective counter separators in almost all public places. There is no doubt that we will have to deal with the disposal of these sheets once this is over, so recycling and maintaining our commitment to preserving the environment remain at the top of the agenda. For now, the transparency and lightweight qualities of solid polycarbonate sheets enable easy installation in a wide variety of applications. In this context, checkout areas in supermarkets, reception desks and waiting areas in hotels and other public

EPSE, as the European trade association representing polycarbonate sheet suppliers and producers in Europe, promotes the use of polycarbonate sheets in the European market and develops industry standards. The EPSE Quality Label (EQL) is applied by EPSE member companies representing toplevel PC sheet producers in Europe on their polycarbonate multiwall sheets and technical data sheets, on the condition that the specific product strictly fulfils the EPSE Sheet Standard.

EPSE President Erwin Roovers and Communication Chair Avner Ganem jointly introduce the September edition by sharing some of the ways in which Europe’s polycarbonate sheet producers have helped, and will continue to help, in limiting the spread of COVID-19. spaces, and multiwall solutions in environments where the risk of contagion is higher, such as schools, restaurants, hospitals and clinics, have all benefitted due to the high impact strength and shatter resistance of polycarbonate sheets – and that’s as well as their low maintenance and easy cleaning features. Plastics, and plastics industry players, are continuing to step up to modern challenges. When it has not been possible to maintain distance, face visors made of solid polycarbonate sheets or

polycarbonate films have proven themselves as a great solution for individual protection.

EPSE is sparing no effort to help aid the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. We will also continue to play our part in contributing to its prevention and control

EPSE is sparing no effort to help in the fight against COVID-19. We will also continue to play our part in contributing to its prevention and control, both through our contributions to social good and by creating new products, applications and technologies to help in this fight. By working together and through innovation, we can overcome COVID-19 and help define the new normal.

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LETTER FROM THE EDITOR

The sleeper awakes Dear readers, I’m back. I’m sitting at the kitchen table with a one-year-old and a three-year-old constantly climbing up my legs, and I haven’t been anywhere since I went to Brussels for Petcore Europe in early February, but I’m back. Just like any Arnold Schwarzenegger movie sequel – only without the muscular physique and a slightly greyer shade of grey in the hair. What have I missed? Well, that depends on which definition of ‘missed’ you use. Never thought I’d miss the commute to the office every day but, on reflection, it was always half an hour or so of peace and quiet that I don’t have any more. I definitely miss the travelling element (as mentioned in the April/ May introduction) and have certainly missed out on some high-profile trade fairs and conferences in so

many amazing cities across Europe. Haven’t we all? It’s a different world. One of online trade fairs, numerous webinars, e-meetings and keeping your distance. I’ve not shaken hands with another human being since February. But what have I gained in return? Time. Time – approximately four months – that I’ve spent watching my children play and grow, and learn to walk and talk, and use the potty. Time that I would not have had had it not been for the intervention of a microscopic, world-travelling virus. Naturally, said virus has had its effect on the contents of this edition, too. As we regret the lack of input from lost shows and fairs, including JEC World, PRSE, VPSF, Equiplast and Fakuma, amongst many others, we can compensate through the wonder of technology by bringing the wouldbe exhibitors to these pages via the various ‘face-to-face’ apps and web pages now available. I spoke to Wittmann MD Michael Wittmann in this way (page 16), and to SIBO Group VP and COO Blaž Osterman too (page 18) about injection moulding. Likewise, I ‘met’ with Sustainability and Innovation lead at Sealed Air Dr Ron Cotterman (page 27), as well as Lead Consultant at CEFLEX Dana Mosora (page 36), to talk about recycling. The testing and inspection feature contains another such ‘meeting’ with Managing Director at Tinius Olsen Mark Youings (page 48). All of which should be enough to wake us up after a long, lonely lockdown. Rob Coker, Editor

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It’s a different world. One of online trade fairs, numerous webinars, e-meetings and keeping your distance. I’ve not shaken hands with another human being since February


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COVER STORY ENGEL HELPS ITS NETHERLANDS-BASED CUSTOMER HELVOET MASTER PROCESS OPTIMISATION DESPITE THE CONTACT PROHIBITIONS OF THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC.

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change in the value creation chain, taking into account smart tools and smart services, ensures a sustainable change in collaboration. ENGEL helped its Netherlands-based customer Helvoet to master process optimisation tasks via econnect.24 and Skype, despite contact prohibitions caused by the Coronavirus pandemic. The picture is a little jerky, and not quite focused at first. The moulded part has to be held up to the camera and turned over multiple times to make sure everyone involved in the Skype meeting can see. At three locations in two European countries, the images are encrypted and transmitted securely to ENGEL’s headquarters in Schwertberg in Austria, and to Houten and Tilburg in the Netherlands. Schwertberg is where Franz Hinterreiter, ENGEL Benelux Managing Director at the time, sits in front of the computer screen with his colleagues from application technology discussing the technical details provided by the customer in Tilburg. His colleagues Ton Boekelder, Team Leader for Customer Training at ENGEL Benelux, and Bas de Bruin, Sales Engineer at ENGEL Benelux, are following the transmission simultaneously from their home offices in the Netherlands, not far from the ENGEL subsidiary in Houten. “Jeroen,” de Bruin asks, “can you zoom in on this point again please?” Jeroen Molenschot is neither a cameraman or an influencer, but Manager of Development at Helvoet Rubber & Plastic Technologies, which focuses on high-precision injection moulded parts. He and his colleagues are breaking new ground – digitalised uncharted territory, so to speak. This is why the first steps in handling the camera require a little practice. Together with his contacts at ENGEL, he is carrying out a mould and process optimisation procedure for a diagnostics

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product. A lab-on-a-chip article that places the highest demands on precision and consistency. “The project was just about to go live,” Molenschot says, emphasising the status quo of the project at that time and the importance of now implementing the final and decisive step. Flights and hotel rooms had already been booked early. Then the Coronavirus pandemic hit with contact prohibitions and travel restrictions throughout Europe. DIGITAL SOLUTIONS – PROMPTED BY THE PANDEMIC What seemed to be a curse, was quickly turned into a blessing. The all-electric ENGEL emac 75 injection moulding machine, on which the lab-ona-chip articles are produced, includes e-connect.24, the ENGEL solution for remote maintenance and online support. This means that ENGEL technicians from both Schwertberg and Houten were able to access the data required for optimising the injection moulding process in real time. Mould data had been exchanged up front by email. Data that provides important technical information and is definitive for the feasibility and quality of the product, but is ultimately not sufficient on its own to get the best out of the machine. In order to transmit the results of the individual optimisation steps back, Molenschot grabbed a camera and sent live images from the clean room production of the test runs. A Skype conference was used to discuss the parameters which needed further modification.

JEROEN MOLENSCHOT, HELVOET RUBBER & PLASTIC TECHNOLOGIES


TOP: ONLINE SUPPORT AND SKYPE ENABLE HELVOET TO MEET THE TIGHT SCHEDULE FOR PROCESS OPTIMISATION

E-CONNECT.24 ENSURES MAXIMUM AVAILABILITY Under the inject 4.0 product banner, ENGEL offers a whole spectrum of digital solutions that help to shape customers’ digital transformation to a smart factory. One important component of the product family is e-connect.24. It empowers ENGEL service staff to connect to the injection moulding machine from a remote location so that they can respond without delay in all support cases.

We as developers have to learn to actually use these new technologies, all of which are already available

With the help of e-connect.24, the screen pages of the machine control unit are transferred via the internet to a computer, which can be several thousand kilometres away. Since the data are accessed in real time, the current state of the machine can be displayed whenever needed. As a result, the machine operators on the ground and external support staff can see the same settings and production data, and can consult and guide each other. CORONA FORCES A RETHINK For Molenschot and his team, this project set a precedent for future co-operation, as he admits: “Without the Corona crisis, we certainly would not have agreed to this procedure. I would have attached great importance to an employee from ENGEL visiting us on-site in Tilburg.”

ABOVE: HELVOET SPECIALISES IN PRECISION INJECTION MOULDED PRODUCTS AND USES ALL- ELECTRIC E-MAC INJECTION MOULDING MACHINES BY ENGEL.

At the same time, he demands more flexibility from all those involved in such a process: “We as developers have to learn to actually use these new technologies, all of which are already available. Even if it just means working more effectively and also more costeffectively.” The example of this target-oriented online collaboration shows the potential that can be tapped here in the future. The bottom line – and everyone involved agrees on this – is that travel expenses alone have been reduced to a substantial extent. The time aspect for solutionoriented implementation and the resulting flexibility in finding a date for a joint online meeting is also causing Helvoet to rethink.


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INJECTION MOULDING NEWS KB Backhaus in high-speed portfolio expansion KB BACKHAUS GMBH, A SPECIALIST IN PLASTIC COMPONENTS FOR THE AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY, HAS RAPIDLY EXPANDED ITS MANUFACTURING PORTFOLIO TO INCLUDE THE SERIES PRODUCTION OF FACE MASKS.

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n innovative fourcavity injection moulding tool with a special mould has been developed for this purpose, enabling a production capacity of 12,500 face masks per day. The material was carefully selected during production trials and is based on the TPE SEBS. The food-grade material is also durable and recyclable. Trials are being conducted to treat the plastic with antibacterial additives. The masks have already obtained a PPE special approval and are currently in the process of being certified with FFP2 protection class (CE 731943). In contrast to the traditional oneway or pure cotton cloth masks, the community masks of Backhaus can be used for almost an unlimited period of time. For the filtering of air from droplets and aerosols, the wearer places a cotton pad or a suitably cut piece of cotton material in the opening provided and fixes it using the supplied clamp ring. The mask can be cleaned quickly and easily with soap and water or in a dishwasher.

WHAT’S THE MOST IMPORTANT THING ABOUT PACKAGING FOR MEDICINES? CHILDREN MUST NOT BE ABLE TO OPEN THEM. HOWEVER, THEY MUST BE EASY TO USE FOR ADULTS, PROTECT THE PRODUCT, REMAIN ATTRACTIVE. PHARMACEUTICAL PACKAGING SPECIALIST SANNER GMBH HAS DEVELOPED A NEW PATENTED TABLET DISPENSER MANUFACTURED ON A CX 160 INJECTION MOULDING MACHINE FROM KRAUSSMAFFEI.

Child-proof packaging for medical cannabis

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he polypropylene container is manufactured with its lid in a small-series mould. The shot weight is 12.8 grams with a cycle time of 20 seconds. The process also includes the container lid, which must be formed while still warm, before the tablet dispenser falls freely from the mould. The thin arms of the lid, which end in the two child-proofing press buttons, are especially

tricky to manufacture. They must be charged with extreme precision in order to achieve the desired press resistance for opening. The result is a defined ‘force window’, within which the container is securely closed, but easy to open. For this purpose, tight tolerances are necessary. Precision is also required for the film hinge, which must withstand 150 opening/ closing cycles without

breaking. From the injection point in the lower container area, the melt is pressed through the narrowing of the hinge. Here, the precise plasticising unit of the KraussMaffei machine proves itself. In addition, the hydraulic CX series convinces with its compact two-platen design and large clamping area for moulds. In the initial phase, the new TabTec CR tablet dispenser

is produced on a CX 160-750. A CX 200 is planned for future large-series application. Hubert Mathes, Head of Technical Operations at Sanner, said: “KraussMaffei has been our reliable partner in the field of injection moulding machines for many years. Above all, we appreciate the competent support with process engineering design and the commissioning of machines.”

BOY PRESENTS FAKUMA-HIGHLIGHTS RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE EXHIBIT PREPARATIONS FOR FAKUMA 2020, THE ORGANISER PE SCHALL GMBH & CO. KG ANNOUNCED THE POSTPONEMENT OF THE EVENT TO NEXT YEAR. A RESPONSIBLE AND SENSIBLE DECISION SUPPORTED BY BOY.

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he performing of the Fakuma 2020 under Coronavirusrelated restrictions in accordance with the hygiene and distance regulations established in Baden-Württemberg represents an increased risk not only for visitors, but for the exhibitors’ trade fair teams. BOY has therefore decided to present the highly interesting trade fair applications in its Technical Center. Interested parties can see the planned Fakuma-highlights in

the BOY-Technical Center, after prior registration and observation of the health-related behavioural rules. The

medium-sized company located in NeustadtFernthal, Germany, also intends to film the trade fair applications and publish them on its

VIRTUAL

YouTube channel. Thomas Breiden, Head of Marketing at BOY, said: “With this decision, BOY deliberately chooses a somewhat different approach than many other companies, which now meticulously ‘plunge’ into virtual trade fairs.” BOY is planning to create a total of five informative product videos in the next few weeks. These will be published on many online-platforms and on the BOY YouTube channel.

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INJECTION MOULDING

The benefits

OF A MANUFACTURING EXECUTION SYSTEM

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Manufacturing Execution System (MES) is a tool that monitors, manages and brings together all the different parts involved in production. It gives users accurate, real-time data that enables the right questions at the right time. With that information, users can be proactive, rather than reactive and those timely decisions increase productivity, improve OEE and increase profit, whilst maintaining quality.

INTOUCH MONITORING EXPLAINS HOW ITS MES SOFTWARE HELPS BRING OUT THE BEST IN MANUFACTURING PROCESSES.

Making more products with the same or fewer resources, enables manufacturers to be more competitive without sacrificing quality or profit. An MES is made up of several components: A monitoring module, which shows what is happening in the factory in real-time; a live scheduling module, that enables the planning and scheduling of jobs; and a reporting and business analytics module, which provides accurate reports so any patterns are easily spotted and changes that need to be made are obvious. MONITORING Real-time monitoring shows what is happening in the factory floor. Connected directly to machines, it monitors production and processes in real-time to deliver live and accurate information to any part of the factory and can be viewed and controlled from a phone, tablet or laptop, either on-site or remotely. Process data and key performance figures such as output speeds, run time, down-time, good/scrap production and utilisation, appear on fully configurable and tailored displays. Downtime alarms alert users the instant a machine stops.

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SCHEDULING The scheduling module is basically a Gantt chart which provides a graphical visualisation of machine loading and capacity utilisation. Rescheduling is easily achieved through a simple drag and drop operation. Jobs on the Gantt chart can be highlighted for various reasons such as identifying tool changes, late jobs or resource clashes. The chart takes your shift pattern into account, as well as any planned maintenance, overtime or shutdowns. Each job can be forward- or backwardscheduled to highlight spare capacity. REPORTING/OEE ANALYTICS Real-time production and process data is automatically and accurately recorded in the archive database and made available to the reporting and analytics modules. The data enables informed decisions to be made to streamline production operations and monitor key processes to better control final product quality and to achieve a ‘zero defect’ policy. Reports can be configured for any selected time-period and available by machine, tool, product, workgroup or operator with many KPIs such as OEE, scrap, down-time or any other custom defined parameters. KEY BENEFITS A production monitoring system can truly transform your manufacturing operation, but the key benefits are improved capacity, throughput use of labour, and quality, as well as reduced scrap and energy consumption.


REDUCTION IN DOWNTIME An MES helps reduce downtime (and increase uptime) through alerts whenever a machine stops so an operator can quickly solve the problem; through recording downtime in real-time with reasons for machine stoppages, via which the problem will become obvious and easily resolved; and through changeover alerts, meaning operators can prepare the right tools and materials without downtime. INCREASED THROUGHPUT The scheduling Gantt chart highlights where bottlenecks are likely to occur as well as shows spare capacity, so the plan can be changed accordingly which increases throughput. With energy being a significant cost of manufacturing, keeping an eye on energy use and not wasting it when machines are idle is important. Individual machine and asset energy monitoring makes it easy to identify excessive energy consumers and correctly allocate energy cost by person, machine, product, tool, material and production order. Alarms can utilised to alert users when a machine is idle and decisions can be made to significantly reduce energy consumption. INCREASED QUALITY Quality is monitored to ensure that products are being made to specification and meet product safety standards. The system flags failing processes and enables the user to react quickly to bad or non-standard production – meaning problems are solved before material and time are wasted and quality and compliance is assured. BETTER USE OF LABOUR Real-time monitoring removes the costs and errors of collecting production and process data manually and enables personnel to use their time more efficiently whilst the high visibility motivates production staff to keep machines operational.

INTOUCH Since its foundation in 1997 Intouch has remained totally focused in providing easy to operate, easy to learn, quick to install, flexible and affordable systems with outstanding customer service. In 2019, the Intouch i4 Cloud was introduced. The Intouch i4 Cloud has a low start-up cost with a low monthly subscription, is quick to implement and easily scalable with immediate ROI. Software updates and support are included and there are no on-site servers to supply or maintain. Free trial available from Sept 2020. WHAT INTOUCH CUSTOMERS SAY Talisman Plastics used Intouch i4 Cloud to switch to 24/7 operation to meet increased demand for medical equipment due to Covid-19. They are able to leave the factory completely unmanned during weekends: “We can also remotely monitor the machines, and email alerts let us know when machines have been stopped longer than 30 minutes. It has helped us increase the efficiency of our machines producing NHS equipment from 75 per cent up to 95 per cent.” OnePlastics Group, a leading manufacturer of plastics components,

Individual machine and asset energy monitoring makes it easy to identify excessive energy consumers and correctly allocate energy cost implemented Intouch Monitoring in 2013 on over 30 production machines in its manufacturing plant in Tamworth, UK. As a direct result it has “without question increased our profitability” and one of their blue-chip customers added: “The (Intouch) system gives you the point of difference compared to other suppliers.” Plastics Parts Direct: “Since implementing the Intouch i4 Cloud, Monday morning start-up times have improved by one hour across all machines; cycle times have improved by 5-8%; uptime has been significantly improved; and the real-time data has prompted us to buy a new machine. We instantly saw an increase of 30 per cent in efficiency and cycle times and a reduction in power consumption too.”


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INJECTION MOULDING VIRTUAL

HOW ARBURGXWORLD DIGITALISATION HAS IMPROVED PRODUCTION EFFICIENCY

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The X Factory

rburg approaches the question of how to use digitalisation to increase production efficiency when processing plastics intensively and practically. In the arburgXworld programme, the Lossburg-based company has intelligently and clearly collected all digital products and services. As well as smarter machine technology and innovative solutions in the service area, the central customer portal – arburgXworld – is given a key position. There are now four packages containing various apps and configuration levels. Many customers use arburgXworld worldwide. The customer portal has been well received and the basic version is free. Practically anyone, from machine operators to managing directors, can benefit from the numerous apps every day. The customer portal makes work easier all along the injection moulding value chain, and the digital services of arburgXworld come in four packages: the free basic package, which includes central apps such as MachineCenter, ServiceCenter, SelfService, Shop, and Calendar; the premium package with valuable tools to increase machine availability, and the VirtualControl app, wherein the user can simulate the machine controls on a PC or tablet to create data sets, optimise workflows, or train employees; Premium Plus, which offers access to Arburg’s calculation tools and detailed knowledge databases, significantly reducing the time expenditure for production planning, work preparation, and quality assurance, as well as for product development and sales; and the ‘Connect’ package, which offers machine-related expansion options for digital data integration. The optional ‘MachineDashboard’ of the Connect package displays detailed status information and KPIs regarding individual Allrounders. It also includes

With remote machine acceptance, an Arburg sales expert will go through all requirements with the customer one by one with an iPad. © Arburg the visualisation of production workflows using graphic trend diagrams. Based on the production protocol, the data for this are collected and continually processed in the machine via an IIoT Gateway. Customers who use the host computer system ALS also receive a cross-location overview of the machine fleet and KPIs. SMART MACHINE Arburg is continually refining the ‘smartness’ of its machines. All new Allrounders come equipped with an IIoT Gateway and have basic connectivity for interconnection with the customer portal or the Arburg Remote Service. Digital tools that support the operator include four assistance packages for all new Allrounders in the clamp design and, optionally, Arburg’s filling and plasticising assistant. SMART PRODUCTION Digitised production and online organisation are in demand so that plastic parts can continue to be manufactured efficiently. Arburg offers solutions for designing series production flexibly, using resources sparingly, and increasing

productivity, quality, and availability. The Arburg host computer system ALS is one such solution. This MES is designed for detailed production planning, data acquisition, and tracking in injection moulding production. Besides the injection moulding machines of other manufacturers, metalworking machines and peripheral devices can be integrated. SMART SERVICES The digital services of arburgXworld include the Apps Shop, SelfService, and ServiceCenter. Customers can use the Configuration app to configure and order the Allrounder 270 S compact online, and the Arburg Remote Service (ARS) facilitates time-saving online support. Arburg has also created the option to accept machines remotely. To that end, Arburg’s sales experts go through the requirement specifications with the customer, enabling all requirements to be checked through a visual approval test. In conclusion, the customer receives an extensive written record along with image documentation before the customer’s Allrounder is put into operation on site.

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INJECTION MOULDING WITTMANN GROUP MD MICHAEL WITTMANN TAKES A PHILOSOPHICAL VIEW TOWARDS THE POSTPONEMENT OF FAKUMA, AND REMEMBERS THE VALUE OF THE HUMAN FACTOR IN A DIGITAL AGE.

As well as causing the postponement of Europe’s major trade fairs, the Coronavirus has brought about the increased use of digital conferencing. How has Wittmann utilised and benefitted from this experience? Our sales and purchasing departments are utilising digital conferencing to stay in contact with our customers and suppliers. We have also conducted internal webinars to pass on information to our international sales team, and I am now convinced that web conferences will continue to co-exist alongside traditional ways of communication. Long-term, I believe that digital conferences will mostly be used for internal communications within an international organisation. For communication with customers, digital conferences are mostly a band-aid in the current situation of travel restrictions. Once these restrictions are lifted, the level of personal visits will very quickly return to a rather normal, prepandemic level. It’s important to note that customers measure the availability and responsiveness of a technical sales support person by the number of onsite visits. At least this was the case beforehand, and it is my feeling that it will continue like this. A personal visit enables the technical salesperson to become

more intimate with recommendations in possible improvements in equipment and processes, which would be impossible during a web conference. What disadvantages has the company faced through the postponement of Fakuma, for example? Fakuma is a high-quality show that offers exhibitors a valuable platform for the presentation of new products and innovations, and visitors a rather compact format to learn about new advances in the industry. On the one hand, it’s a pity that Fakuma will not be held; on the other, we’re rather relieved because any such event would have been a real challenge from a health standpoint. Until the last moment, we had no practical idea how to combine necessary health considerations with the erection of the show booth, as well as the presentation of our products, meetings with customers, etc. Visitors have a tendency to put their heads together when they look into the mould area of a moulding machine. I cannot imagine having a queue of persons waiting in line, with markers on the floor for social distancing and a waiting time of a couple of minutes in order to take a peek into the mould area. Also, if anybody of our show team indicates or shows symptoms that could well be the Coronavirus, would we have to isolate the entire team until a PCR testing is done? Would we need a second show support team on standby? We are very thankful to the Fakuma show management for postponing the show. How valuable has prior Industry 4.0 and digitalisation activity proven to be? Special machinery will to a certain degree always be built by humans, not robots

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or AI, so there is a limit how far our company can go with our preparation for the Coronavirus. We are asking our staff to maintain social distancing in the company and in the production process, but this is a rather unusual and less than pleasant experience. Everything that makes working together enjoyable, the typical social exchange, the human touch of teamwork, so to speak, needs to be suppressed to a certain degree. Long-term, such a process cannot be maintained and would cause issues in the way we are communicating, exchanging information and learning from one another. Certainly, Industry 4.0 tools are helping to monitor activity, but the base is the production line, which in our case is built on humans working together. The situation is certainly different in an injection moulding plant, as ‘lights-out solutions’ are possible and have been realised frequently. Viewed from the Industry 4.0 angle, an injection moulding plant is certainly more advanced and can work more autonomously than a machining/assembly plant for special machinery. Aside from Fakuma, where can we hope to see Wittmann at trade fairs again, and what innovations can we expect? It will be difficult to hold any show during the remainder of the year. The more critical months with regard to COVID-19 infection rates are still ahead of us, as autumn and winter approach. The announcement of a proven vaccine would certainly make an instant difference, though, for the show business. Regardless, we have several new product innovations and releases we want to introduce. My colleagues have already distributed a press release about the highlights that


VIRTUAL were planned for Fakuma from our IMM product department. In short, we have a wide array of product presentations from all divisions, including a compact IMM and granulator solution with minimum footprint requirement to better support the circular economy; liquid silicone moulding with a SmartPower 120 adapted for LSR applications; the introduction of the EcoPower Xpress product range for thin-wall moulding and short-cycle moulding, through which we’ve made a very successful entry into the packaging industry and will present an EcoPower Xpress 300 for 4s cycle time for magarine tubs; and our MES solution TEMI+, which integrates all Wittmann 4.0 machines and makes them visible on the MES operator level. TEMI+ has been upgraded for even faster speed of presentation and an advanced production planning tool. These are just the IMM highlights. Other highlights will come from our robotics and peripheral equipment divisions.

In what ways does Wittmann technology invite injection moulders to embrace the change? In regards to digitalisation, we are leading in our industry through Wittmann 4.0, which offers the plug-and-play method for Wittmann 4.0 equipment to our moulding machine with the latest version B8 control system and further on to our MES solution TEMI+. Wittmann 4.0 auxiliaries are automatically connected to the moulding machine, identify themselves by type and function, and establish the correct typedependent communication. Furthermore, the user interface of the Wittmann 4.0 auxiliary equipment is transferred to the B8 control and runs there under native code with all functions and menus identical to the control of each

Why would injection moulders be somewhat sceptical of digital trade fairs? In general, the way business in our industry is conducted remains rather ‘old-fashioned’. As production equipment is typically not purchased and used by the same person, the purchasing process is in almost all cases not a ‘one-man-show’. It’s quite important to get the feedback from various departments before making a decision, which could be achieved in a web conference, but this is so far not our experience. Look at trade fair visitors, for example: in almost all cases companies send numerous people from different departments. Furthermore, people want to see and touch equipment before purchasing. The purchase of moulding machines or other high-value production equipment to a new customer purely through web-conference and the internet is rather unlikely.

On the one hand, it’s a pity that Fakuma will not be held; on the other, we’re rather relieved because any such event would have been a real challenge

auxiliary. All settings for moulds, auxiliaries and robot teach programs are stored in a central mould datasheet. Once needed, the settings are retrieved and distributed to the correct piece of equipment or auxiliary. Previously, MES solutions were primarily connected to primary processing equipment, but not the auxiliary equipment. TEMI+ extends the reach of MES solutions to a complete moulding work cell, allowing the data collection of the machine and the Wittmann 4.0 equipment connected. The Wittmann 4.0 method enables lightsout operation of each moulding work cell, data collection, and traceability of the production – certainly important features for the moulding shop, which has to enforce social distancing and still provide high-quality products.


INJECTION MOULDING VICE PRESIDENT AND COO OF SLOVENIA-BASED MOULD SPECIALIST SIBO GROUP BLAŽ OSTERMAN SPOKE TO EPPM ABOUT THE COMPANY’S CONTRIBUTIONS TO MOULDING, INJECTION MOULDING, AND PRODUCTION CAPACITY.

MOULDED BY

MOUNTAINS Slovenia is renowned across the world for its contributions to moulding and tooling, particularly for the plastics injection moulding sector. In what ways does SIBO Group itself contribute to the industry? Correct. Slovenia has been renowned for moulding and tooling for quite some time now, and SIBO Group has been the standard-bearer in this field for over 50 years. It all started with a small business – the production of plastic products and, later, mould manufacturing. By investing in new production capacities, we established modern production facilities, in which our main activities are development, production and sales of moulds for producing plastic products. Our key products are packaging solutions, technical solutions and pharmaceutical primary packaging. With our own Mould Technology Centre we can provide solutions from an idea to industrialisation.

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Today we work with one of the biggest moulding productions in the country, which has over 100 machines for processing plastics.

Due to the vast amount of plastic products we use up to 25 tonnes of resin per day. This means that 10 large silos are filled daily with different resin.

What is the current output capacity for the Škofja Loka site and what are you doing to help add value and competitiveness? Since the beginnings our company has been producing more and more products. In 2019 our production has made around five billion components. The majority is caps, shoulders and closures for tubes, but also primary packaging for pharmaceuticals made in a cleanroom environment, thin wall packaging products and components for household, medical and industrial use. These are small, usually high-volume products. On the other end of the scale are moulds, where each is custom made, weighing anywhere up to five tonnes. We make up to 100 moulds per year.

We are also in the process of establishing production overseas. We already have SIBO USA showing results in North America. Due to this year’s health situation, however, we were forced to slow down our plans, but in 2021 we are sure to already have a fully working production site in the US, as well as SIBO RUS in Russia and SIBO POL in Poland. We aim to be even more successful and a short step away from our partners. We currently supply more than 250 customers in over 60 countries. For which markets specifically? Our main volumes are for packaging, be it for medical, pharma, cosmetic or the food industry. Other smaller volumes are components for household, electrical, technical and similar sectors.


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INJECTION MOULDING How has automation helped to improve production and injection moulding machine performance? In one word, much. High levels of automation are simply a must in a massproduction environment. No question about it. With that, our machine utilisation in the packaging sector in 2020 was above 85 per cent, with a high yield as well. All machines are connected to a MES system that handles the planning and telemetric data, which allows us to keep the output high while maintaining personnel at an optimal level. For example, we just implemented our own developed software solution based on a genetic algorithm. The algorithm gathers real-time production data to equally distribute work among the machine operators. This allows us to keep the optimal number of machine operators on-site based on actual output data. All of them have the same amount of workload and we are certain they have been given enough time to accomplish all necessary tasks. How have production levels been affected during the Coronavirus pandemic, and what measures do you have in place to maintain employee health and safety? We can say that our production has not been affected by Coronavirus. Our products are meant for use in pharma and food, so no reduction has been felt. Quite the opposite, actually. We had to ramp up production. If anything, we were affected but in a positive sense. Regarding safety measures, the high level of automation made our work much easier, keeping the production running

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at a high level, while maintaining safe working conditions. In the packing sector, we have 65 machines, which are handled by 12 operators. This means that including all the other workers, technologists, QC, maintenance, etc. there are never more than 25 people in the 3,000 square metre area. Nonetheless, we were following national safety guidelines. First, we put up information posters explaining implemented obligation of the use of ancillary protective equipment, and of course provided all workers with that. Also, for all personnel who could work from home, we improved IT support so they could do so. Instead of personal visits, we emphasised the use of video conferences and emails. We immediately closed the canteen and added additional disinfectant dispensers on the company’s premises for all employees, especially those who have direct contact with external workers. We also introduced additional actions aimed at frequent disinfection of work stations, changing rooms, toilets and communication routes. We abandoned all planned trainings, conferences and other collectives, except the necessary ones required by law. For such cases we have also prepared appropriate safety, hygiene and mobility rules in designated areas. We limited access to the company’s main buildings and in the case of moving around the company’s premises, we implemented the principles of safety, hygiene and mobility for outsiders, particularly drivers and couriers, but also for employees of external companies, e.g. in cases of necessary services. For our employees permanently staying mainly

outside the main buildings, a special mode of receiving and sending shipments has been developed, maintaining the principles of safety and hygiene. Apart from the beautiful mountainous scenery, what is the best thing about working at SIBO Group? As you pointed out, there are quite a few things that stand out at SIBO Group. The beautiful scenery is one part of it. Coming to work and driving past those marvellous mountains is a pleasure and makes the commute far less mundane. They are there to remind you of the beauty that surrounds us. But between those journeys I spend a lot of time in the company, with my mind focused on other priorities. Some days are tougher than others, but there is something that stays there and makes us stronger every day, and that is my co-workers. Dedicated employees who live and breathe with the company – that’s what makes this company tick. And afterwards I can always drive past those beautiful mountains again.


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RECYCLING STADLER ACHIEVES HIGH-PURITY PLASTIC FLAKES AND INCREASES PRODUCTIVITY AT RCS’ PET SORTING PLANT.

PET PROJECTS R

CS is a company based in Werne, Germany, specialising in recycling management. With over 40 years’ experience, it provides companies with efficient and sustainable solutions for the disposal of commercial waste with its three core competencies – waste disposal, raw material recycling and plastics. Sustainability and the environmentally friendly use of resources are the principles at the heart of RCS’s corporate philosophy. They run through every aspect of its operation, including the advanced processes used to collect and transform waste into secondary raw materials, returning them to the production cycle. These core values also form the basis for its service to clients, as it works in partnership with them to develop a concept that is environmentally friendly and individually tailored to their needs.

An important area of focus for RCS is the recycling of PET bottles to produce plastic flakes for a variety of applications and high-quality regranulate for the food sector. This activity is centered at its sorting plant, where it separates clear PET from coloured PET, which account for 85 per cent of the input, as well as aluminium and ferrous cans, film and other materials. With a capacity of seven tonnes per hour, the plant operates on a continuous shift system, processing used PET bottles into high-quality food grade plastic flakes. The purity of the flakes is of paramount importance, as they are destined to the production of a variety of plastic products, from plastic fibres to films and packaging tapes, as well as products for the food industry. Every outgoing

Joint CEOs Alexander Rimmer and Gerd Franke

Big Bag is carefully checked for residual moisture, bulk density, incorrect colours and contaminants, as well as grain size distribution and adhesive residues to ensure the high quality of the output. HIGH QUALITY In order to achieve both the consistent high purity it requires and optimise the processes at its plant, RCS has relied on Stadler’s expertise over the years. Gerd Francke, joint CEO of RCS, said: “We had already purchased a ballistic separator from Stadler in 2005. On the basis of the good experience with their technology, we decided again to choose Stadler for a new ballistic separator in 2014.” This was followed by a complete modernisation of the plant in 2017: “Stadler offered us the complete package, from project planning to the construction of the modernisation of the entire plant, managed and implemented by their staff,” Alexander Rimmer, joint CEO of the company, added. “We particularly appreciated their technical knowhow and the support during the entire project. Their advice was flawless and they offered us great technical experts who advised not only on the technology and processes, but also on the implementation possibilities specifically adapted to our technical requirements with good solutions to problems.”

22 WWW.EPPM.COM


take place before sorting. Once again, RCS turned to Stadler for a solution to this new requirement. Rimmer said: “With the Stadler Label Remover, the labels are stripped off and the PET bottles are less damaged than with other manufacturers. As a result, we can register less fine abrasion.” Stadler’s Label Remover – launched in 2019 with the name Delabeler – removes labels from bottles of all types, achieving a quality standard of up to 80 per cent of labels removed. It processes a mass flow of up to nine tonnes per hour – depending on the particle size and material composition. It stands out for the robust construction that is the hallmark of Stadler equipment and is highly resistant to impurities. These features result in excellent durability and a consistently high performance throughout its long lifecycle. RCS PET sorting plant The completion of the project within very tight deadlines was a key requirement for RCS, and Stadler delivered on this important demand: “What particularly convinced us was that they followed our tight schedule and were able to meet our expectations,” Rimmer continued. The modernisation has brought multiple benefits to the sorting plant – not only on the quality of the output, but also on its operation and running costs, to the satisfaction of RCS’s CEOs: “The biggest advantage was a triple increase in quantity, quality, and yield. In addition, work processes have become easier for our employees. Also, the Stadler equipment is very durable, and therefore requires less maintenance. As a result of the modernisation and the simplified maintenance, costs and workflows could be optimised.” FURTHER UPGRADES The recycling industry is in constant evolution as the packaging used by manufacturers changes over time. This is the case of PET bottles, which are increasingly packed in a ‘full-body’ sleeve. To optimise sorting and achieve better quality for its customers, the separation of label and PET bottle must

The Stadler Label Remover has been in operation at the RCS PET sorting plant where it has proved to be an effective solution. Rimmer concluded: “We are very satisfied with the Label Remover because it requires less maintenance and its throughput is geared to that of our plant. With this machine, there is less wear on the knives and the machine is not very susceptible to impurities such as foil or wood. In addition, it does not cause any damage to the PET bottles. With the Label Remover, we can separate the labels from the bottles before sorting, which enables us to guarantee a consistently high level of purity.” Stadler’s longstanding relationship with RCS is a hallmark of the company’s approach to serving its customers, as Willi Stadler, CEO of the Stadler Group, explained: “I am very proud of having worked side by side with RCS over the years, building a real partnership that has enabled us to support them as their business has grown and evolved. Together, we have been able to anticipate the changes in market demand and find effective solutions for their operation. I am looking forward to being at their side, helping them meet future challenges.” Willi Stadler

The biggest advantage was a triple increase in quantity, quality, and yield. In addition, work processes have become easier for our employees


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RECYCLING NEWS

Enval strengthens senior management team UK-BASED PLASTIC-ALUMINIUM LAMINATE RECYCLING COMPANY ENVAL HAS APPOINTED JEREMY BLAKE AS PART OF ITS SENIOR MANAGEMENT TEAM, IN CHARGE OF OPERATIONS AND ACCELERATING THE BUSINESS’ STRONG GROWTH.

E

nval uses a unique proprietary pyrolysis solution technology for treating low-density packaging waste. By applying cuttingedge innovation to packaging recycling, Enval is paving the way for environmentally responsible packaging solutions. Jeremy joins Enval to lead the company’s operations department, bringing with him over 10 years of experience in the circular economy sector. Prior to joining Enval, he was the Head of Recycling Assets at Viridor, and has a demonstrated history of working at the intersection of renewables and environmental technologies, as well as a strong dedication

towards implementing sustainable solutions. These skills make him a crucial addition to the Enval team, at a time when an increasing number of FMCGs and waste handlers are looking for solutions to tackle plastic waste issues. Dr Carlos LudlowPalafox, Founder and CEO of Enval, said: “Treating plastic better enables the recycling of valuable resources and paves the way for environmentally responsible packaging solutions. With Jeremy’s extensive track record in the industry, we can further empower FMCGs to strengthen profitable and sustainable brands while complying with new regulations and open up new revenue streams for waste handlers.” Blake added: “I am very excited to join Enval. The company is changing the perception of plastic and unlocking a profitable circular economy. I’m confident our solution is a game-changer for FMCGs and waste handlers. Together, we’ll contribute to a sustainable and circular economy.”

MONDI HAS JOINED FORCES WITH AIM, THE EUROPEAN BRANDS ASSOCIATION, AND OTHER PARTNERS ACROSS THE VALUE CHAIN TO PROVE THE VIABILITY OF DIGITAL WATERMARKING FOR SORTING WASTE AT SCALE.

HOLYGRAIL 2.0 LAUNCHED: MONDI TRIALS DIGITAL WATERMARKING

T

he HolyGrail 2.0 initiative has the ambitious goal of assessing whether this pioneering digital technology can enable better sorting and higher-quality recycling rates for packaging in the EU, thereby driving a truly circular economy. Mondi, a founding member of the original Pioneer Project HolyGrail, is continuing its active role in trialling the innovative technology. Postage stampsized watermarks on packaging make it possible to effectively sort the material into specific waste streams. Conventional sensor technologies (e.g. near infrared spectroscopy) are not able to reliably identify multi-material

packaging, so they can end up as contaminants when recycling monomaterials. With this new technology, it becomes possible to separate materials more accurately and generate new waste streams, which can be recycled with enhanced recycling technologies. Graeme Smith, Head of Product Sustainability for Flexible Packaging and Engineered Materials, said: “At Mondi, we believe packaging should be sustainable by design and we see the need to improve the sorting and separation of packaging waste as part of a circular economy. Digital watermarks have the potential to make

this a reality. Improved recycling will increase the value of packaging waste, driving higher collection rates and making it a valuable commercial resource for the future.” As HolyGrail 2.0 progresses, Mondi is well positioned to contribute to its success by validating digital watermarks with partners along the value chain. Mondi will be conducting full-scale industrial trials with key customers in the near future.

2020 PET MONOMER RECYCLING FORUM GOES ONLINE THE 2020 PET MONOMER RECYCLING FORUM EVENT, SCHEDULED FOR 7 OCTOBER, WILL BE HELD AS A FULLY DIGITAL EVENT, WITH REGISTRATION OPENING IN SEPTEMBER.

D

ue to the growing interest in PET Monomer Recycling, Petcore Europe announced that the event would take place in Brussels. Recent developments regarding the Covid19 pandemic have caused the

organisers to digitalise the event. Confirmed speakers include Petcore Europe steering team Christian Crepet and Stephen Short, Martin Stephan of Carbios, and Marco Brons of Cumapol, among others. The Forum will be

open for members and non-members of Petcore Europe, with varying participation fees. See the PET Monomer Recycling Forum website for further details.

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RECYCLING EPPM SPOKE TO DR RON COTTERMAN, VICE PRESIDENT OF INNOVATION AND SUSTAINABILITY AT SEALED AIR, ABOUT HOW THE RIGHT COLLABORATIONS CAN HELP BRING ABOUT A TRUE CIRCULAR ECONOMY.

Sealed Air recently signed a joint collaboration agreement with Plastic Energy. How does the one complement the other? Sealed Air is a packaging solutions company trying to figure out consumer needs and market trends, but two years ago the narrative started to change, particularly relating to plastic, and as we started to study this from a sustainability and an innovation perspective, we thought about what we need to do to make plastics circular. Traditionally, we would look to our suppliers and then to our customers and retailers to derive that solution, but when you talk about circularity you have to bend the supply chain around to make a circle. So we saw a real gap and the technology to fill that gap was the ability to take plastics after use and make those properties identical to virgin quality. The conversion step of waste back to feedstock was a huge gap, and Plastic Energy plays in that space. This gap-filling investment addresses the need for recycled content and that recycled content needs to be as close to virgin material as possible. We can’t just stand back and wait for this to happen, we have to drive investment and activity to enable circularity – and Plastic Energy is the key element of that strategy. So we have further invested in that space – that’s the missing link to bring these flexible plastics into a more circular mode.

Plastics Energy already enjoys an extensive connection network in Europe, what made Sealed Air so attractive? We wanted to invest in a company that was on the cutting edge, that has the technology, and has some commercial experience, as well as the vision to grow. Plastic Energy CEO Carlos Monreal saw the connection between what he was producing as the feedstock and the ability to drive into value-added applications versus competing with mechanical recycling. That’s the key point: this is by

no means meant to be competitive with materials designed to go into mechanical recycling processes; this tech enables the high-performance materials to bring additional value to the supply chain and into society. It enables them to be circular. We know we have to do our part. We can’t just expect advanced recycling to take all the material and feed it back into the supply chain. We’re evolving the design of our packaging materials to be able to fit that circular loop. A big component of our collaboration with Plastic Energy is the

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To include:• Sumitomo Demag EL-EXIS SP 580/1020-300 electric injection moulder (2018) • 15 x Ferromatik Milacron K-Tec 400/400S injection moulders (1998 to 2002) • Ferromatik Milacron K-Tec 350S injection moulder (2002) • 2 x Husky H400 RS115 1100/1200 injection moulders (both 2003) • Netstal Synergy S4200K and S2400 (2004) injection moulders • Engel ES200/50HL injection moulder (1997) • Engel Victory 500/150 Tech injection moulder (2002)

• NGR Type S-Gran75-HD palletising/granulation and rewash recycling line (2012) • Zambello 2 Type ZPE2/14Q/E-E7 extruder (2012) • Extensive range of automation including case depositors, thermal welders, automated work piece handling robots, case stackers, film banding machines, robot palletizers etc. • 4 x HPC DS 171 compressors • Water cooling and treatment plant • 20 x Braby bulk storage silos (30 to 150 tonnes)

To bid please go to www.lsh.co.uk/mba or ON VIEW: By appointment only on Monday 12th and Tuesday 13th October 2020 between 10am – 4pm AT: Amaray, Arkwright Road, Willowbrook East Industrial Estate, Corby, Northampton NN17 5AE BIDDING CLOSES: Thursday 15th October 2020 from 11.00am COLLECTION: By appointment only on Monday 19 October to Friday 6 November between 9am – 4pm This is a full PPE site – visitors must wear adequate PPE at all times

For further details please contact: James Hanson 07968 498794 | jhanson@lsh.co.uk Lambert Smith Hampton, City Gate East, Tollhouse Hill, Nottingham, NG1 5FS


RECYCLING ability to mutually understand how we can expand the limits of what can be recycled and what can be made from recyclable materials. It’s an innovation collaboration. Sustainability drivers and innovation actions will drive that circularity. It goes way beyond merely making an investment in another company. It’s about doing the innovation work and the collaborative R&D to evolve the materials and processes simultaneously. Has the collaboration with Plastic Energy helped to improve Sealed Air’s network in any way? As we saw the need to drive circularity across the value chain, we became more active in organisations that looked to technical solutions. One example in the United States is the American Chemistry Council, which is looking at the technology to recover and reuse plastics. In Europe, we’ve been partnering with organisations such as CEFLEX because they were also benchmarking the technology we need. With changing attitudes toward plastic packaging, how do you get the consumer on-side? The missing piece on a global scale has been the ability to bring those plastics back around. I like to talk about keeping the molecule in play. The consumer doesn’t see plastics as molecules, we want them to see that there are companies that are trying to make this work from an environmental, a business, and especially a societal perspective. What role do retailers play? I think that’s a really good question because we can honestly have a very direct dialogue with our suppliers and our customers, but the interface with consumers is often that retailer. We’re

As we saw the need to drive circularity across the value chain, we became more active in organisations that looked to technical solutions

working on the redesign of our materials in order to make them easier to recycle and to communicate recyclability. We need those materials and those molecules back. It is a very symbiotic relationship but all the players in that supply chain have to work together. We’re having a lot of discussions with retailers and are working to make it as easy as possible to help drive circularity. What would you say to those that still call for the end of plastics? I’d say let’s agree where we agree. Let’s eliminate plastic waste. There’s been too much waste of plastics as the industry has grown dramatically and our ability to manage that waste has not kept up. I agree, we need to address that environmental burden that has increased in recent years. If we don’t, we’ll continue to see mismanagement of plastic waste. We have a shared goal not of eliminating plastics, but eliminating plastics waste. Plastics play a vital role in the supply chain, where we probably don’t have discussions with such organisations is “what are the solutions?”. Last year we also joined the Alliance to End Plastic Waste, which has a very large commitment to invest in technology and infrastructure to reverse the trend of plastics in the environment. We are also still looking for other such organisations and collaborations with other like-minded companies in order to facilitate the change on the global scale needed. How likely is it that a virgin or nearvirgin quality material comes around every time? I think we’re closer than a lot of people realise, there are many projects under way right now doing exactly that. We’ve coined the term ‘micro-circular loops’. When you think about circularity in a macro sense, it’s quite overwhelming. But when you think in a micro sense, involving pieces of a supply chain that can work together, that’s how it needs to start. That’s what we’re involved in right now. Plastic Energy and Sealed Air are participating in projects that can drive circularity on an industrial scale, and in a way that we can achieve it now, rather than in five or ten years. You will likely see a lot of activity in that space even in

the next 18-24 months – companies are really trying to understand how plastics can come back as a feedstock for Plastic Energy and then back to the converters. I think it will create confidence, enthusiasm and investment in circularity. It’s a big challenge, but we have to try to get the good news out and bring people together in these topics. These are tough challenges, but we don’t get to the finish line by talking, we get there by doing something about it.

CEO AND FOUNDER OF PLASTIC ENERGY CARLOS MONREAL: We are pleased to announce this partnership between Sealed Air and Plastic Energy, and we hope that it will further the development of a true circular economy. Plastic Energy will convert plastic waste from Sealed Air into new feedstock, and Sealed Air will then incorporate that into packaging. Our mission and vision for eliminating waste, and collaborating for innovation and change, is aligned with Sealed Air’s priorities. This partnership will include the research and development of eco-design and recyclability of packaging, alongside the recycling of Sealed Air’s plastic scrap material. Another goal of Sealed Air’s investment is to help support market development for chemical recycling and the industry. Plastic Energy is committed to working with the entire value-chain to recycle an increasing number of plastics. It’s a very exciting time at our company, as we have big plans for expansion of our recycling facilities worldwide, with the construction of multiple plants in Europe and Asia.

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RECYCLING EPPM MET WITH SUSTAINABILITY LEADER AT TRINSEO WALTER VAN HET HOF TO DISCUSS INNOVATIONS IN SUSTAINABILITY AND CIRCULARITY.

SUSTAINABILITY: involved, innovative, intrinsic

How important is it for a Sustainability Leader to be visible, as well as active? Sustainability is not something you do for the green market. It’s not a nice programme that you run. It’s about embedding sustainable thinking into your DNA. I do a lot of education sessions and I’m always saying I’m not ‘Mr Sustainability’; I’m a catalyst engaging people, organisations and customers in thoughts and ideas. We showcase where we’re going and get a good sense of where they’re going, and it has helped us identify how we can contribute in a meaningful way. We have embedded sustainability into our governance structure. There’s a sustainability committee at board level where it is on the agenda – as it should be – at every meeting. They have always been very supportive in driving that. Engagement is important and means that you need to be visible as a leader. It’s all about performance, transparency, and that has helped us. Now is the time

for a lot of outreach and interaction to identify the ‘go’ areas where we can make a difference. We know what we want to accomplish – but the ‘how’ is a journey. That creates the engagement, excitement and ownership so it becomes part of the DNA of the company, not a department in the company. I don’t want a sustainability department – that’s like being separate. It should be whole – just like safety. Sustainability is the next safety. It should be part of everything, every day. I would love to see the word sustainability disappear because then it’s the new normal. We’ll no longer talk about it, we’ll just do it. You mentioned that industry and society are at a crossroads. What do you then look for to guide you in the right direction? We understand and have talked a lot with customers about where they’re going and what their commitments are with the Circular Economy Action Plan and the Green Deal, as well as the huge pressure on plastics. All these inputs have helped us identify what’s happening in the coming 10, 20, 30 years. We see a huge drive to circularity and we’re looking to more recycled content in our materials and applications, and we’re working on circular solutions. That’s where Styrenics Circular Solutions (SCS) is such an important project for us. That is a true circular solution and a huge knowledge base, which resonates very well with customers. I feel fortunate that we have it. It’s where we understand what it takes to build a really circular solution. We’re entering a phase where much will

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change. That’s why I say it’s a crossroads, because there are multiple challenges coming. The traditional industry that we were is changing fast, and we’re working on exciting collaborative projects to help explore what this new reality will look like. It’s exciting, challenging and you therefore need that engagement. People need to change and be creative. They have to get out of their comfort zones. There are so many uncertainties at the moment, and no defined meaning of circularity, so we will have to innovate, and this will take place in industries. There will be innovation and new technologies, but a lot is uncertain because all these things have just started to transition into a more sustainable, circular economy. But what do you look for in terms of results? We’re looking into low-carbon, closed-loop technologies, and at what it takes to get more bio-feedstock and bioresources available. There are a lot of areas where we have already started projects, but SCS is the most prominent. It is one of the real first true circular solutions because if you recycle PS back to a monomer, you come back with a recycled styro-monomer to create other styrene-based materials. That makes the footprint very attractive. How hard is it sharing innovative information with peers and competitors? Real competitors you have to be very careful with, so there are very strict compliance rules taken into such situations. Where we see more valuable collaboration is with customers and suppliers so we can help them accomplish their sustainability goals. If you have


VIRTUAL a solution for something, that’s a big business opportunity. Trinseo is included in Newsweek’s list of most responsible companies. What would you say to other plastics industry players to inspire them to achieve similar? For me, the message would be sustainability is not a nice thing to have – it’s a must-have. It’s something that is happening, and you need to be ahead of the game, but you also need it to stay in business. You have to get out of your comfort zone because it’s not straightforward anymore; you have to identify the different technologies available and collaborate with new partners. That’s exciting for us. It’s not just about the products, but about what’s happening in the supply chain. At a certain point, your suppliers’ suppliers will define if you stay in business. That’s why I said it’s not a green marketing programme – it should be embedded and you should believe in it. Otherwise your credibility could be at stake. I’m very passionate about it. To make that into something owned by everyone is vital, otherwise it doesn’t make sense. It would be green-washing, and that’s a big ‘no-go’ for me. What would you say to those who would still like to see the end of plastics altogether? If you remove all the plastics we’re using, everything will fall apart. Medical plastics, for example, can’t be replaced because of hygiene standards. There is so much about plastics that is good. We in the plastics industry will take our responsibility and find solutions, but one thing that is very difficult is to change human behaviour. We have to look into broader things too, but we need governments to help us and society to harmonise waste management systems. It’s scattered, all over the place. Once plastic waste gets a value, there’s a whole new world to open up. Yes, we see the issue, but let’s not paint that picture that all plastics are bad. The challenge is that plastics has become such an emotional debate. We’ve drifted away from rational discussions and

even policies can be built on emotions. That makes it very difficult to request a discussion wherein we can acknowledge the issues and come up with solutions. We stick our necks out to hold ourselves accountable to accomplish these goals. They’re not fluffy. We haven’t made it easy on ourselves. The science-based goals are clear. Trinseo stands for ‘intrinsic’, and sustainability is intrinsic to what we believe in. We want to do meaningful things to contribute and hope we’re not being forced through legislations and regulations so that we focus on the wrong things. We need to have that dialogue with industries, governments, NGOs, to make sure we’re doing the right things. We don’t want to be pushed in a direction that doesn’t make sense for this world.

Sustainability is the next safety. It should be part of everything, everyday


TPE EXPERT TALKS Sharing Knowledge in Live Talks and Web-Seminars October, 12th–15th 2020 Register at kraiburg-tpe.com


RECYCLING A SUMMARY OF HOW TOMRA’S HARMONISED AND INTEGRATED TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS CAN HELP IMPROVE THE RECYCLING PROCESS.

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HARMONISE TO CIRCULARISE

n June, TOMRA Sorting Recycling launched its latest advanced sorting solutions to meet demand for faster, more efficient and smarter material sorting. Under the theme of ‘Symphony of all Sorts’, TOMRA Sorting Recycling formally launched two brand new products – TOMRA’s new generation technology AUTOSORT and AUTOSORT SPEEDAIR – and outlined plans for the launch of a third solution, AUTOSORT CYBOT. The product launches were originally due to take place at IFAT 2020, but with the event cancelled due to COVID-19, TOMRA adapted its plans and launched the products on a digital platform. The ‘Symphony of all Sorts’ theme was chosen to reflect the way in which the latest generation AUTOSORT and its complementary products create a perfectly harmonised symphony to sort all kinds of waste with advanced accuracy and sophistication. Based on the feedback, TOMRA anticipates high levels of interest in the most advanced model of its AUTOSORT system, which can be easily integrated into any existing or new sorting processes. Incorporated as standard in the latest AUTOSORT is TOMRA’s SHARP EYE and patented advanced FLYING BEAM sensing technology

Incorporated as standard in the latest AUTOSORT is TOMRA’s SHARP EYE and patented advanced FLYING BEAM sensing technology. AUTOSORT SPEEDAIR is a highly customisable system designed to stabilise plastic films or paper on a highspeed conveyor, thus generating a higher throughput and sorting quality. TOMRA’s AUTOSORT CYBOT system is the first robot on the market that combines four technologies at once: Near Infrared (NIR) and Visible Light (VIS) spectroscopy, DEEP LAISER and, if required, induction for ferrous and non-ferrous metals recovery. AUTOSORT CYBOT’s robotic arm is capable of simultaneously sorting material into four different streams. Tom Eng, Head of TOMRA Sorting Recycling, said: “We are delighted with how well the digital launch event went … The launch provided an opportunity to showcase our range of complementary, connected and perfectly harmonised technologies which together deliver a symphony that is capable of sorting all sorts of waste at unparalleled sorting performances.” INTEGRATED FLAKE SORTING SOLUTIONS When it comes to plastic waste, emphasis is placed on responsible and sustainable handling. With new regulations being introduced, a new approach to recycling is imperative. For this to happen, stakeholders must implement efficient recycling processes so the plastics are handled correctly, and the highest possible purity is retained. The rate of plastic production continues to rise, and with it comes the need for efficient recycling systems. Flake sorting can help improve output quality and enable more types of plastic to be efficiently sorted. Although small impurities and colour deviations can

The implementation of a flake sorting machine alone will not help improve overall yield and purity, unless as part of a carefully integrated solution negatively affect the recyclate, a hightech, sensor-based solution is available to purify the flakes up to the required standards. These high-precision machines enable more PET bottles to stay in the loop. INTEGRATED APPROACH However, the implementation of a flake sorting machine alone will not help improve overall yield and purity, unless as part of a carefully integrated solution. To achieve the highest purities, operators need to have a system which integrates pre-sorting and flake sorting, ideally from the same manufacturer. A precise pre-sorting process is an important step because it reduces the bulk of colour and material contamination, so when the bottles are shredded, the remaining contamination is manageable. Having harmonised systems in place makes it possible to fine-tune pre-sorting and flake-sorting performances. An efficient pre-sorting process prior to flake sorting can help reduce the need for manual sorting, as the sorting technology can remove any non-usable materials. By using one supplier for both machines, higher levels of accuracy can be achieved. With the alignment of machines, a streamlined, one-stop service and maintenance solution is achieved, which means less downtime and increased capacity.

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FILM AND SHEET NEWS US-BASED PROCESSING TECHNOLOGIES INTERNATIONAL HAS INTRODUCED ITS LATEST DEVELOPMENT IN HIGH-SPEED EXTRUSION, WITH THE INTRODUCTION OF THE SUPER-G HIGHSPEED SGHS3500-36D.

PTi introduces new high-speed sheet extruder COLINES BROADENS PRODUCT LINE COLINES HAS INTRODUCED ITS BRAND NEW POLYCAST EVO FOR THE CPP AND CPE MARKETS.

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he line represents the best combination for satisfying the latest market demands and guarantees the best price-performance ratio for its customers, according to a recent press release. The new cast line has a very compact layout, available in a configuration starting from four extruders and five layers. The POLYCAST EVO lines boast primary level equipment from the leading suppliers and can be optionally equipped with COLINES’ patented MDO IR1 (single stage) or MDO IR2 (double stage), both of which ensure the production of MOPP and MOPE film. As already exhibited with the ALLrollEX lines, COLINES will also apply its quickdelivery policy to the POLYCAST EVO lines.

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his latest extruder improves system performance in output and flexibility, according to a recent press release. Advancements in technology and design have brought about a multi-resin capable extruder with higher regrind recovery rates, reduced maintenance costs and increased throughput, all with minimal changes to the physical footprint of the original SUPER-G HighSPEED Extruder. When it comes to process applications, the new HighSPEED SGHS3500-36D Extruder achieves reliable, costeffective, high-density

manufacturing— yielding high production outputs within a small machinery footprint. President Dana Hanson said: ”We›ve had such a grand market reception for our SGHS Model 3000 (75mm) over the past three years that we’re taking the next steps to expand this offering. Its purpose will bridge the gap between higher levels of both output and regrind consumption and, according to its namesake, will operate up to 1,000rpm.” To achieve the goals of bridging the gap, specific design changes were necessary. A re-engineered and

increased screw diameter from 3” to 3.5” (90mm), a L/D of 36:1, a 600 hp motor and a significantly larger feed opening are the featured characteristics of the SGHS3500-36D. With a 40 per cent increase in area, the unique feed arrangement permits high regrind recovery rates whilst maintaining consistent output levels throughout the production process. These design changes have proven substantial and are the basis for the SGHS3500-36D’s ability to achieve a maximum output capacity of 3,600pph, leading to a 33-38% increase in throughput

over PTi’s SGHS300036D (75mm) extruder. Increased output numbers can prove further significant to the ‘bottom line’ when considering the flexibility for quick changeovers made possible by the SGHS’s multi-resin capabilities of processing HIPS, PP, and PET.

DURALITE R FILM PACKAGING MADE FROM 50 PER CENT PCR DURALITE R FROM COVERIS FLEXIBLES AUSTRIA IS A BEVERAGE SHRINK FILM (COLLATION SHRINK FILM) THAT WAS DEVELOPED TO PLACE A HIGH PROPORTION OF POST-CONSUMER RECYCLATE IN THE FILM FORMULATION.

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his film is a COEX blown film, which is a combination of new granulate (LD/LLPE) and 50 per cent PCR, which comes from the mechanical LD /LLPE recycling stream. The solution made from 100 per cent recycled material consists of up to 50 per cent PCR. Optionally, post-industrial recyclate (PIR) can replace the proportion of new granulate. This combination of PCR and PIR or new granulate is optimised to compensate for natural and technical differences between post-consumer recycled material and new granulate. The technical parameters of the film are comparable to the standards of conventional beverage shrink films. Transparency and haze/ clarity differ only slightly in direct comparison to a highly transparent film (e.g. haze 12-14%). It can be used on customer packaging lines with no relevant difference in output and line parameters., and can be recycled like normal PE shrink film.

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FILM AND SHEET EPPM SPOKE TO LEAD CONSULTANT AT CEFLEX DANA MOSORA ABOUT SOME OF THE LATEST DEVELOPMENTS COMING FROM THE FILM PACKAGING RECYCLING SECTOR.

How has CEFLEX managed to convince such a range of stakeholders to get involved in your aim for flexible packaging recycling? I would say that this was the easiest challenge to overcome. We started this consortium at the end of 2016 with around 26 stakeholders. Today we have over 160. I have to say, the growth was organic, rapid and driven by the interest of the stakeholders, as well as a demand to deliver faster than we could have imagined.

With all the emphasis on recycling rates for plastic packaging, the only way for many countries to reach new, higher targets was by expanding recycling to include flexible packaging. The real challenge was how to recycle more of this packaging which had been perceived as hard to recycle. We envisioned the way forward by looking at technical challenges and then defining projects that will address them. Regardless of their place in the value chain, organisations have wanted to get involved with CEFLEX as a platform for

cross-sector collaboration, discussion and defining solutions. Today we’re seeing an ambition to tackle the difficult issues among an increasingly well-informed group of stakeholders, which continues to fuel this growth. What difficulties did you face when identifying viable, sustainable end markets? The moment you work on topics like this you talk about changing things. Recycling is a young industry for plastics. Some plastics, like PET bottles, have well-established end-of-life systems and markets, but for other plastics – and for flexible packaging particularly – there is not much. It didn’t take long to realise that to find new end markets we have to start by looking at how to collect, sort and recycle more, and better, because not a lot was collected five years ago. More and more is being collected now. We realised that you need to sort differently, and you need to start recycling differently to give the new polymers higher value. It was never a problem of the availability of technology, because sorting and recycling technologies existed but were not implemented for flexible packaging. So, at best, a sorting plant was sorting PE film from non-contaminated sources – post-commercial and postindustrial – because it’s cleaner and easier to recycle. This had mostly been recycled into garbage bags, but four or five years ago the garbage bags end market was almost saturated. Quality was an issue, so we started to analyse what can be done better, and if it was true that only PE polymers can be sorted for recycling into a film application. We started to challenge the status quo and realised that

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it all starts with re-engineering a sorting and recycling process, and this is probably the most concrete material realisation in our workstream so far. We have defined and piloted a new ‘Quality Recycling Process’, recycling both PE and PP from post-consumer flexible packaging. As we speak, we have started industrial trials to generate the data which will enable a robust recommendation for the value chain for sorters and recyclers to implement this new process. This was the starting point, but to get new end markets you need to understand the end markets. What we started to obtain from this Quality Recycling Process were new types of recycled polymers. We formed a collaborative team of value chain players to develop the new applications, including converters and brand-owners. Now we have a very clear path forward to develop non-food packaging film. The pilot trials have proved successful and you’re moving to industrial trials. How’re they going? We’re running industrial-scale sorting trials and will continue with hot-washing trials and extrusion with double filtration and refreshing steps to eliminate most foreign polymers and contaminants. All I can say is that we have a very clear path forward to demonstrate the sorting of plastic packaging waste by polymer and colour to get film-grade streams of PE or PP. From all the rest, which will not be film grade, we are developing injection moulding applications. How do you plan to engage new stakeholders now so many trade fairs have been postponed? What I can say is that for the new end market applications, which are the end goal in developing a Quality Recycling Process, we plan to showcase the various packaging concepts which prove the use of recycled PE and PP from postconsumer flexible packaging in film. These are developed collaboratively by our stakeholders and we aim to showcase these in any event, either as CEFLEX or through our stakeholders. When we’re developing these applications for different end markets, we’re doing them in a very

targeted way with concrete input from brand-owners. So, we’re going to showcase these solutions by specifying what kind of polymer was used and at what percentage, so it becomes clear for the value chain that flexible packaging can be recycled. With the aim of having a revolutionised collection, sorting and recycling infrastructure by 2025, how optimistic are you that you can achieve that? Good question! If you’d have asked me a year ago I would have had to stay very humble, because we know how difficult it is to implement change. New plants would be more likely to implement this new process than existing plants, but more and more sorting plants and recyclers are implementing parts of this Quality Recycling Process. It works with existing technology and it’s not rocket science – all you need is to want to recycle more and better. In CEFLEX we look into connecting sorting and recycling into one comprehensive process to deliver this new quality by harnessing the power of collaboration. We’re going to be ready sometime next year to present the recommendation for the Quality Recycling Process from collection to new products, showcasing each step. I believe that those who are committed to lead in this field, and who

understand the importance of a circular economy for flexible packaging, will go for it because the business case for investment will be provided. I think what we’re doing at CEFLEX has real value because of its purpose and collaboration with so many industry experts. I have more than 35 years of professional experience, and I always liked my job, but what I’m doing now is extremely rewarding. Working with so many experts who are so passionate about plastics recycling and the plastics industry, and seeing all these companies engaging in CEFLEX and putting their resources in to work on solutions, sparing no effort, and sharing as openly as possible in an environment where there are competitors around the table, is refreshing and essential to a circular economy. I’m so happy and grateful to be a part of it.

We have defined and piloted a new ‘Quality Recycling Process’, recycling both PE and PP from post-consumer flexible packaging


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FILM AND SHEET VIRTUAL

OPTICAL CONTROL SYSTEMS AND THE MONDI GROUP DISCUSS THEIR CLEVER USE OF DEFECTS THROUGH INTEGRATED QUALITY AND PRODUCTION MONITORING.

FILMING EFFICIENTLY

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the operator. However, a simple and user-friendly teach-in software is also essential. Defects are detected and classified accordingly.

Mondi is a leading packaging and paper group with a plant in Gronau, Germany, that specialises in hygiene components, advanced technical films, label films, and decorative and flooring films. Mondi Gronau sees itself as a pioneer in the field of integrated process analysis and integration in film extrusion.

Olaf Brauckmann, Head of Technical Service at Mondi Gronau, said: “OCS Inspection Systems provide the basis for our process control. By means of the extended networking of complete data stocks from the OCS analysis software and our PDA system, we can react faster to quality variations and assist in the reduction of scrap, rework and machine downtimes.”

ptical Control Systems (OCS), based in Witten, Germany, and the Mondi Group have concluded a cooperation agreement, with work on further developments ongoing in a continuous exchange at the management level.

From the technology for quality and production control to the self-controlling machine, Mondi implements this with the help of OCS components. The basis is provided by the sophisticated inspection technology using the OCS Web Inspection System FSP600, which detects and marks defects and immediately alarms Process integrated control unit

Almost all extrusion and converting lines are equipped with OCS inspection systems which support the daily quality assessment. The machine operator is informed about process variations in good time and can counteract quality changes. All inspection systems have an interface to the company’s internal production data acquisition system (PDA), so that each reel change is automatically stored with the respective roll number. The complete traceability is given and supports the acquisition of information. Film rolls can be automatically locked by the system without operator intervention. This is made possible by additional analysis software, which relates material, raw material and process parameters from the PDA system to the respective quality/ film grade and leads to long-term statistical process control.

Installed OCS camera in film line

Film rolls can be automatically locked by the system without operator intervention. This is made possible by additional analysis software

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FILM AND SHEET VIRTUAL

POLYTECHS SUMMARISES ITS RECENT SUCCESSES IN A CHALLENGING YEAR.

In the film

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ndependent French compounder Polytechs introduced its new market positioning during K 2019. Numerous projects were identified with a strong need to solve productivity issues such as cleaning extrusion lines without stopping or avoiding production stops in harsh conditions. After a year of uncertainties, optimising productivity was key and Polytechs’ boosters met with much success. CLEAN XPRESS – THE MARKET REFERENCE OF PURGING COMPOUNDS FOR EXTRUSION Polytechs’ purging compound range continues to prove its five-star efficiency in the marketplace as it has done for more than 20 years. With an extended product range successfully introduced during K 2019, an increasing number of market applications has proven successful in cleaning cases in blown films and cast films. Recent successes involve the cleaning of multilayer structures with a combination of grades. The cleaning cases observed, however, remain the same – namely colour change, material change, contamination from polymer degradation during continuous production, weekend compounds (i.e. purging compound remaining inside the extruder during weekends with heating systems switched off in order to ease shut-downs and start-ups) and dismantling aids. As for the confirmed and recent successes, polymers and compounds successfully cleaned in film and sheet production include LDPE; LLDPE; HDPE; PP; EVA; MaH-based Tie Layers; PA 6 and PA 6/6; EVOH; G-PET; PBT; PLA; LowMelting Point Bioresins; SEBS and SBS; GPPS and HIPS; TPUs; PC; and PMMA

in a processing T° range of action from 80°C to 320°C – enabling the procedure to adapt to the polymer. Videos say more than a thousand words, so the aim is to produce examples and regularly upload them onto a dedicated website, CleanXpress-Polytechs.com, which is intended to become a ‘book of witness’ in regard to Clean Xpress quality and performance, as well as the role it can play in increasing global productivity. FLOW XPRESS – POLYMER PROCESSING AIDS One of the global trends witnessed is the commoditisation of specialty chemicals. Logically, polymer processing aids in masterbatch form – dedicated to polyolefin polymer production as well as to polyolefin film, sheet and pipe production – followed the trend.

Finally, FX AID 10650 – the latest development of Polytechs – is a hightemperature PPA grade in masterbatch form. This grade is designed for polyolefin films produced at high temperatures (up to 300°C) in cast processing mode. Results show excellent performances with long extrusion runs without DBU – a strong market need expressed by film producers.

With an extended product range successfully introduced during K 2019, an increasing number of market applications has proven successful

However, some grades should not be considered as a commodity. Depending on the industry needs, the ‘compounding knowhow’ can become the real value of the PPA masterbatch. Taking into example the film industry, build-up and deposits at the exit of the die are the most important hurdles to overcome in order to keep the production running. After years of production and investigation, Polytechs ensured selecting and setting the right compounding process with the latest additives available on the market to provide two new specific grades. Firstly, FX AID 10614 – the latest generation of PPA specifically studied and compounded in a way to reduce die build-up (DBU), and therefore avoiding production stops as much as possible. This grade reduced melt fracture 33 per cent faster than the standard market references.

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Kistler maXYmos provides quality assurance for medical device manufacturers

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he new maXYmos TL ML, based on the tried-and-tested maXYmos system, can be easily qualified and validated for integration into existing quality management systems. Process monitoring systems play an increasingly important part in quality assurance on automated production lines. In extreme cases, inadequate quality assurance can cause injury or loss of life. Companies that place medical devices on the market are fully liable in the event that their products fail to function accurately and consistently. Kistler has developed this new solution on the basis of its proven maXYmos TL (Top Level) system. Like all the systems in the maXYmos family, maXYmos TL visualises process profiles and offers an extensive range of interfaces for connecting sensors. The system is integrated directly into

the production line to monitor and evaluate the quality of every step in the manufacturing process on the basis of a curve. The functions integrated in maXYmos TL ML comply with the regulatory requirements for applications in the medtech industry. The system hardware also meets the specific requirements for measurement equipment that apply in the medtech industry. The new maXYmos TL ML process monitoring system from Kistler gives producers of medical devices, as well as machinery and plant manufacturers operating in the medtech and pharmaceutical sectors, a much easier solution to the validation of their production processes. The maXYmos TL ML system supports OPC UA, so that it can be easily connected to machine controls and communicate with higher-level control and management systems.

NORNER INSTALLS NEW SEM-EDS THE SCANNING ELECTRON MICROSCOPE – ENERGY DISPERSIVE SPECTROMETER (SEM-EDS) IS AN ESPECIALLY USEFUL INSTRUMENT WHEN IT COMES TO INVESTIGATING AND PROVIDING DOCUMENTATION OF MATERIALS AND PRODUCTS FOR NORWAYBASED POLYMER TESTING SPECIALISTS NORNER.

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ith the new equipment, Norner offers a broad and high-quality service within this field. The laboratory, situated in Stathelle, has the insight to make microscopy investigation to provide documentation of materials and products. Element mapping and visualisation, surface finish, contaminations, and failure and fracture investigation in all kind of solid materials form just part of the expertise.

SEM-EDS TESTING AREAS Further services include consultations and problem solving, product and material imperfections, design weaknesses, material and surface structures, and flow patterns in stresses in plastic parts, amongst other areas. The microscopy laboratory provides customers with a wide range of services, including support in defining and solving problems for a wide

range of materials from polymers and composites to powders and metals, and a wide range of processes from injection, blow and rotational moulding, to extrusion, compounding and lamination.

SYSTECH ILLINOIS INTRODUCES NEXTGEN WATER VAPOUR ANALYSER US-BASED SYSTECH ILLINOIS, A GLOBAL BRAND OF MOISTURE AND OXYGEN ANALYSERS AND PART OF THE INDUSTRIAL PHYSICS PRODUCT INTEGRITY SEGMENT, HAS ANNOUNCED THE LATEST GENERATION OF ITS PROVEN LYSSY L80 WATER VAPOUR PERMEATION ANALYSERS.

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he Lyssy L806000 provides cost-effective, high accuracy testing for manufacturers of packaging films, as well as high permeability fabrics and non-wovens. The L80-6000 features a new touchscreen display and intuitive interface

for ease of use, automated sample clamping for test consistency, and computer controlled and programmable test parameters to eliminate differences caused by operator input. Due to its high accuracy and wide measuring range, the L80-6000 can advance higher quality production in applications such as surgical and hygienic membranes, wound dressing, diaper materials and membranes. The state-of-the-art humidity sensor is located in the measuring chamber and, since no carrier gas or extractive measuring technique is used, it offers the best reproduction of real-life conditions. The L80-6000 alternates quickly and easily between low and high permeability measurements. The built-in temperature control eliminates the need for external control units. The preparation of a sample for the L80-6000 is accomplished in minutes with the use of Systech Illinois’ self-adhesive sample cards; with no grease or glue required. Alan Shema, Director of Global Sales for Industrial Physics Product Integrity, said: “The Lyssy L80-6000 provides reliable, cost-effective water vapour permeability testing in an enhanced, modern system, with a high degree of automation to ensure productivity without sacrificing quality."

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NEW DATES

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of exhibitors said they made a sale directly related to Interplas.

92%

of visitors found a new supplier or technology they has not known of before.

Exhibit with us Interplas is back in 2021, bringing with it the opportunity for you to experience the UK’s largest plastics industry exhibition showcasing the full spectrum of plastics processing machinery, materials, software, services and ancillaries in one place. It’s also the only plastics event in the UK where visitors can see working machinery LIVE on the show floor and where they’ll come to compare, contrast and buy. With an expected 14,000+ attendees across the three-day event, as well as new features and an expanded floorplan, now is the time to position yourself as a company that can offer solutions, showcase innovation and offer expertise to an audience known for its quality and purchasing power. @InterplasUK #InterplasUK www.interplasuk.com

Co-located Shows


TESTING AND INSPECTION VIRTUAL

TECNOMATIC COMMERCIAL DIRECTOR DR MASSIMILIANO VAILATI DISCUSSES INNOVATION AND ENHANCED PERFORMANCE IN THE PRODUCTION OF MULTILAYER PIPES.

DIE-HEAD 4.0 T

he market for polyolefin pipes is constantly evolving with more demanding customer and application requirements. Despite the constant improvement in polyolefin properties, single-layer solid wall pipes are still not able to always fulfil certain customer or application requirements. For such situations, multilayer pipes may be a solution. The key to producing a good multilayer pipe is the die-head. This article showcases how Tecnomatic continues to improve technology and performance. Developed on the basis of the VENUS monolayer concept, Tecnomatic has a full range of die-heads with multi helical spirals for the production of two-, threeor four-layer polyolefin pipes, even for large diameters. A recent delivery to Myanmar-based Authentic Production shows that the Asia Pacific market is embracing innovations. Authentic Production has benefitted from Tecnomatic lines capable of producing pipes up to 1,200mm that offered production efficiency, reliability and reduced scrap rates. The new product featured the BorSafe HE3494LS-H PE100 High Stress Crack Resistant (HSCR) material in the outer layer to offer maximum security against potential point loads and surface damage. Such pipes have been used in Europe for installations either using trenchless techniques or where no imported backfill is used. By using the same material dug from the trench, the installers were able to reduce costs and environmental impact. The wall of the multilayer pipe has two layers equal to 10 and 90 per cent respectively of the total thickness. The outer layer is produced from HSCR

PE100 and the core from PE100. This requires two separate extruders – a main extruder from the ZEPHYR series in L/D 40, and an ATLAS series in L/D 30. Both are synchronised using gravimetric feed to maintain a continuous raw material feed and to record variations in mass throughput, thereby ensuring perfect control. The VENUS MULTI pipe head series has been designed to achieve excellent processing using a wide range of materials at very high output. The spiral geometry has been optimised for the latest generation of PE and PP, while achieving improvements in length-reduction, volume and operating pressure. The heart of the VENUS MULTI heads consists of an innovative flow channel geometry, which has been calculated to take into consideration the current raw materials. This geometry ensures the same behaviour for pressure and distribution of the melt in all the pipe heads in the range – even at very high output rates. This new feeding system contributes to the reduced working pressure, which reduces energy consumption during extrusion. Lower pressure results in a lower melt temperature and ensures improved pipe characteristics such as its OIT (oxidation resistance) and reduction of thermal and sheer stresses.

deep scores are not be transferred to the inner pipe when exposed to servicerelated stresses. The peelable jacket is typically 0.60.7mm thick for all current dimensions. The skin is added by a cross-head positioned before the last cooling bath. Tecnomatic has a full range of die-heads, based on spiral or radial technology suitable for plastic or metal pipes coating ranging from 5-800mm and up to four layers. The die-heads are based on a typical spiral technology for large and single layer co-extrusion or a mixed solution with radial distributors or short path spiral alternative depending on material characteristics such as PA, EVOH, PVDF or adhesive bonds.

The die-heads are based on a typical spiral technology for large and single layer co-extrusion

Authentic Production has expressed high satisfaction for the quality of the multilayer line, and the new product will offer additional security. Additional features can be added such as a peelable outer skin, which provides further economic and environmental benefits. This modified polypropylene skin further protects the pipe surface when using installation methods such as pipe bursting or wash-boring. Potentially

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TESTING AND INSPECTION VIRTUAL

EUROTEC EXPLAINS HOW HIGH HYDROLYSIS RESISTANCE IS BEST MET BY POLYAMIDE-BASED ENGINEERING PLASTICS.

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he power needed to drive a vehicle upon fuel combustion is produced by the engine. As the power is produced, the engine heat increases. Removing the increasing heat of the engine is one of the critical parameters that affect the vehicle performance and service life. Cooling systems are required to remove excess heat from the engine and to keep the temperature within the operating range constantly. Ethylene glycol, which is used as the cooling water, provides the removal of heat from the environment in applications such as radiator end tanks, cooling pipes, oil filters, throttle caps and expansion tanks. The most crucial parameter to consider when selecting the materials used in these critical components is the component ageing in the presence of ethylene glycol at temperatures between 120 and 140oC. Thus, the

proper material selection is the most essential requirement for cooling system applications. Polyamide-based engineering plastics are widely preferred in under-hood applications across the automotive industry for their high heat and hydrolysis resistance properties. The properties of these materials should be enhanced and improved for resistance by special formulations so that they meet the requirements of automotive specifications. Eurotec offers a wide range of technical polyamide engineering plastics with advanced mechanical and thermal properties as intended for the automotive industry. PA66 30 per cent glass fibrereinforced products are actively used in applications such as radiator end tanks and cooling pipes, amongst others, due largely to their high hydrolysis resistance. Eurotec continues to work by developing high-performance materials and improving the properties of products in its portfolio in accordance with OEM specifications that require hydrolysis resistance at high temperatures for cooling system applications. To analyse the hydrolysis performance of its products, Eurotec collaborates with an independent testing laboratory in Germany that carries out hydrolysis resistance tests for many OEMs.

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To analyse the hydrolysis performance of its products, Eurotec collaborates with an independent testing laboratory in Germany that carries out hydrolysis resistance tests for many OEMs Together with a competitor product, Tecomid NA40 GR30 BK005 HY QH, (PA66, 30 per cent glass fibre-reinforced, hydrolysis stabilised, black) is subjected to ageing tests using a 50 per cent ethylene glycol–50 per cent water mixture for 500 hours and 1,000 hours at 135oC in accordance with TL 52 682. As per TL 52 682, the three-point flexural strength value should be 25 MPa or higher after 1,000 hours of hydrolysis ageing test. Tecomid NA40 GR30 BK005 HY QH has met these test criteria by delivering an outstanding performance against challenging test conditions for its excellent thermal and hydrolysis resistance. It can be used safely in applications such as radiator tanks and cooling pipes.


International exhibition and conference on the next generation of manufacturing technologies

Formnext Connect, 10 – 12 November 2020 Virtual and successful together. formnext.com

The entire world of additive manufacturing Design and software

R&D Metrology

Materials

Post-processing Services

Manufacturing solutions Pre-processing

Additive manufacturing surrounds a whole world of processes. Instead of a world tour you only need one ticket for the virtual business and knowledge platform for the AM industry – Formnext Connect!

Where ideas take shape.

Offical event hashtag #formnext


TESTING AND INSPECTION MANAGING DIRECTOR AT TINIUS OLSEN UK MARK YOUINGS DESCRIBES THE IMPACT OF CORONAVIRUS ON THE BUSINESS.

Testing times How has Coronavirus impacted Tinius Olsen? I would say Coronavirus has negatively affected us in terms of business and forecasted sales. On the positive side, it has offered us time to work on group collaboration, process reviews, and the ability to work on R&D projects. There are some positives, but I don’t think anybody would have wished to plan and forecast for something of this nature. I appreciate that some industries have had significant increases in consumption, but in terms of business-to-business, it has been much harder. What about the ability to operate on-site? Here in the UK we went from 47 staff on-site down to 15. The only thing I would say is that teamwork is very important for a business, and although there are a multitude of collaborative tools available, I think people work better together. It makes the business more personal. What have you learned about automation since the start the year? There is a lot that PCs can do and there’s a lot that we don’t need anymore – a paper trail, for example, and I think that’s a good thing. We do all our shipping now through a shipping manager who works form home. We pack the crates and send

the paperwork, the freight forwarder is informed, the truck comes in and the equipment is off to the customer. Formerly, the paper trail would go up, the freight forwarder would be booked, more paper would come back down, a delivery note, packing list, invoices, certificates, documentation – that’s all pretty much online now so things can happen quickly. For the machines that we make, automation is the future. Not just in the way we make our machines but in the way some of our customers use automation in their testing functionality. The software has had the tools for a while, and the capability to export data directly into any database. You don’t necessarily need a release ticket for the next batch of manufactured products to be released. It’s all integrated, so there’s no hold-up in making sure the product can be released with the right tensile strength or material property. Does everybody need to be standing by the testing machine while they perform a test? No. You could load up a rack of specimens with bar codes and the robot pretty much takes over. I think we’ll see more and more larger players looking at the true cost of a tester – a person near a machine. I won’t say AI or robotics will take over, it won’t. It’s got to be right. As we see with most automation concepts, the RoI improves as the availability increases. I think people are less scared of trying new things. Which trade fairs have you been unable to participate in? Quite a few were cancelled early in the year – JEC in Paris, the Control exhibition in Germany, Interplas in Birmingham and a smaller exhibition in Limerick, Ireland. The old trade fair format is exciting: it gives you the opportunity to travel, see potential

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customers, and you can see and touch the products. You can see everybody in a day. If you broke that down and saw that many suppliers, it would be far too disruptive in your daily work. You see things you don’t necessarily look for at a trade fair. Things catch your eye and projects can be created from that unknown element. It’s a global world: we need to be here, there and everywhere if we want to trade internationally.

I appreciate that some industries have had significant increases in consumption, but in terms of business-to-business, it has been much harder


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COLUMN

EUREKA W

ith biorefineries emerging much slower than expected due to low oil prices making it difficult to compete with fossil energy, the question of what to do when you’ve spent the last 12 years developing new methods for engineering enzymes to degrade biomass faster and more efficiently arises. For Professor Peter Westh from DTU Bioengineering, the answer was obvious: You find another material that can be degraded by enzymes. In this respect, plastics were ideal: “There’s a huge demand for carbon worldwide, which today is extracted from fossil sources. We’re therefore on the hunt for a new source of carbon which exists in vast amounts, which is not fossil, and which can be broken down into the molecules needed in the petrochemical industry. We have a major problem with accumulation of plastics, and plastics contain carbon, so if it’s possible to extract carbon from the large amounts of plastic waste…” Fedor Selivanov / Shutterstock.com

A DTU RESEARCH GROUP HAS LEARNED HOW TO ENGINEER ENZYMES THAT CAN TURN PLASTIC WASTE INTO CARBON.

“Denmark will be able to play an important role in exporting technology and materials,” Westh concluded. “In this way, we can help facilitate the transition to a circular plastics economy.”

DTU USES ENZYMES TO FIND VALUE IN WASTE PLASTIC Eureka! Plastic waste therefore has great potential to become a source of carbon, but the carbon is not readily available. This is where the enzymes come in. Westh added: “Our method is to find some enzymes in nature, which we then reorganise a little so they get better and faster. An enzyme

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Westh’s research focuses on optimising the enzymes so they can cut up as much as possible before it degenerates. If enzymatic degradation is to become good business, however, it is essential that the conversion is quick, and the process stable. The DTU research group has discovered that the enzymes are inhibited by only being able to attack the plastics in a few places. With the help of industry collaborator Novozymes, Westh has applied for funds from Innovation Fund Denmark to find a solution. With this, they expect to be able to solve the problem over the next four years, putting Denmark in a position of strength in the emerging market for the biological processing of plastics.

consists of a few hundred amino acids. We might switch out two, or eight, or 12, and that’s enough to make them more stable, or make them better at cutting up the polyester.” Since plastics are insoluble, enzymes can only attack on the surface, and the process is therefore slow.

Denmark will be able to play an important role in exporting technology and materials … In this way, we can help facilitate the transition to a circular plastics economy


THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX

TECHNOLOGIES FOR PLASTIC PIPES PROCESSING

Tecnomatic Srl | Bergamo | Italy | tel. +39 035 310375 | tecnomaticsrl.net